Panthers fall for 1st time

Benton junior Carson Cates, 13, hits a 3-pointer to put the Panthers up 28-20 early in the third quarter against the Catholic Rockets in Little Rock on Friday. Benton, though, would fall to Catholic 47-43. TONY LENAHAN/The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Leading by eight points at halftime on the road, the Benton Panthers wouldn’t be able to hold onto that lead Friday in Little Rock. The Panthers would fall for the first time this season, losing 47-43 to the Catholic Rockets to move to 4-1 on the year.
“A really tough loss for us, for sure,” Benton Coach Dexter Hendrix said. “After a four-game road trip, I think we definitely learned a lot about our team and learned a lot in (Friday’s) loss. We learned a lot from the wins in the first three (road) games, but we have to learn from the loss. We didn’t play real well, shoot the ball well, but that’s no excuse. But it’s a great opportunity early in the season to learn and get better from it.”
Benton led 23-15 at halftime and would go up 28-20 on junior Carson Cates 3-pointer assisted by senior Jai Peters, and then went up 30-20 on a Peters’ layup assisted junior Grant Shelnut. But, the Rockets, led by senior Phillips Allison excellent inside play, went on an 8-0 run to get within two points before Benton senior Evan Sims stopped the bleeding with a bucket assisted by Peters.
But, two free throws from Catholic captain John Chase and an offensive rebound and put back by Allison would tie things at 32-32 after three.
Benton will get a week off as the Panthers play next on Friday when the Prescott Curley Wolves come to town.