Peters, Sims earn AS

Benton senior Jai Peters, 2, goes up for a shot on senior night against the McClellen Lions. Peters, along with fellow senior Evan Sims, earned All-State honors recently. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Staff Writer

The Benton Panthers had two players earn All-State honors and two with All-Conference honors, it was announced recently.
Seniors Jai Peters and Evan Sims earned All-State, while junior guards Sawyer Oulch and Carson Cates took All-Conference.
“Those two are very deserving of those honors,” Benton Coach Dexter Hendrix said of his All-Staters. “Every coach in our conference really believed that those two guys earned that the way they played this year.
“Both those guys, with how far they came with not only basketball players, but people, from their sophomore years is something I’m the most proud of.”
Peters had over 1,000 points in his high-school career, finishing with 1,081 since his sophomore year. Peters led Saline County his senior season with an 18.9 average after averaging 14.5 for second last year.
“Jai Peters was more of just a scorer for us his first two years as a junior and sophomore seasons,” Hendrix said, “and kind of did everything for us his senior year. Leading the team in rebounds, assists, points and steals, he did everything for us.”
Peters led the Panthers, which finished 19-11 this past season, averaging 5.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Peters scored at least 20 points 13 times and scored 30 three times.
“What I’m really most proud of him for is adding to his work ethic and his leadership abilities improved throughout the year,” Hendrix said. “It just showed what kind of person he turned in to.”
Peters plans on signing with Arkansas State University Mid-South (West Memphis) next month, where former Panther Shaheed Halk is currently playing.
Playing behind a plethora of Panthers his first two years at Benton, Sims had his breakout season this past year, averaging 9.7 points per game, second on the team, 3.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists.
“Evan Sims is a guy that came in and didn’t play any his sophomore year, but contributed his junior year and even more his senior year,” Hendrix said. “Those two guys were really the staple of our program this past year. They really led us.”