Panthers hold on, clinch bye

Tony Lenahan
Sports Editor

Falling to the Lake Hamilton Wolves for two straight years, the Benton Panthers would get over that hump Friday at Panther Stadium in Benton.

The Panthers would hold on to defeat the pesky Wolves 34-24 to clinch the West No. 2 seed and bye in the 6A state playoffs.

“They’re a tough out,” Benton Coach Brad Harris said. “They view us as a bigger rival than we view them. They bring their best. (Lake Hamilton) Coach (Tommy) Gilleran said that in the Hot Springs paper this week and they got up and played us. They gave us a great shot, but we were able to survive it. The last two years we weren’t able to survive some of the punches they gave us. We made some plays.”