The Benton Lady Tigers and Parkway Lady Panthers won games Thursday in the Battle on the Hardwood Classic at Bossier.
Benton defeated two-time defending Class 4A state champion Warren Easton 81-50, exacting a little revenge in the process. Last season, Benton defeated Easton 45-43 in the Battle but lost to the Lady Eagles 58-49 in the 4A state championship game.
The Lady Tigers and Lady Eagles won’t be meeting in the playoffs this season as Benton has moved up to Class 5A.
Parkway won its second game in as many days in the event, defeating 2019 4A quarterfinalist Nevlle 63-37. The Lady Panthers edged 2019 Class 2A state champion Mansfield 38-36 Wednesday on Day 1 of the event.
Haughton suffered its first loss of the season, falling to Northwood 67-43 in the Lakeside tournament.
In a non-tournament game, the Airline Lady Vikings defeated Ruston 51-44 at Airline.
Benton and Warren Easton both lost key players off last season’s teams.
Benton lost two-time first-team All-State selection Emily Ward, now at LSU, and key contributor Dana Wainwright, who transferred to Plain Dealing.
Warren Easton graduated several of its best players, including first-team All-State player Cabria Lewis. The Lady Eagles do return junior guard Breanna Sutton, a second-team All-State pick.
Benton senior Qua Chambers was an honorable mention All-State selection last season, but she played like a first-teamer Thursday in the Lady Tigers’ season opener.
Chambers, a three-time All-Parish selection, led Benton with 30 points. She also sparked the team with her defense.
The defense by Chambers and her teammates keyed an early run that turned a 3-2 deficit into a 16-5 lead.
Chambers scored 10 points in the first quarter and Benton led 18-7. She tallied 12 in the second as the Lady Tigers extended the lead to 44-20.
Thanks to 3-point shooting, Warren Easton made a bit of a charge in the second half, cutting the lead to 14. But Riley Grace Stanford knocked down a 3-pointer to push the lead back to 17.
Stanford hit three 3-pointers and scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half. Alisa Harris added 11 points.
Benton led 61-39 at the end of the third quarter.
Junior guard Jada Anderson, a two-time All-Parish selection and press breaking machine, fell and hurt her hip with about three minutes to play in the third quarter. She appeared to be OK but didn’t return.
It says a lot about the potential of this season’s Lady Tigers that they extended the lead in her absence.
Sophomore guard Ella Kate Malley contributed the victory with her defense. She was also instrumental bringing the ball down the court and had some impressive drives to the basket. Claire Ambrose also contributed on the defensive end.
Kameryn Washington, who hit five 3-pointers, led Warren Easton with 19 points. Skylar Davis added 17.
Freshman Mikayla Williams scored 19 points to lead Parkway past Neville. She hit three 3-pointers.
Junior Sh’Diamond McKnight added 14, including a pair of 3s. McKnight was a first-team All-Parish selection as a freshman but missed more than half her sophomore season after suffering a knee injury.
Madison Collins and Deidra Williams scored eight each.
Parkway led 9-7 after the first quarter and then outscored the Lady Tigers 18-8 in the second. The Lady Panthers took a 22-point lead into the fourth.
At Airline, Kayla Hampton, another returning first-team All-Parish selection, scored 22 points to lead the Lady Vikings past Ruston. She also had four steals.
Toria Brocks added 14 points and five steals.
Airline got off to a good start and led 17-6 after the first quarter. Ruston cut the lead to six at the half.
Hampton scored nine in the third quarter and Airline extended the lead to 12 going into the fourth.
At Lakeside, Taralyn Sweeney scored 15 points and Takaiyah Sweeney added 11 in Haughton’s loss to Northwood.
The Lady Bucs trailed by just two at the half but were outscored 22-7 in the third.
Northwood’s Takayla Sparks hit seven 3-pointers and led the Lady Falcons with 25 points.