The Benton Academy Lady Raiders ended their season at the south state tournament recently after falling to Centreville Academy in the second round.
The Benton girls made their appearance at the tournament for game 1 with a match-up against Glenbrook, defeating them comfortably with a score of 49-36. Leading the team on offense for that game was Gracey Manor who scored 29 points, followed by Jewell Vandevere with 12.
Winning Game 1 allowed the Lady Raiders to advance to Game 2 against Centreville Academy, a team that has recently won its way to the Overall Tournament this week.
Coach Ed Waldrup said that the Benton girls were simply outmatched on court against Centreville, who ended the Lady Raiders' season with a score of 57-14.
Looking back, Waldrup said that the Benton girls made great improvements as the season progressed.
"In Four out of our last five games that we played we scored right around 50 points and I think we were playing our best ball at the end of the season," he said. "After moving some of our junior high girls up, we got to where we could score a little better. We have some very good junior high players that will make a difference in our team next year."
Waldrup said that with only six players on the varsity level, he had to dip into the Junior high squad, but all players showed improvements and promise for next year.
"We don't have any seniors leaving the team this year so that is a positive thing," he said.
Waldrup said that Jewell Vandevere served the team as a great leader this year as well.
"Jewell has got one more year with us, and she will be a senior next year," he said. "She has done a great job for us this year. We had to depend on her scoring as well as the other players to win games this season. We also had Clara Ann Yeates as our point guard and she was a great defensive player for us this year."
Another Lady Raider who led the team in scoring this year was Gracey Manor, who will move up from junior high to varsity next year as a sophomore.