Lady Panthers cruise to victory

Benton sopohomore Tamia Halk shoots a free throw in a game earlier in the season. Halk scored a career-high 16 points in a 60-24 win over Mills on Tuesday in Little Rock. STEVEN LOVELL/Special to The Saline Courier
Sports Editor

It was all Benton Lady Panthers on Tuesday night in Little Rock. Benton routed the Mills Lady Comets 60-24 for the season sweep in 6A/5A blended conference action.
“We accomplished three things we wanted to accomplish,” Benton Coach Jerry Chumley said. “We worked on some of our zone offense because Sheridan has a much bigger zone coming in on Friday. We kept everybody healthy and everybody played. Anytime you get to do that, that’s good.”
The Lady Panthers (15-10, 7-3) led 22-9 after one quarter as sophomore Courtney Davidson had a steal and layup to start the second quarter. Sophomore Tamia Halk’s two free throws made it a 27-10 game with 5:09 left until halftime and junior Anna Davis would scored the final four points of the half on layups, with assists going to sophomore Caitlin Ginther and freshman Izzy Arnold, with Benton up 33-12 at the half.


Downed by 30 points in each of their first two losses to the No. 1 team in the state, the Benton Panthers fell 59-49 Tuesday in Little Rock in 6A/5A blended conference action to the Mills Comets. The Comets beat Benton 77-47 in December and 68-38 in Benton (January), but the Panthers put up more of a fight this go-around.
“I really liked the way our kids battled all night,” Benton Coach Dexter Hendrix said. “There were a few times they were up 12 and 15, and we could have put our heads down, but we kept chipping away. We could never get it under eight, but I’m just really proud of our kids. When you play a team like this, you can’t help but improve. I think we improved, we just happened to play the the best team in the state.”
The Panthers (16-7, 6-4) were up 5-2 after senior Westin Riddick’s three and senior Fred Harris’ offensive rebound and put back with 5:41 left, but it was all Mills after that. Junior guard Grehlon Easter laid it in on the next possession to begin a 17-0 run and the Comets (22-1, 8-0) led 19-5 early in the second when Jeremiah Toney hit two free throws.
“That’s the difference in the game right there,” Hendrix said of the run. “They’re so dangerous in transition. We may have rushed things and went too fast, but they had a lot to do with that.”