Bad night leads to Benton defeat

Benton senior guard Italei Gray goes up for a shot in a 49-40 loss to Prescotton Friday at Benton Arena. Gray led Benton with 16 points. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Poor shooting, poor rebounding and poor defense usually isn’t the recipe for success in a basketball game. On Friday, it was no different for the Benton Lady Panthers as all three of those important aspects led to a 49-40 loss to the Prescott Lady Wolves Friday at Benton Arena.
“We never made them uncomfortable,” Benton Coach Jerry Chumley said. “Our effort wasn’t very good in the first half. We didn’t rebound well and didn’t guard them well; allowed them to get some baskets and get comfortable. We got tight because we got behind and we didn’t shoot it well, either.”
But, the Lady Panthers did make it interesting after being down 17 points early in the fourth quarter. Prescott was up 36-20 after three quarters and hit 1 of 2 free throws to push it to 37-20 at the 7:34 mark of the fourth. But, the Lady Panthers went on a 5-0 run as senior guard Italei Gray scored four of the five points to get within 12, 37-25, with 6:06 left.
The Lady Wolves (6-2) would miss consecutive front ends of 1-and-1 free throws before Benton senior Anna Davis hit the Lady Panthers (3-5) only three of the game, assisted by Gray, to get it under 10 with 3:49 left. Prescott pushed it back to 39-28 with 3:25 left, but the Benton threesome of Gray, Davis and junior Makenzy Davidson combined to shoot 6 of 6 free throws, including two technical free throws, in a 16-second span to make it a 39-35 game with 2:17 left.
But, Prescott senior point guard Lacie Nolen, which led everyone with 22 points and 14 rebounds, would get a bucket and two free throws to push it back to five and the Lady Wolves hit 6 of 10 free throws the rest of the way for the nine-point win.