Benton takes 3rd straight

Benton senior Italei Gray takes a shot in a game earlier this season. Gray scored a season-high 14 points in a 47-27 road win over Mount St. Mary’s Friday to help the Lady Panthers to three straight. TONY LENAHAN/The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

The Benton Lady Panthers are on a roll after starting the season 0-3. On Friday in Little Rock, the Lady Panthers routed the Mount St. Mary’s Belles 47-27 for their third straight win to improve to 3-3 on the season.
“Mount St. Mary’s is never an easy place to play; just a different kind of atmosphere,” Benton Coach Jerry Chumley said. “I was really happy with our defense going in there and holding them to 27 points.”
Benton led 14-8 after one, and though the Lady Panthers scored just six points in the second quarter, Benton held the Belles to just three, leading 20-11 at halftime.
“We had really good first quarter and kind of went in a lull that second quarter,” Chumley said. “We came out in the third quarter and played really well.”
Chumley switched defenses in the third quarter, which led to a good transition game as the Lady Panthers had a 36-25 lead going into the final quarter.
“We came out and got in a zone defense after playing man the whole first half,” he said. “It bothered them. They took some quick shots and we kind of got out in transition on those rebounds. Some of their long 3-point shots that rimmed out, we were able to start a break on the rebound.
“We just got out in transition and made a run. Italei Gray got going. She went 8 for 8 from the free-throw line just in that quarter, so she was attacking on those fast breaks.”
Junior Makenzy Davidson had her second straight great offensive game, scoring 19 points Friday after scoring 21 against Camden Fairview on Tuesday.
Benton’s next chance will come Tuesday when the Lady Panthers host last season’s 5A State Tournament runner-up Parkview Lady Patriots, which stand at 4-2 this season.