Thursday’s Benton-Evangel Christian game in the Trak1 Benton Lady Tigers Tournament featured two of the area’s best players and neither disappointed.
Evangel’s Tiara Young scored 31 points to lead the Lady Eagles to a 60-52 victory. She was almost matched by Benton’s Emily Ward, who scored 27. And both are only sophomores.
In another game at Benton, three-time defending Class 2A state champion North Caddo defeated Airline 49-34.
The Benton-Evangel game was close much of the way. The Lady Eagles (7-2) led just 27-26 at the half and it was tied at 31 with 4:24 left in the third. Evangel then took control with an 8-2 run that included 3-pointers by Young and Madison Laboy.
The Lady Eagles stretched the lead to double digits in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Tigers (5-4) fought back within six late and even had a chance to cut it to four with about a minute left.
Young scored 21 points in the second half, including 12 in the fourth quarter. Ward scored 17 in the final two periods.
Benton freshmen Qua Chambers and Dana Wainwright scored 14 and 10 points, respectively. Laboy added nine points for Evangel, all on 3-pointers.
Zahria Lloyd led Airline (3-6) against North Caddo with 13 points. The Lady Vikings didn’t have an answer for the Lady Rebels’ Destiny Rice, who scored 31. North Caddo improved to 7-2.
The tournament continues Friday. North Caddo plays Southwood at 3:30 followed by West Ouachita vs. Evangel at 5, Benton vs. Parkway at 6:30 and Red River vs. Airline at 8.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org