BENTON – The Benton Zephyrs girls’ basketball began the 2016-17 season with a win and loss under the direction of their new head coach Tim Hendricks.
The Lady Zephyrs kicked off the new year by whipping up on the Southwestern Wildcats, 57-26, in their opener at home on Tuesday, Nov. 22, but the visiting Platteville Hillmen held on late to defeat the host Zephyrs, 56-55, back at BHS on Friday, Nov. 25.
Junior Emma Lawrence registered a pair of double-doubles for Benton, tallying a game-high 24 points and 14 rebounds in the win over Southwestern and adding a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds in the loss to Platteville.
The Zephyrs (1-1 overall) started off strong against the Wildcats (0-3) as four different players scored during an 8-0 run to begin the game. Southwestern’s Hailey Hinman broke the shutout with a basket at the 12:01 mark of the first half, however the hosts reeled off 10 points over four and a half minutes of play to build up an 18-2 advantage.
Benton held a 22-8 lead at the intermission, and then went on to outscore the Wildcats 35-18 in the second half to cruise to a 31-point decision.
Lawrence blocked two shots and had an assist to go along with her 24-point and 14-rebound performance.
Senior Kayla Dougherty chipped in with 10 points, five rebounds, seven assists, four steals and a block for the Zephyrs. Senior Paige Murphy and junior Brianna Mellenberger each added five points, while senior Ally Jansen recorded four steals and three assists and senior Jordan Busch also had four steals for the hosts.
Senior Chloe Riniker paced the Wildcats with seven points, and Hinman finished with six points for the guests.
On Friday night, the visiting Hillmen (2-1) held a 33-27 halftime lead over the Zephyrs and held on for the win despite being outscored 28-23 in the second half.
Down by a point with time running down, Benton held the ball for a final shot but it was off the mark and Platteville held on for their second narrow-victory in the span of four days. The Hillmen bested Shullsburg, 58-55, at SHS on Tuesday evening.
K. Dougherty contributed 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals for Benton. Murphy netted five points, and Jansen tallied seven rebounds and three assists for the hosts.
Freshman Sami Martin had a double-double for the Hillmen with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Skye Digman scored 14 points and freshman Izzy Carroll added 12 for Platteville.
Benton opens Six Rivers West play on the road at River Ridge on Friday, Dec. 2.
Southwestern… 8 18 – 26
Benton…………. 22 35 – 57
Southwestern – Hailey Hinman 6, Madison Myers 1, Alexis Birkett 2, Allison Kruser 2, Kailee Kaiser 2, Julia Barnes 2, Chloe Riniker 7, Abby Budden 2, Kate Wright 2. Totals – 10 5-16 26.
Benton – Ally Jansen 3, Brianna Mellenberger 5, Emma Lawrence 24, Paige Murphy 5, Sophie Dougherty 3, Jordan Busch 3, Maggie Dougherty 2, Kayla Dougherty 10, Shay Soppe 2. Totals – 22 9-17 57.
3-point goals– S 1 (Riniker 1), B 4 (Murphy 1, K. Dougherty 1, S. Dougherty 1, Mellenberger 1). Total fouls– S 17, B 17. Fouled out– none.
Platteville… 33 23 – 56
Benton……. 27 28 – 55
Platteville – Josie Neis 6, Rachel Bailie 2, Sami Brookens 2, Hanna Langmeier 3, Sami Martin 17, Izzy Carroll 12, Skye Digman 14. Totals – 19 16-22 58.
Benton – Ally Jansen 2, Brianna Mellenberger 1, Emma Lawrence 28, Paige Murphy 5, Sophie Dougherty 4, Jordan Busch 2, Maggie Dougherty 2, Kayla Dougherty 11. Totals – 18 15-25 55.
3-point goals– P 2 (Carroll 2), S 4 (Lawrence 3, Murphy 1). Total fouls– P NA, S 21. Fouled out– None.