Benton can’t complete comeback

Benton junior forward Makenzy Davidson, 25, goes up for a shot in a 44-36 loss to the Searcy Lady Lions Tuesday at Benton Arena. Davidson finished with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. TONY LENAHAN/The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Down by 13 points after three quarters, the Benton Lady Panthers pulled within four points in the fourth but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling 44-36 to the Searcy Lady Lions at Benton Arena on Tuesday.
“We really never should have been in that situation,” Benton Coach Jerry Chumley said. “I gave the girls a lot of credit after the game for fighting and getting back in it, but we just shot ourselves in the foot so much early to fall behind; just not taking care of the ball. We made a lot of careless mistakes with the basketball.
“I know they don’t do it on purpose, but you can’t dig yourselves a hole like that and expect to come out of it a lot.”
Benton (0-1) committed 20 turnovers for the game but showed heart in the fourth quarter after being down 35-22 in the third. In fact, the Lady Panthers didn’t allow Searcy to score in the fourth quarter until there were under two minutes remaining the the game.
Benton junior Makenzy Davidson assisted senior guard Italei Gray for a bucket to get within 10 points, 35-25, with 5:40 left to go. Searcy missing free throws also helped Benton’s cause as Gray had a layup and Davidson an 8-foot jumper for the a 35-29 game. Sophomore forward Rhema Riley got a bucket on another Davidson assist with 2:11 left to get within 35-31, but the Lions would buckle down the rest of the way responding with an 8-0 run to seal the win.