The unbeaten streak for Massac County’s girls ended Saturday at Benton when Benton capitalized on some uncharacteristic free throwing by Massac.

After a blowout win over Murphysboro on Thursday night, Feb. 25, the girls were set for a big conference showdown with the Rangerettes on Saturday.

Murphysboro is short-handed and inexperienced, and Massac had no problems in handing them a 74-18 thrashing.

Massac’s biggest problem was rotating everyone in and out in a fair-minded manner. All of Massac’s girls got in the game and all scored. Sometimes it just gets ugly and there’s not much a coach can do. To Murphy’s credit, the girls didn’t quit and played hard to the final horn.

Benton was an entirely different matter. This one was closely contested from opening tip to the final horn. It boiled down to a couple of things: Massac couldn’t hold Addyson Miller, and struggled mightily from the free throw line.

Massac trailed 12-11 after one quarter and held a 23-22 halftime lead. The ladies led 31-30 after 24 minutes of play, but Miller outscored the Massac team 9-7 in the final eight minutes with three more triples, and Massac missed three of four gratis tosses to seal the deal.

For the evening, Miller rained seven 3-pointers on Massac and finished with 23 points, while Massac’s Sophie Bormann hit both of Massac’s triples and led Massac with 10 points. The glaring stat, however, was the 8 of 19 free throwing. With just an ordinary performance at the stripe, the outcome could have been different.

After the disappointing loss at Benton, the Lady Patriots packed their bags and headed north to Harrisburg for a date with the Lady Bulldogs on Monday. The girls shook off the dust and methodically took Harrisburg apart for an 18-point, 51-33 win.

With Benton currently sitting alone atop the SIRR Ohio division at 8-0, and Massac in second place with a 5-1 conference record, the stage is being set for a March 8 showdown with the Rangerettes at Metropolis.

Massac hosted Harrisburg Wednesday night, March 3, and has upcoming games with Herrin and Carterville before the Benton showdown.

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