By Anthony Jones
Three days in Benton saw Triad girls basketball add to their win total twice.
Their trip down south opened on Dec. 27, with a matchup against the 8-5 Carterville Lions.
Offense was at a premium for both teams early, with Carterville taking a 7-5 lead into the second quarter. The game opened up more to close out the half, with Triad outsourcing their opponent 10-9 to chip their deficit down to 16-15.
Shots continued to drop for the Lady Knights in the third quarter, allowing them to outscore the Lions 12-6. But their 27-22 was not quite large enough.
Carterville responded with the highest scoring quarter of the day with 13 points. Meanwhile, Triad totaled 8 points to force overtime with a 35-35 tie.
The final four minutes did not provide much separation, but with the Lady Knights outsourcing the Lions 5-2, they left with a 40-37 victory. Savannah Hildebrand led Triad with 11 points in the win.
A 12-0 Christopher Bearcat squad then stood in the way of Triad and a semi-final berth at the Benton Christmas Classic.
The state ranked Bearcat’s showed their worth and pulled ahead 28-18 just out of halftime, but Triad began a lead closing rally. With nine minutes left in the contest, Christopher was clinging onto a 30-29 advantage.
Unfortunately for the Lady Knights, they would find themselves on the wrong side of an 8-0 run and were outscored 14-1 to close out the game. Christopher used this run to seal a 44-30 victory.
Sam Hartoin led the Lady Knights with 9 points after sinking four field goals.
Triad closed out the tournament with two games on Dec. 29. The first came against a 4-11 Marion team and the other against 10-6 Vienna.
Against Marion, the Lady Knights hit their highest point total of the tournament. Unfortunately for them, that was still not enough in a 52-41 loss to the Wildcats.
After converting thrice from behind the arc, Makenna Whitham led Triad with 12 points. Junior Maddie Hunt tallied 8 points in the effort.
The Lady Knight’s offense flew high in the final game of the tournament against the Vienna Eagles. Vienna’s scoring also proved efficient and led to them holding a 21-17 advantage at the half.
An 11-9 margin helped Triad close the gap in the third and a 13-5 run in the final eight minutes secured a 41-35 win for the Lady Knights.
Sixteen points, coming from eight baskets, gave Hartoin a team high total in the win. Witham added on 11 points in the victorious effort.
Triad improved to 3-12 on the season with the win.