Classic Champs

Benton senior Jai Peters goes up for a shot in a 63-50 win over Hot Springs Thursday on the second day of the Benton Holiday Classic. Peters scored 16 points in a 69-43 win over Prescott on Saturday to give Benton the Classic title. GREG DAVIS/Special to The Saline Courier
Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Once again, the Benton Panthers got off to a hot start in the Benton Holiday Classic on Saturday as they jumped to a 21-4 lead after one quarter of play to rout the Prescott Curley Wolves 69-43 on the final day of the Classic and were crowned champs for the win.
It was Benton’s third straight win since falling to rival Bryant this past Tuesday on the road as the Panthers went a perfect 3-0 in the Classic and stand at 9-2 overall going into Tuesday’s conference opener against the Watson Chapel Wildcats at Benton Arena. Benton beat Wynne 28-27 on Wednesday and defeated Hot Springs 63-50 on Thursday.
“It was another really big first quarter for us,” Benton Coach Dexter Hendrix said. “That’s been one of our strengths. We came out, made some shots, played really well defensively.
“The key was we got easy baskets. Jai (Peters) really did a good job of getting out in transition and finding guys early. He probably had five assists in the first quarter alone. He did a good job getting out and finding people.”
The Panthers never let up in the game as they pushed their lead to 41-18 at the half and led 66-33 after three quarters.
The Panthers open conference play on Tuesday against Watson Chapel in Benton with junior varsity boys starting at 5 p.m., varsity girls following and then the Panthers after that at roughly 7:30 p.m. The Lady Panthers will take on El Dorado at Benton Arena today at 6 p.m.