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Prep Girls Basketball: Second half struggles come back to bite Benton

  • Benton's Ensley Tedeschi works around the defense being applied by Marshall County's Jada Driver in the first half Saturday at the U.S. Bank Shootout held at McCracken County High School.

    Benton's Ensley Tedeschi works around the defense being applied by Marshall County's Jada Driver in the first half Saturday at the U.S. Bank Shootout held at McCracken County High School.
    SPYDER DANN | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 12/14/2021 9:04 AM

A girls basketball weighs right at 20 ounces.
The weight on the hearts and minds of those in west Kentucky Saturday afternoon was a little heavier after a devastating tornado ripped through the town on Mayfield Friday night and affected many other surrounding communities.
On the basketball court -- a sense of normalcy was restored -- at least for a few hours as four high school girls' basketball games were played at the U.S. Bank Shootout inside Strawberry Hills Pharmacy Arena at McCracken County High School.
Three of the teams in action traveled in from Illinois, including a marquee matchup between one of the favorites in the First Region in Marshall County and southern Illinois' Benton, who came in with its only loss to Okawville.
After playing the Lady Marshals close in the first half and trailing by 10 at halftime, Marshall County opened the flood gates in the second half, outscoring the Rangerettes 19-9 en route to a 43-23 victory.
Marshall County junior Mia Teague, who scored eight of her 11 points in the second half, was named game MVP.
The Lady Marshals (2-0) also got a game-high 16 points from Halle Lang and Jade Driver tossed in another 13 points.
The game was second in nature to the magnitude of what the Purchase area of Kentucky dealt with Friday night and into Saturday, but Marshall County head coach Aaron Beth complimented his kids on their perseverance.
"It was tough (Saturday). You could tell that our minds were somewhere else but our players did a great job of coming out and focusing for the hour and a half that they needed to," Beth said. "They've seen a lot of stuff in the last 24 hours. The devastation is just something you don't see and it's a once in a lifetime event and it's not a good thing. For them to come out and give the effort they did, especially on the defensive end, I'm really proud of that. There's a lot more things than basketball going on right now."
Benton got a team-high 14 points from Ensley Tedeschi, including all six of Benton's first quarter points and had 10 of the Rangerettes 14 first half points.
Braelyn Miller finished with four points, while Addi Krueger tacked on three points and Ryleigh Bates tossed in two points.
The events that transpired over the weekend put many things into perspective for Benton head coach Andy Sloan.
"These teams, like Marshall County, those kids may have not slept in their own bed last night. I talked to Coach Beth before the game and that's what we were talking about and there are a lot of things bigger than basketball going on right now, especially in this part of the country.
"Our prayers for all of them and their recovery efforts and obviously a lot of things have changed in 24 hours here and it makes you put things into perspective for sure."
Benton returns to action Tuesday when they host Harrisburg in an SIRR Ohio showdown at Rich Herrin Gymnasium.

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.