High school girls basketball: Benton to play Tuesday in state tournament in Alexandria

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Jeff Thomas/Press-Tribune Benton's Jada Anderson brings the ball down the court during the Lady Tigers' victory over South Lafourche in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A playoffs Thursday night at Benton.

The No. 1 Benton Lady Tigers will face No. 5 A.J. Ellender in the Class 4A semifinals at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at Rapides Parish Coliseum in Alexandria.

The game is part of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Girls’ Marsh Madness state tournament.

Benton (33-3) defeated No. 32 Livonia 86-41, No. 16 Plaquemine 67-47 and No. 8 South Lafourche 60-42 en route to the semifinals.

Ellender (23-10) defeated No. 28 Breaux Bridge 71-32, No. 21 Woodlawn 59-39 and No. 4 South Terrebonne 48-41.

The Benton-Ellender winner will play the winner between No. 3 Minden (32-3) and No. 4 Warren Easton (30-5) for the state championship on Friday at 8. The Minden-Warren Easton game will follow the Benton-Ellender game Tuesday.

Benton is making its second straight appearance in the state tournament. The Lady Tigers lost to eventual champion Warren Easton 64-54 in the semifinals last season.

Benton has wins over both Warren Easton and Minden this season. The Lady Tigers defeated Easton 45-43 in the Battle on the Hardwood on Nov. 16 and Minden 52-45 in the teams’ first District 1-4A meeting on Jan. 11.

Minden has handed Benton two of its three losses, 50-44 on Dec. 29 in the semifinals of the “Doc” Edwards Invitational on Dec. 29 and 54-50 on Feb. 5 in the second district game.

The Lady Tigers and Lady Tiders shared the district championship.