Tuesday was bittersweet for the Benton Lady Tigers.
Benton fell to the Minden Lady Tiders 52-40 at Benton, failing to avenge a 49-39 loss in the first district meeting on Jan. 12.
But because of Bossier’s 60-53 victory over Huntington at Bossier, the Lady Tigers clinched the District 1-4A championship.
Benton (23-6, 12-2) has a two-game lead over Huntington (19-10, 9-4), Bossier (22-6, 9-4) and Minden (28-4, 9-4) with only Friday’s game at Northwood left in the regular season.
District 1-4A has been one of the toughest in the state this season. Benton and Bossier are No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in the Class 4A power rankings, according to LouisianaPreps.com. Minden is No. 7 and Huntington No. 10.
In District 1-5A games Tuesday, Parkway edged Airline 43-40 at Parkway, and Haughton fell to Evangel 53-35 at Evangel.
In District 1-1A, Plain Dealing dropped a 55-46 decision to Lincoln Prep on the road.
At Benton, the game was tight most of the way. The Lady Tigers led 19-17 at the half and it was tied at 29 after three quarters. But the Lady Tiders dominated the fourth for the victory.
At Parkway, the Lady Panthers led by 10 at the half. The Lady Vikings got back in it in the first few minutes of the second half and both teams had chances to win down the stretch.
Bre McGlothan scored inside off a feed from Akiyra Jefferson to give Parkway a 41-40 lead with about 37 seconds left in the game.
Madison Collins then intercepted a pass near midcourt and Diamond McKnight was fouled driving to the basket with 26.5 seconds left. She made the first free throw but missed the second.
Parkway got the rebound then regained possession when the ball went out of bounds. McKnight was fouled with 12.6 seconds left and made one of two at the line.
The Lady Vikings then missed a 3-pointer from the baseline to tie it.
McKnight, a freshman, led Parkway (12-16, 5-7) with 20 points. Jefferson added nine and McGlothan seven.
Zahria Lloyd paced Airline (11-17, 5-6) with 19 points. She hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to spark the Lady Vikings’ rally.
Parkway wrapped up the regular season with the win. Airline closes the regular season Friday at home against Evangel.
According to LouisianaPreps.com, the Vikings were No. 28 in the Class 5A power rankings and the Lady Panthers No. 33. The top 32 teams generally make the playoffs.
At Evangel, Haughton fell to 9-15 and 1-10 with the loss. The Lady Bucs close their season at Southwood on Friday.
At Lincoln Prep, Niarelle Scott scored 16 points and Hershey Stumon 11 in Plain Dealing’s loss.
The Lady Lions (13-16, 6-5) close the regular season at Homer on Friday. At No. 18 in the Class 1A power rankings, Plain Dealing with likely be on the road in the first round of the playoffs.
— Russell Hedges, email@example.com