The Benton Lady Tigers rallied from a 20-point halftime deficit to defeat the Parkway Lady Panthers 65-62 in overtime in a District 1-5A game Tuesday night at Benton.
In other 1-5A games, Airline fell to Natchitoches Central 59-56 at Airline and Haughton lost to Byrd 45-39 at Byrd.
Defending champion Captain Shreve defeated Southwood 54-32 at Southwood.
Benton (15-3, 3-0) and Captain Shreve (11-5, 3-0) are tied for first. Southwood (12-3, 2-1) and Natchitoches Central (8-7, 2-1) are tied for second. They are followed by Byrd (13-6, 1-2), Parkway (15-4, 1-2), Airline (12-9, 0-3) and Haughton (9-7, 0-3).
Benton is no stranger to comebacks. In their first district game, the Lady Tigers were down by three against Airline in the fourth quarter before rallying to win.
In the finals of the “Doc” Edwards Invitational on Dec. 30, Benton erased an 11-point deficit in the second half against Red River.
Parkway welcomed back star freshman guard Mikaylah Williams on Tuesday. She hadn’t played since suffering a knee injury during warmups before a game against Ouachita Parish on Dec. 13 in the Benton tournament.
Williams hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored eight points. Sh’Diamond McKnight knocked down two 3s and Jada Hardy one. Parkway led 19-7 after the first.
McKnight scored seven and Williams six in the second. Meanwhile, Benton continued to have issues offensively and added just seven points. The Lady Panthers led 34-14 at the break.
The second half was a different story. Qua Chambers scored nine points and Jada Anderson eight as the Lady Tigers cut the lead to 44-33 after three quarters.
The final quarter had plenty of suspense. Could Benton rally or would Parkway hold on?
As she has often done in her career, Chambers came up big down the stretch. She scored 17 of the Lady Tigers’ 26 fourth-quarter points. Anderson scored six and Alisa Harris two.
Both teams had their chances late in the game. Anderson hit a free throw with 2.4 seconds left to send it into overtime tied at 58.
Makaila Antwine made Benton’s only basket in overtime. Anderson hit four free throws and Anna Robins had one.
Williams and Russell each had one basket for Parkway.
Chambers finished with 28 points before fouling out. All but two of those came in the second half.
Anderson tallied 25, including 18 in the second half and overtime. Harris added nine.
McKnight led Parkway with 22 points, 11 in each half. Williams finished with 18 and Hardy had 11.
McKnight, Hardy and Madison Collins all fouled out. Williams finished with four fouls as did Anderson.
The teams combined for 51 free throws. Parkway was 14 of 24, and Benton was 13 of 27.
At Airline, the Lady Vikings led 49-40 after three quarters but managed just seven in the fourth as the Lady Chiefs rallied for the win.
Airline’s three district losses have been by a combined 10 points.
Trailing by one at the half, the Lady Vikings came out strong in the third quarter.
Kayla Hampton scored 11 of her 17 points and Airline outscored Natchitoches Central 22-13 to take the nine-point advantage into the fourth.
Nia Hardison, who led the Lady Chiefs with 25 points, scored eight in the final period. J’unti Franklin, who finished with 22, added seven.
Meanwhile, Airline struggled at the line, making just one of five free throws down the stretch.
Kori Rice added 12 points for Airline and Ashanti Bratten had 10.
At Byrd, Haughton got down early but stayed within striking distance most of the game. The Lady Bucs trailed 28-25 going into the fourth quarter.
Taralyn Sweeney paced Haughton with 19 points. K.C. Sims led Byrd with 27.