Defending 5A South Conference Champs' Hope Bobcats had another tough task on the road last Friday night to fall short to their longtime school rivals' Magnolia Panthers 52-37 to conclude their conference series match-up at Panther Arena.

Defending 5A South Conference Champs' Hope Bobcats had another tough task on the road last Friday night to fall short to their longtime school rivals' Magnolia Panthers 52-37 to conclude their conference series match-up at Panther Arena.

The Bobcats trailed 14-8 to the Panthers at the end of first quarter action. In the second, the Bobcats dropped 12 points on the board, but the Panthers put up 15 in the period to take an 29-20 halftime lead over Hope at the conclusion of first half play.

In the second half, the Bobcats dropped 12 points on the board in the fourth quarter but held to five points in the third 17 total points with the Panthers outscoring Hope with 23 points for both final periods combine to secure victory and sweep the series meeting in league competition.

The Bobcats shot 50 percent from the field with three 3-pointers made from behind the arc for 20 percent but perfect at the foul line for 100 percent making 3-for-3 free-throws. Hope scored two points in transition, 10 points off turnovers, four second chance points with 10 points in the paint. The Bobcats had 19 total rebounds with 13 assists, three deflections with six steals.

Bobcats' Keith Brown led scoring with 13 points for double-figures and drained 3-pointers from behind the arc with one rebound, four assists, two deflection and one steal. Jaloni Davis contributed eight points, one rebound with two assist and one steal. Christian Moore scored six points with four rebounds, two assist and Zakee Lawson scored five points, with three rebounds and one assist.

Antwone Casteel added two points going 1-for-1 from the field at 100 percent with a rebound and an assist. Mykel Horton scored two points with two steals, Nate Carter had two rebounds with three assists, one deflection and a steal. 

The Cats will conclude regular season hoops on tonight hosting Class 6A El Dorado, then this Friday night for their final home game of the season facing Camden-Fairview on senior night at Jones Field House Gymnasium before entering the 5A South Conference Tournament next week hosted in Hot Springs.