A fast start helped the Parkway Lady Panthers defeat the Benton Lady Tigers 67-51 in a key District 1-5A matchup Tuesday night at Parkway.
The Lady Panthers raced to a 17-4 lead in the game’s first six minutes. The Lady Tigers finally got going and had a chance to go into the half down by 11. But Mikaylah Williams buried a 3-pointer to put Parkway ahead 35-21.
The Lady Panthers extended the lead to 20 in the first 5:30 of the third quarter and eventually led by as many as 28. Benton didn’t go quietly, but the final margin was as close as the Lady Tigers could get.
Parkway improved to 11-1 overall and 3-0 in district. The Lady Panthers are tied for first with defending champion Captain Shreve (9-4, 3-0), which handed Southwood its first district loss 65-47.
Defending state champion Benton fell to 9-5 and 2-1.
Williams led Parkway with 23 points, including 13 in the first half.
Sh’Diamond McKnight and Chloe Larry keyed the Lady Panthers’s fast start, hitting two 3-pointers each in the first quarter. McKnight finished with 14 points and Larry had 11.
Aniya Russell scored eight of her 10 in the second half.
Jada Anderson led Benton with 22 points. She hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 in the second half. Jada Stewart added 11 and Riley Grace Stanford eight.
Parkway is scheduled to host Southwood (15-6, 1-2) on Friday. Benton hosts Shreve. The Lady Tigers and Lady Panthers are scheduled to face off again on Jan. 29 at Benton.
In other District 1-5A games Tuesday, Haughton downed Byrd 50-44 at home and Airline fell to Natchitoches Central 44-39 on the road.
At Haughton, Zahria Shyne paced the Lady Bucs (6-11, 1-2) with 14 points. Averi Phillips chipped in with nine.
Haughton, which has won four of its last five, visits Airline (10-10, 0-3) Friday.
At Natchitoches Central, Kori Rice scored 14 points as the Lady Vikings’ six-game winning streak came to an end.
Toria Brocks had 10 points and seven rebounds. Endia Pradier scored nine points and had three assists.