Benton shows fight but comes up short on road

Benton Lady Panthers Head Coach Jerry Chumley talks to his team during a timeout in Benton’s 44-37 loss to the Sheridan Lady Jackets Friday in Sheridan. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Down for most of the game, the Benton Lady Panthers took a two-point lead in the fourth quarter, but the Sheridan Lady Jackets would top the Lady Panthers 44-37 on Sheridan’s senior night Friday. The loss snapped a two-game win streak by the Lady Panthers as they fall to 11-12, 5-5 in 6A/5A District 5 action.
Benton trailed 19-11 at the half before Sheridan went up 21-11 after Lady Jacket Savannah Howard’s steal and bucket early in the third. Benton junior Kati Morrow responded with a 3-pointer and after another bucket by Howard, Lady Panthers senior Italei Gray and junior Makenzy Davidson both hit 10-foot jumpers to bring it within 23-18. But, it would be the only four points the Benton duo would score as Davidson and Gray average 23.8 points per game between them.
“If you would have told me we were going down to Sheridan, really anywhere, and Mak and Italei would combine for four, I’d probably tell you we didn’t have much chance,” Benton Coach Jerry Chumley said. “But, the other girls did a great job. They played above their averages and went out and made some key plays.”
That they did as junior Tenise Robinson hit a free throw and a bucket to get the Lady Panthers within 25-21 and senior Anna Davis hit a three assisted by Davidson for the 25-24 deficit before Sheridan’s Brianna McElroy hit an 8-footer to give the Lady Jackets (19-5, 7-3) a 27-24 lead after three.
The Lady Panthers will host the Pine Bluff Fillies in a makeup game on Monday at Benton Arena. Benton defeated Pine Bluff 53-35 on the road earlier this month.