After losing in the finals to Avery, Texas, of a Henderson State University Tournament over the weekend, the Benton Lady Panther volleyball team went to El Dorado to play the Lady Wildcats in 7A/6A South conference action on Tuesday night. Benton swept El Dorado 3-0 (25-15, 25-8, 25-7) to improve to 6-1 in the South and 11-4 overall.
The Harmony Grove Cardinals have fallen victim to the loss three weeks in a row dating back to Week 2 of the football season. Sitting at 1-3 on the year and winless in conference play, the Cardinals are still continuing to get better week in and week out.
The Saline County area is chocked full of high school football talent this season. With Bryant taking most of the attention with an impressive 3-1 start to the year and coming off of a 55-21 win over Benton last week, one should also look just south of the county and read heavily into the Glen Rose Beavers.
The Bryant Lady Hornets remained undefeated in the 7A/6A South conference with a sweep of the Lake Hamilton Lady Wolves on Tuesday night at the Bryant gym. The Lady Hornets won 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-14) and didnât have a letdown after their rivalry match against Benton last week
âThey played well,â Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said. âWe had that big game at Benton Thursday night. They came back. I thought they played well. We had some moments that we werenât at our peak.â
The Bryant Lady Hornets had no problem in dispensing of the El Dorado Lady Wildcats on Tuesday night at the Bryant Gym. The Lady Hornets (9-3, 5-0 7A/6A South) swept the Wildcats 3-0 (25-9, 25-8, 25-4).
"I'm so proud of the girls [Tuesday] night because they did not play down," Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said. "Our serves were back last night. We had been struggling. Aubree Allen has come in and helped up with Kenzie's (McKenzie Rice) shoulder injury. We're slowing getting [Rice] back into the game."
When it comes to good hometown rivalries in high school football, one needs not look any further than Saline County. With Benton and Bryant standing alone at the top of the list, there are other rivalries right here in the county that catch the eye of residents and football fans in general. Aside from the Benton/Bryant battle that has been around since 1974, there is also a very heated and exciting war between the Glen Rose Beavers and Bauxite Miners.
The Bryant Lady Hornets volleyball team competed in the Lady Cyclone Tournament in Russellville over the weekend and though they fell just short of a first-place finish, the Lady Hornets still had a successful tournament.
âWe came home with a second-place finish,â Bryant Coach Beth Solomon said. âI'm proud of that. I told the girls that we got out of this tournament what we needed. Â I'm sad that we didn't win that last game, but the girls fought hard that game. Â We needed this. Â We needed to see this higher-level play that is more like what our postseason play will look like.â
It took three more weeks than Saline County has been used to the past several years, but Salt Bowl week is officially here. The Benton Panthers and Bryant Hornets kicked off the week with a Salt Bowl press conference at War Memorial Stadium late Monday afternoon in preparation for Fridayâs Salt Bowl at WMS in Little Rock.
âThis one is a little bit different in that itâs not the first game of the year,â Salt Bowl organizer Shane Broadway said. âItâs Week 4, but this one counts. This is a conference clash and there is a lot more riding on the line than just county pride.â
Lady Panthers on a roll
The Benton Lady Panthers won their seventh consecutive match and improved to 4-0 in conference with a 3-0 sweep of the Texarkana Lady Razorbacks in Texarkana on Thursday. Benton took the match 25-21, 25-17 and 26-24.
âI thought we played well,â Benton Coach Brandy Chumley said. âOverall we stayed up. We try not to give them too many points in a row and thatâs our game. We had the lead and we would let them back in.â
The Benton Junior Panthers swept the Bryant Junior Hornets with the ninth graders coming out on top 2-0 (25-18, 25-18) and the eighth graders taking the match 2-0 as well at 25-9 and 25-11. The eighth graders also beat Bethel 25-23 in their second match after being down 8-0 and then beat the Lady Hornets 25-15 in the second set at Bryant Middle School on Thursday.