BENTON – The Benton Lady Panthers started their 7A/6A South conference game against JA Fair on a 16-0 run on their way to a 62-14 victory over the Lady War Eagles on Tuesday night at Benton Arena.
“We got through the game with no injuries,” Benton Coach Jerry Chumley said. “We executed everything pretty good and shot the ball OK. We’re healthy heading to Sheridan Friday night.”
Sophomore guard Braxton Chumley opened the game with a layup assisted by senior post player Madi Brooks, and Chumley nailed a 3-pointer assisted by senior forward Korie Parker for the early 5-0 lead. Chumley would get consecutive wide-open layups, with both assists coming from fellow sophomore Braylee Landreth, to make it 12-0 with 4:06 left in the first quarter. The Lady War Eagles failed to get back on defense after missed shots, and the Lady Panthers (11-4, 2-0 7A/6A South) continuously scored easy buckets from Fair’s lack of transition defense.
“We got some steals, a lot of transition stuff and she was the benefactor on some of that,” Coach Chumley said of daughter Braxton. “She knocked down a couple threes. Her shooting hadn’t been that good lately, so maybe she’ll get some confidence from this. Everybody was looking up the floor well and finding her. Good all-around effort. We got everybody in and nobody hurt, so we’re good to go.”
Chumley finished with 20 points in the first half on 8 of 9 shooting, including 2 of 3 from 3-point land. She would finish with 20 points for the game as none of the Lady Panther starters played in the second half because Benton was up 45-6 at halftime.
Junior JayeLynn Martin hit 1 of 2 free throws with 23 seconds left in the first quarter to start a 19-0 run by Benton, which was capped by Landreth’s offensive rebound and put back to make it 35-4 with 4:14 left in the first half. The Lady Panthers would outscore Fair 28-2 in the second quarter.
With all subs in to start the second half, sophomore Bailey Doggett hit a 3-pointer assisted by sophomore Ashlie Dintleman to open the half, and Benton would use a 9-0 run, where Dintleman would score seven points, to go up 57-8 with 4:50 left in the third quarter. Even with the bench in the whole third quarter, Benton outscored Fair 15-3.
Behind Chumley’s game-high 20 points (she outscored the whole Lady War Eagles team), Dintleman scored 12 points, adding three rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks. Landreth had six points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, Parker had five points, three rebounds, three assists and four steals, and Brooks had four points, three rebounds and three steals.
Benton outrebounded Fair 36-16, had 19 steals with 17 coming in the first half, and had 16 assists on its 22 field goals (22 for 48). The Lady Panthers will take on conference rival Sheridan on the road on Friday.
“It’s going to be a tough one,” Coach Chumley said of Sheridan. “They’re better than they were last year. It’s a rivalry game. We rarely go down there and have any success. I think last year was the first time we beat them on their home floor since I’ve been here. They’re good.”
Tipoff will be at 6 p.m.