Benton Academy and Manchester Academy competed in the District 4-AA Tournament last week and, in the end, the host Lady Mavericks, now 22-1, walked away with the tournament championship trophy. The Lady Mavericks posted a pair of wins over rival Benton (54-16) in the semifinals and Greenville Christian (66-54) in the finals.
After suffering the opening loss to the Lady Mavs, the Lady Raiders dropped a close 59-52 decision to Porter’s Chapel in the consolation game. On the boys’ side, the Raiders fell in their opener to eventual champion Greenville Christian, 68-26, before falling to rival Manchester 56-50. The Mavs lost to St. Joseph 61-42 in their opener before bouncing back to defeat the Raiders.
Making the All-Tournament Team from Manchester were Parks Poe, Jon Riley Poe, Lizzie Carpenter, Ivy Sowell and Lanie Potter and from Benton, J.B. Middleton and Jewel Vandevere.
All four area teams advanced to the MAIS South State AA Tournament held at Sylva Bay this week. The Lady Raiders opened play Monday with a 39-21 victory over Discovery Christian. Vandevere and Gracie Manor were the top scorers for the Lady Raiders with 12 and 13 points, respectively.
“We’ve got a tough test coming up in the next round against Claiborne,” said Benton head coach Ed Waldrup. “It’s definitely going to be a tougher test than what we experienced in our first game.”
The top four finishers at South State will then advance to the State AA Championships beginning February 15 at Benton Academy.
Lady Mavericks 66, Greenville Chr. 54
Manchester jumped out to a 25-12 first quarter lead on Greenville Christian, but both teams scored 20 second half points, giving the Lady Mavs a 45-32 lead with two quarters to play. MA scored the opening two baskets of the third quarter, but the Lady Fighting Irish went on a 4-minute, 17-0 run to tie the score at 49 with 2:19 remaining. Sowell scored five points in the final 40 seconds, including a halfcourt three-pointer at the third quarter buzzer to give the Lady Mavs a slight cushion at 54-49. MA, led by the defensive intensity of Anna Kate Griffin, proceeded to close out the contest with a 12-5 final frame to seal the win and the championship.
Posting double-doubles in the win for the Lady Mavs were Potter (24 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Sowell (16 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists). Other scorers were Carpenter and Karlee Martin with eight apiece, Sydney Porter with six and Griffin with four.
Lady Mavs 54, Lady Raiders 16
The Lady Mavericks raced out of the gate with an 18-6 first quarter and put the game out of reach with a 15-6 second quarter to lead 32-12 at the half. From that point on, they outscored Benton 21-4 to seal the win.
Potter was the game’s only double-digit scorer with 17 points. Carpenter and Sowell each scored nine, Martin had eight, Griffin had six, Porter and Lexie Greenlee each had two and Presley Trammell chipped in with one.
Vandevere and Manor each had five to lead the Lady Raiders, followed by Ella McCain and Lexi Boatner with two apiece and Chloe Warren and Brynn Blackstock each with one.
St. Joe 61, Mavericks 42
The Mavericks were able to keep pace with the Fighting Irish during the first half of play and trailed by six, 20-14, at the half. St. Joe’s Jerrian King, however, erupted for 26 second half points (finishing with a game-high 31) in leading his team to the 19-point win.
Parks Poe led the Mavs in scoring with 19 points and was followed in double figures by his brother Jon Riley with 11. Will Peeler added six, Dylan Dendy chipped in with four, and Rashaad Bass had two.
Mavericks 56, Benton 50
Leading 11-5 after one quarter of play, the Mavericks turned up the pressure in the second quarter and outscored their rival 25-17 and led 36-22 at halftime. Neither team reached double digits in the third quarter as the Raiders scored eight to Manchester’s six, and trailed 42-30 heading into the final quarter. Benton rallied down the stretch, outscoring the Mavs 20-14, but ran out of time, falling by six.
Peeler led a quartet of Mavericks in double figures with 14 points. Parks Poe and Dendy scored 13 apiece and Jon Riley Poe added 11. Tyler Bardwell and Reece Ragland chipped in with two apiece and Bass added one.
Middleton and Ben Boggan paced the Raiders with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Other scorers were Bryce Ables with eight and Lance Turner and Landon Lowery with four apiece.
Porter’s Chapel 59, Lady Raiders 52
Manor scored 21 to pace the Lady Raiders while Vandevere also notched double figures with 15. Boatner, Warren and Claire Ann Yeates eached scored four, Blackstock added three and McCain rounded out the scoring with one.
Greenville Christian 68, Raiders 26
Middleton was the only Raider in double figures against Greenville Christian with a team-high 10 points. Will Saxton added eight, Ben Boggan had six and Kyle Kuhn rounded out the scoring with two.