High school girls basketball: Benton’s Ward scores 48 in Benton tournament semifinal victory

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Emily Ward, the two-time All-Parish MVP, scored 48 points to lead the Benton Lady Tigers past the Red River Lady Bulldogs 106-67 in the semifinals of the Trak1 Background Screening Lady Tigers tournament Friday night at Benton.

Benton (11-0) faces Ouachita Parish (9-2), a 65-55 winner over Stanley in its semifinal, in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Action starts at Benton at 3:30 with the seventh-place game between Airline and West Ouachita. Loyola plays Parkway in the consolation finals at 5. Stanley and Red River meet in the third-place game at 6:15.

In the consolation semifinals Friday, Parkway downed Airline 50-36 and Loyola defeated West Ouachita 57-32.

Ward and the Lady Tigers started the game against Red River on fire and never cooled off.

Ward hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter and scored 16 points as Benton rolled to a 33-13 lead. She sank two more 3s in the second quarter and scored 13, giving her 29 points at the half.

Ward wasn’t the only Lady Tiger putting the ball in the basket. Benton scored a whopping 61 points in the first half and led by 30.

Qua Chambers scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half. Jada Anderson scored seven of her 11.

Ward added eight points in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth. She finished with five 3-pointers.

The Lady Tigers couldn’t afford to take their foot off the gas against a very good Red River (11-3) squad that reached the Class 2A semifinals last season.

Makayia Hallmon, like Ward a first-team All-State selection last season, poured in 34 points, including 21 in the first half, and nailed five 3-pointers. Kaitlyn Antilley also hit 5 3s and scored 17.

Sh’Dimaond McKnight tallied 29 points in Parkway’s victory over Airline.

She scored 10 in the second quarter and the Lady Panthers led 24-20 at the half. Parkway (5-5) stretched the lead to eight going into the fourth. McKnight scored 14 in the final period to help the Lady Panthers pull away.

Madison Collins added nine points.

Anwaar Shihadeh, who sank 3 3s, and Toria Brocks led Airline (4-8) with 13 and 12 points, respectively.

In non-tournament action Friday, Haughton defeated Plain Dealing 62-18 at Haughton and Bossier fell to Minden 55-27 at Minden.

Haughton improved to 7-5.