Zephyr guard David Neis kicked off his senior basketball season in spectacular fashion last Saturday, by breaking the school's 30-year-old single-game scoring record.
Neis, a four-year starter at Benton, posted 42 points in a 69-59 non-conference season opener at Boscobel, breaking a school record set by current coach, Jim Blaine.
Blaine set the mark in 1981 when he scored 41 points in a game, breaking the school record of 40 set by his coach, Mike Alexander, in 1966.
Neis scored his 42 points from all over the floor, making 13-of-18 field goal attempts, which included 3-of-6 from downtown. From the free throw line he was a near-perfect 13-of-14, missing his first attempt of the game.
With Neis as their leader, the Zephyrs jumped out to an early lead and held a 16-5 advantage after one quarter of play.
The host Bulldogs owned the second quarter though, and outscored Benton, 25-13, to hold a 30-29 advantage at halftime.
Boscobel carried their momentum into the third quarter, where they held an early three-point lead on a couple of occasions, before coach Blaine's squad made their move.
The Zephyrs outscored Boscobel 21-12 in the third quarter and took a 50-42 lead into the fourth quarter.
After three quarters of play, Neis already had scored 35 points, but it was in the fourth where he, along with sophomore Laine Carver and senior Mitchell Brant, secured the win at the free throw line.
Neis, Carver and Brant combined to make 9-of-10 free throw attempts in the final quarter to secure the victory.
"When you've got good guard play and can make free throws, if you can get a lead in the fourth quarter, you're going to win," said coach Blaine.
"That's kind of our goal. To get to the fourth quarter with the lead, then I think we can beat you."
In beating the Bulldogs, coach Blaine's squad made 22-of-44 (50%) total field goals, going 18-of-30 (60%) from inside the arc, and 4-of-14 (28.5%) from outside.
The Zephyrs committed 11 turnovers to Boscobel's 10, and came away with eight team steals.
Besides scoring 42 points, Neis also dished out a team-high three assists and had five steals, while pulling down five rebounds.
Senior center Alex Droessler pulled down a team-high 13 boards to go along with seven points, while Brant added eight points and Carver finished with seven.
"It's a good win to start the year," coach Blaine said. "Boscobel is not great, but they're good enough, and a good challenge, so we're happy to get out of the blocks."
Following this past Tuesday's non-conference game with River Ridge, Ill., the Zephyrs will host Galena next Tuesday night, then kick off conference play on Friday, Dec. 9 against visiting River Ridge.