HOT SPRINGS – The Benton Panthers took care of business on the road with a 78-47 victory over the Hot Springs Trojans Monday night in Hot Springs.
Senior point guard Bryan Torres scored a season-high 18 points, hitting 3 of 6 from 3-point range and 5 of 5 from the free-throw line to pace the Panthers.
“I thought Bryan Torres played his best game of the year,” Benton Coach Chris Nail said. “He shot the ball real well last night.”
The Panthers (9-1) got off to a solid start to help in their rout of the Trojans. Benton was up by seven points after the first quarter and 13 at the half before putting the game away in the third quarter.
Junior forward Josh Bowling followed Torres with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, junior Blake Bowling had 11 points and six rebounds and senior post Graham Gardner had nine points and eight rebounds. Seniors Rickey Gipson and Zach Stuckey each scored eight points, with Gipson adding four assists.
Benton outrebounded Hot Springs 46-21 and outshot the Trojans 49 percent to 37 percent.
“The key to our success is scoring in the paint, getting to the free-throw line and rebounding,” Nail said. “We lost one game this year when we didn’t take care of those things.”
The Panthers also dished out 16 assists and turned the ball over 12 times.
“The kids shared the ball real well,” Nail said. “This team is good offensively. I challenged them. We’ll know more after Friday night because Jonesboro is really good. How good we’re going to be is going to depend on how well we guard.”
The Panthers will host the Jonesboro Hurricane on Friday night with tipoff coming after the Lady Panthers’ game.