Panthers’ 7-on-7 flexes its guns for 2nd straight tourney win

BENTON – The Benton Panthers 7-on-7 team got to flex its muscles once again as the Panthers defeated Maumelle 28-21 in the championship game of the 1st Annual Benton Panthers 7-on-7 Tournament on Tuesday at Panthers Stadium to win their second straight 7-on-7 tournament.
“They like to flex their muscles so that’s what we do,” Panthers Coach Scott Neathery said. “It’s kind of funny. The kids like to do it. If they win, we let them do it. It’s a good group of kids and they like to have a good time.”
Just as the Panthers came back in the a semifinal game to beat Nashville in the Southwest Shootout (Hope), Benton came back after being down against Maumelle. The Panthers won the Southwest Shootout Tournament beating Camden 35-7 in the championship game.
“Same old fashion,” Neathery said of coming back against Maumelle. “It seems our defense comes up with a big stop and our offense goes down and scores. They just find a way to win. I feel good about it. That’s what you like to see.
“We went down with less than a minute left, boom, boom, boom, we scored and there was no time left. We played well all day. Our kids are just a nitty-gritty group. They just find a way.
The Panthers are now 19-1 in their past three tournaments and will take two and a half weeks off before starting a 7-on-7 league in July and attending team camps.
Benton went 6-0 on Tuesday beating Episcopal, Watson Chapel and Carlisle in preliminary play, and then taking down Parkview, Watson Chapel again and then Maumelle in the championship.
The Panthers junior varsity team also played and went 1-2, beating Hope’s varsity team in preliminary play, and lost in the first round of tournament play.
“They played hard and had a chance to win a couple of those,” Neathery said. “They beat Hope. Any time JV beats a varsity team you feel really good about it.”
Benton will begin a 7-on-7 league every Monday at Pulaski Academy beginning the second week of July, and will attend team camps as well.