By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
The Benton girls' basketball team didn't get off to the fastest start against Lafayette Thursday.
They just waited until the second quarter.
Leading 14-5 after one, the Cardinals (23-3) scored 21 second quarter points to go up 35-12 at halftime, and they added 23 more points in the third in a 64-21 drubbing of the Irish in Class 4 District 16 semifinals at Benton High School Thursday.
Lafayette (10-18) was able to hold the scoring down for a bit, but Benton used an 11-0 run, which stretched from late in the first to early in the second, to go up 21-5. The Irish were haunted by 13 first half turnovers.
The Cardinals filled the stat sheet in the third quarter, as senior Kelsey Johnson scored 10 points in that period alone. Benton cruised in the fourth quarter, with the running clock in effect.
Sophomore Andrea Simmons led Benton with a game-high 18 points. Johnson finished with 14, while sophomore Eliana Arambula had 11. Talicia Byrd led Lafayette with seven.
The Irish committed 17 turnovers compared to just seven by Benton. The Cardinals knocked down 14-of-22 free throw attempts in the victory as well.
Benton advances to the district championship game for a sixth consecutive season. The Cardinals will face Chillicothe in Class 4 District 16 title game on Saturday night at 6 p.m. at Springer Gymnasium.
Chillicothe (23-4) beat Maryville in the other district semifinal Thursday, 58-42.
Benton won at Chillicothe back on February 3, 56-43. Benton also beat Chillicothe in the district title last year, 47-39.
Andrea Simmons interview
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