Archive - 2013 - Sports Article
FAYETTEVILLE - The 2013 season has been like none other for the Benton Lady Panthers. After losing a 2-1 heartbreaker in the state semifinals in 2012 to Russellville, Benton was forced to regroup and start working on another run this season. After tragedy struck in November when Lady Panther Drew Melton died in a car accident, the Lady Panthers had a long road ahead once again.
BENTON - Benton High School has become accustomed to having athletes play and succeed at the next level. While not everyone moves on to reach â€śCliff Leeâ€ť status, the ones that play at the NCAA level usually make the most of it.
As for the 2013 Benton Panther basketball team, the â€śnext levelâ€ť will be chalked full of talent and former Panthers; one being 6-foot, 9-inch big man Graham Gardner who signed to play with College of the Ozarks in Branson, Mo., on Tuesday.
HASKELL - The Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals have been the hottest team in Saline County all season. Now sitting at 30-2 overall on the year, Harmony Grove is looking for its fourth 3A State Championship since winning three in a row from 2002-04.
While many tournament roads are not easy to travel, the Lady Cardinals have made easy work of their opponent in tournament play, winning three straight before entering the 2013 State Tournament recently. Harmony Grove won the Woodlawn, 3A District and Region 2 Regional tournaments in three straight weekends and now has a chance at more heroics.
BENTON â€“ The Benton Panthers had a historic year this past season, winning a school-record 27 games opposed to just three losses, and losing in the semifinals of the 6A State Tournament. But the Panthers wouldnâ€™t have had their historic year, which included an undefeated 14-0 South Conference schedule, without two players who are trading in their paws for a different species.
BRYANT â€“ Former Bryant senior Brooke Howell provided plenty of power for the Lady Hornets in her All-State career. Howell is now taking that power to north Arkansas as she signed to play volleyball for the Williams Baptist Lady Eagles (Walnut Ridge) on Wednesday at Bryant High School.
In fact her power became legend after one of her spikes hit an opposing player above the shoulders which resulted in a trip to the emergency room. Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said Howell was definitely the hardest hitter sheâ€™s ever coached.
PINE BLUFF - The Harmony Grove Lady Cardinals have been on the positive end of history before, winning three straight state softball titles from 2002-04. Despite making state every year since, Harmony Grove as not brought home the title since.
But 2013 is a different scenario. With one of the strongest and most talented teams in school history, the Lady Cardinals have a chance to bring home the hardware once again after thumping the Rivercrest Lady Colts 10-1 on Monday in the semifinals in Pine Bluff.
ROGERS â€“ With a 2-1 Rogers Mounties (West No. 4 seed) lead after five innings, the Bryant Hornets (West No. 2 seed) were right there to make their third trip to the 7A State Championship game in the past four seasons, but it was not to be as Rogers would score a combined 10 runs in the sixth and seventh innings on its way to a 12-2 win over the Hornets on Saturday in the semifinals of the 7A tourney.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK â€“ It was a battle, but the West No. 2 seed Bryant Hornet boys soccer team came away with a 1-0 victory over host North Little Rock Charging Wildcats in the quarterfinals of the 7A State Tournament on Friday. With the Hornetsâ€™ win, Bryant (20-2-1) played the Central No. 1 seed Fort Smith Northside Grizzlies at 2 p.m. on Saturday to determine which team will play for the 7A State Tournament Championship.
Against North Little Rock, senior Justin Travis scored four minutes into the game for the contestâ€™s only score.
BENTON â€“ After getting down 2-0 early in the quarterfinals of the 6A State Tournament to Russellville on Friday, the South No. 1 seed Benton Panthers scored 10 unanswered runs to win 10-2 to advance to the semifinals against the East No. 2 seed Jonesboro Golden Hurricane on Saturday. The Hurricane would jump on the Panthers for six runs in the first four innings, and though the Panthers fought back, Benton couldnâ€™t finish the comeback falling 6-5 and wiping away the Panthersâ€™ hopes for a matchup with Greenwood in the 6A State Championship at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville on Saturday.
SEARCY â€“ The Benton Lady Panthers fought hard, but fell 4-0 to the Mountain Home Lady Bombers in the first round of the 6A State Tournament in Searcy on Thursday.
It was a scoreless game until the Lady Bombers struck with about four minutes left in the first half to take a 1-0 lead at halftime.
â€śThe score is not a true indicator of the way the game was played,â€ť Benton Coach Jason Gentry said. â€ś It was a very even, physical game.Â In the second half they pulled away because they could sub three to five girls at a time without much of a drop off in the talent.â€ť