High school girls basketball: Benton rolls in first round of Class 4A playoffs; Bossier falls to No. 7 Neville

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Playing without senior star Emily Ward, the top-seeded Benton Lady Tigers routed No. 32 Livonia 86-41 in the first round of the Class 4A girls basketball playoffs Thursday night at Benton.

Benton (31-3) will host No. 16 Plaquemine (15-12) in the second round on Monday at 6 p.m. The Green Devils defeated No. 17 Edna Karr 43-40 in the first round.

Ward, the two-time All-Parish MVP and a first-team All-State selection last season, rolled her left ankle in practice Tuesday, Benton coach Mary Ward said.

Mary Ward said she is hoping to have her daughter back on the court Monday, but a decision won’t be made until then.

Emily Ward has been a starter since the first game of her freshman season. She had played in 133 consecutive games. The Lady Tigers won 100 of those.

Benton had little trouble advancing over a Livonia team that started a seventh-grader. The Lady Tigers scored the first eight points of the game and led 12-2.

Livonia had a little success early, trailing 12-7. But the Lady Tigers forced one turnover after another off their press. The result was a 27-0 run and a 39-7 lead with 6:42 left in the second quarter.

Benton extended the lead to 54-12 by halftime. The Lady Tigers’ starters saw very little action in the second half with some seeing none.

Qua Chambers scored 16 of her 20 points in the first quarter. Jada Anderson scored 10 of her 15 first-half points in the first eight minutes and finished with 19.

McKayla Antwine added 13 points, Abby Hines eight and Dana Wainwright seven.

Shakayla Cotton led Livonia (14-21) with 23 points.

Benton is the only Bossier Parish girls team whose season is still going.

The No. 26 Bossier Lady Kats’ season ended with a 63-36 loss to No. 7 Neville in a Class 4A first-round game in Monroe.

Bossier, which had no seniors, finished 11-21 in Cherise Sims’ first season as head coach.

Neville improved to 23-9.