Central Girls Fall In State Semis After Benton’s Incredible Comeback

The Benton girls’ basketball team overcame a 15-point third-quarter deficit to defeat Central in overtime, 55-48, and advance to the state championship game despite never leading in regulation.

Central got off to a strong start, leading by nine at halftime and expanding on that lead during the third quarter thanks in part to three-point shooting from an unlikely source in Halle Richardson.

However, the game flipped late in the third quarter, when Benton began a 15-0 run to tie the game at 39.

Central quickly retook the lead with more strong shooting from Richardson.

But Benton made a three with less than a minute to go to send the game to overtime.

In overtime, the Cardinals finally took their first lead of the game and pulled away soon after.

After the game, Central head coach Josh Mapes praised the opposition and chose to focus on the positives from his team’s performance.

Benton improves to 27-3 and will play for the state title tomorrow at 4:00. Central falls to 27-4 and will play in the third-place game tomorrow at noon, with coverage beginning at 11:45 on J98.

Full Interview with Josh Mapes:

Full Game Audio: