Benton Academy’s Raiders came out of the holiday break in style with the 65-38 demolition of Tri-County Academy.
The “Twin Towers” of Benton Academy, Gage Pierce and Roger Hancock, combined for 37 points and 20 rebounds in the dominating effort.
Benton Academy head coach Ralph Vanlandingham does not believe there are many teams around that can handle his post duo when they are clicking.
“We played a pretty good game,” Vanlandingham said. “Our big boys took over in the first half. There aren’t many teams that can handle our height down low. I believe Hancock has actually gotten taller over the break. He’s a tall joker.”
One of the thing Vanlandingham wanted to work on over the break was conditioning, and it showed in their win over the Rebels.
“We got into shape over the break,” Vanlandingham said. “We only used one or two of our bench guys. We never ran out of gas. Our big boys never slowed up. It was a physical game, so that really showed how in shape we were.”
Gage Pierce led the way scoring with 19 points to go with 10 rebounds.
Hancock was right behind Pierce with 18 points to go with 10 rebounds of his own.
Kendall Prescott added 13 points to the winning effort.
Wyatt Street chipped in 11 points in the victory.
For the Raiders to get into the shape Vanlandingham desired, it meant tons and tons of scrimmaging.
“We worked out a lot over the break,” Vanlandingham said. “We worked on our fundamentals, and we scrimmaged for 6-8 quarters a day. That’s a lot. There haven’t been a ton of years where I had enough people to scrimmage like that.”
Vanlandingham split his 12 players up into two teams of six, and that meant the “Twin Towers” were split up.
“We had Gage’s team, and we had Hancock’s team,” Vanlandingham said. “It’s something watching those two big boys go after one another in practice. They beat up on each other. They really like to needle each other. They like to get under each other’s skin. It’s a good, healthy competition.”
Benton has two big conference basketball games next week, but they’ll first return to the court on Monday against Central Hinds.
The first game of the night at home against Central Hinds is set to tip-off at 4 p.m.