All-State after all
BENTON – Former Benton Lady Panthers senior forward Allison Reynolds was named to the 6A All-State Tournament Team, but the fact that Benton finished runner-up in the 6A South Conference to El Dorado, only two, not three, Lady Panthers were recognized as all state.
Voted by the 6A South coaches, junior guard Braxton Chumley and junior forward Braylee Landreth got the two spots for Benton, but Reynolds was voted by the conference coaches as a top player in the state.
“I knew finishing second we were only going to be allowed two,” Benton Lady Panther basketball Coach Jerry Chumley said. “When you win the league you get three.”
Not only was Reynolds voted all state for the second consecutive year (she was recognized last season), but she is also the winningest player in Benton girls basketball history, leading the Lady Panthers to a 65-20 record her three seasons. Though the Lady Panthers were edged by El Dorado this past season with a 20-6 record, Benton did win the 6A South in Reynolds’ sophomore (22-8) and junior seasons (23-6).
“She’s the winningest player in girls basketball history,” Chumley said. “One of the most decorated players that has come through Benton. And you throw in the intangibles; just how good a kid she is, how great a student she is (4.0 GPA). She had all these physical problems (back) she had to deal with the past two years, basically her whole career, and still was able to put up consistent numbers every year. You think about Benton girls basketball, you think about Allison Reynolds right now.”
Reynolds averaged 10.4 points per game for the season, but really stepped it up in the state tournament. In her two games, Reynolds averaged 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals, filling up the stat sheet.
“She’s the most coachable kid I’ve ever coached in my seven years here,” Chumley said. “She absolutely did everything you asked her to do and she went out like a champ. She really played her best basketball when we really had to have it. She was the total teammate and student-athlete, and Homecoming Queen. Other than winning the state championship, there’s nothing she hasn’t done at Benton. If you had kids like Allison Reynolds in your program every year, coaching would be easy.
Not only was Reynolds an all-state performer in basketball, but she was also a two-time all-stater in volleyball, leading the Lady Panthers to the 6A State Championship game, where Benton lost in five sets to Jonesboro this past season.
“She’s just a natural athlete, great attitude, amazing hitter,” Benton volleyball Coach Brandy Chumley said. “I’m really not sure if I saw anybody hit as hard as she did this year, any time, consistently hit the ball like she did. This was by far her best year.”
Benton was 23-4 this past season and swept every 6A South Conference match. The Lady Panthers went 40-12 the past two seasons, so Reynolds had a knack for winning.
“She’s one everybody liked, everybody looked up to,” Brandy Chumley said. “She’s kind of quiet, but she led by example.”
Reynolds will attend Ouachita Baptist University in the fall.