NASHVILLE -- Getting just 35 minutes of rest after an early afternoon loss to Trenton Wesclin, Benton's Rangerettes rebounded with a 41-37 victory over Mascoutah for a seventh-place finish in the Nashville Thanksgiving Tournament.
Benton finished with a 1-3 record in the tournament, losing earlier to Mount Vernon, Nashville and Wesclin.
"We really got behind but hung in and battled back. Our kids played extremely hard and played with a lot of heart after losing the earlier game and having to play back to back," said Benton coach Andy Sloan.
Benton found itself in a familiar hole against Mascoutah.
The Lady Indians jumped out to a 12-4 first-quarter lead and expanded it to 23-10 by halftime. The Rangerettes outscored the Lady Indians 31-14 in the second half for their first victory of the season.
"We had a lot of kids step up and showed some moments of being able to put some good basketball together. We got some stops down the stretch and converted at the line," Sloan concluded.
Benton was 9-of-16 from the charity stripe in the win, canning 5-of-6 in the final quarter.
Benton took its first lead of the game, 31-29, early in the fourth quarter.
Senior guard Eb Casey, who was benched for 1 ½ quarters Saturday for violating team rules, knocked down a 3-pointer with 4:50 remaining to give Benton a 34-31 lead.
Holding a precarious 38-37 lead with 50 seconds remaining,
Mady Wallace hit two free throws; and freshman Addisyn Miller added a free toss with 18 seconds left to seal the victory.
Miller led all scorers with 15 points. Kelsey Wilcox threw down 7 points and Casey and Wallace added six each.
In the 41-26 loss to Wesclin earlier in the afternoon, Wilcox was the only player in double figures with 11 points. Miller, who hit a pair of treys, chipped in eight.
Benton got down 17-6 in the opening quarter and despite hitting 4-of-7 field goals in the second period, the Rangerettes still trailed by 10 at halftime.
Wesclin maintained a nine-point lead after three and outscored the Rangerettes 10-6 in the final quarter, including a 6-1 run in the final 2:50 of the game.
"They did a nice job of getting to the rim which shows their experience. We're slow to get over and rotate and let them have some layups. That being said, I saw some good things. I saw some positives we can build on," Sloan said in a postgame interview.
Benton was scheduled to play its first home game of the season Tuesday against conference rival Herrin.