Panthers cut down Chickasaws

Benton senior Evan Sims goes up for a bucket in a game last week. Sims had 14 points in a 49-36 victory over Blytheville on Saturday in Jonesboro. Benton plays Bryant on the road on Tuesday. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Benton junior guard Carson Cates had his second consecutive 18-point effort with five 3-pointers and the Panthers picked up their second consecutive win on Saturday night in Jonesboro, defeating the Blytheville Chickasaws 49-36 to improve to 6-1 on the season.
“We got a big win over a very talented Blytheville team,” Benton Coach Dexter Hendrix said. “Very well-coached. A great win in a great atmosphere in Jonesboro. I’m really pleased with our guys. We played really well.”
It was a slobber-knocker to start as the two teams combined for 36 points in the first with it being an 18-18 tie after one. But, the Panthers ratcheted up the defense, allowing just two points in the second quarter while taking a 23-20 lead at the half, and would allow just 18 points the final three quarters to the Chickasaws (4-3).
“I think we did a great job defensively of keeping them out of transition,” Hendrix said. “Offensively, our guys had a chance to transition and we did a good job of taking care of the basketball. We played really well defensively and tried to build a wall to keep them out of the paint. They’re such good drivers and I’m really proud of our guys executing defensively.”
The Panthers play next on Tuesday when they travel to Bryant to play their rival Hornets in the Saline County Shootout.