District 1-5A rivals Parkway and Benton will face off in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs after posting second-round victories Tuesday night.
Parkway, the No. 4 seed, defeated No. 13 Southwood 73-65 at Parkway. Defending state champion Benton, the No. 12 seed, knocked off No. 5 Mandeville 60-51 in Mandeville.
The Lady Panthers (17-3) will host the Lady Tigers (15-6) Thursday with a trip to the LHSAA Girls’ Marsh Madness State Tournament at the Southeastern Louisiana University Center on the line.
In their only district game, Parkway defeated Benton 67-51 on Jan. 5 at Parkway.
In a Class 1A second-round game, No. 13 Plain Dealing fell to No. 4 North Central 51-34 in Washington. The Lady Lions closed the season 8-10.
At Parkway, senior Sh’Diamond McKnight and sophomore Mikaylah Williams scored 23 points each to lead the Lady Panthers.
Freshman Chloe Larry added 12, and Bianca Oliver chipped in with eight.
The Lady Panthers hit nine 3-pointers while the Lady Cowboys had just one.
Williams carried the scoring load in the first half, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 17 points. Parkway led 20-14 after a quarter and 39-27 at the half.
Larry also helped Parkway get off to a fast start, knocking down two 3-pointers in the first quarter.
McKnight took over in the third quarter, sinking a pair from behind the arc and scoring 13 of her 16 second-half points.
That enabled the Lady Panthers to take a 54-43 lead into the fourth quarter. Parkway led by 12 with 2:22 to play. Southwood got within six late before Parkway hit a couple of free throws for the final margin.
The victory was the Lady Panthers’ second this season over its fellow 1-5A member. Parkway won 81-66 on Jan. 28.
Kennedee Shelton led Southwood (23-9) with 18 points. Jermesha Frierson added 14 and Rondisia Williams 12.
At Mandeville, Benton got balanced scoring in its victory.
Junior forward Jada Stewart and senior guard Jada Anderson led the Lady Tigers with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Junior guards Ella Kate Malley and Riley Grace Stanford scored 10 each.
The Lady Tigers withstood a 28-point outburst by Mandeville’s Meagan Bubek, who had four 3-pointers.
Stewart scored 12 in the first half, helping Benton take a 33-22 lead. The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Skippers 18-10 in the second quarter.
Benton held Mandeville to just seven points in the third quarter and extended the lead to 43-29.
Anderson came up big at the free throw line in the fourth, making 7-of-8. She was 11-of-14 in the game.
Stanford hit one of her two 3-pointers in the fourth.
Bubek scored 14 in the fourth quarter. Mandeville closed its season 19-6.