The Benton Panthersâ€™ season came to an end when their rival conference foe Sheridan Yellowjackets upended them 3-2 in the semifinal of the 6A State Tournament on Saturday at Mountain Home High School.
â€śIt was a heck of a game,â€ť Benton Coach Mark Balisterri said. â€śWe just didnâ€™t get the big hit. We had a couple chances to score some runs, but couldnâ€™t get the big hit. We outhit them. They just scored one more than we did and thatâ€™s basically all there was to it.â€ť
With a 7-0 semifinal win over the West No. 2 seed Springdale Har-Ber Lady Cats on Saturday in the State Tournament at Lady Hornet Field, the Central No. 1 seed Bryant Lady Hornets will make their third consecutive trip to the State Final game against the Bentonville Lady Tigers on Saturday, May 19, at Park in Fayetteville. Bryant will try to make it three titles in a row and are currently on a 36-game winning streak, dating to last season.
Nate Griffin, a former point guard for the Benton Panthers, signed his letter of intent with North Central Community College on Friday.
â€śNate (Griffin) has turned out to be a really fine young man. We are really proud of him,â€ť Chris Nail, Head Menâ€™s Basketball coach for the Benton Panthers said. â€śHe was a two year all-conference, one year all-state player and a good tournament player. Heâ€™s had a great career for us and we are excited that he gets to pursue his education for free and play some basketball.â€ť
MOUNTAIN HOME â€“ Losing 5 of their last 6 games going into the State Tournament, the No. 3 seed Benton Panthers shrugged off their bad play of late and defeated the No. 6 seed Jacksonville Red Devils 5-0 in the opening round of State on Thursday night at Mountain Home High School. Junior left-handed starting pitcher Coulton Lee struck out 12 Devils in his complete-game, shutout win.
â€śCoulton pitched awesome,â€ť Benton Coach Mark Balisterri said. â€śWe played really good [Thursday]. We played about as good as we played all year.â€ť
JACKSONVILLE - The Benton Lady Panthers ended their regular season with an outstanding overall record of 29-2. The Lady Panthers also won the 6A South with a perfect 14-0 conference record. On Thursday, the Lady Panthers continued their tear through 6A as when they took on Little Rock Parkview in the first round of the State Tournament.
Benton, the No. 1 seed, demolished Parkview winning 16-0 to move into the second round with ease. Starting pitcher Jessica Franklin made easy work of Parkview, striking out eight straight in the game on her way to a no-hitter.
Weâ€™re basically a month into the season and former St. Louis Cardinal and current Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim Albert Pujols is batting .190 with just one home run and nine RBIs (as of Tuesday). I wonâ€™t lie, I love it. Once an avid Pujols supporter, he left a bad taste in my mouth when he left the Cardinals after 11 Hall-of-Fame seasons. In just those 11 years with the Cardinals, Pujols had a .328 average with 445 home runs, 455 doubles,1,291 runs and 1,329 RBIs. Those are Hall-of-Fame numbers already.
BRYANT â€“ The Bryant Lady Hornets ended the regular season on Tuesday night at Lady Hornet Field the only way they are accustomed to doing it this year â€“ with a win. The Lady Hornets routed the North Little Rock Lady Cats 13-0 on Senior Night leaving no doubt that Bryant means business going into the State tournament, Which starts Thursday at Lady Hornet Field.
LITTLE ROCK â€“ Lack of offense did it again for the Benton Panthers as they fell 4-3 to the Little Rock Central Tigers at Buddy Coleman Field in Little Rock in non-conference action on Monday to end the regular season. The Panthers start the State Tournament on Thursday against Jacksonville having lost 5 of their last 6 games after a 10-game winning streak. Benton was just 3 for 23 at the plate on Monday and the Panthers are hitting just .203 (26 of 128) in their past five losses.
PEARCY â€“ Senior Zach Riley broke a state record and the Benton Panthers placed sixth in the 6A State Track and Field Championships held at Lake Hamilton High School on Friday. The Panthers scored 47 points for the meet, while Russellville took the championship with 118.50 points. The Lady Panthers placed 11th out of 16 teams with 57 points. Texarkana placed first with 202.50 points.
â€śWe had a good day,â€ť Benton track Coach Lewis Pryor said.