The Benton Lady Panthers knocked off the Pine Bluff Fillies 55-51 in overtime Tuesday night inside McFadden Gymnasium, knocking the Fillies out of first place in the 7A/6A-South Conference on their senior night.
Pine Bluff took a 48-45 lead with 12.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of free throws from senior Ajia Richardson.
But a three-pointer from Benton junior Braylee Landreth — on a botched play — sent the game into overtime.
“That was nowhere near how we drew it up,” Benton head coach Jerry Chumley said. “We were trying to get a ball screen for either Braxton (Chumley) or one of our other shooters.
“But Braylee looked at the clock, squared it up and made it. It took a lot of gumption to take that shot, but Braylee is just the girl to do that.”
Chumley said it was only the second time this season that Landreth had attempted a three-pointer.
She finished with 14 points for the Lady Panthers.
“She did the right thing,” Chumley said. “Some people might say we were lucky. But I don’t think luck had anything to do with it.”
In overtime, Benton sophomore Ann Marie Burchfield — who is listed as 6-foot-3 — made three of her free-throw attempts, one of which tied the game at 51-all with 1:54 left.
“She came off the bench and gave us a huge lift,” Chumley said. “She made her free throws, which was huge for us.”
With less than a minute left in overtime in Tuesday’s game, Landreth grabbed an offensive rebound to give Benton a 53-51 lead. Junior Braxton Chumley sealed the game with two free throws.
Chumley scored a team-high 17 points and Benton improved to 19-5 overall and 11-3 in the 7A/6A South. With the loss, Pine Bluff (20-6, 10-3) fell to third place in the conference.
Richardson scored a game-high 18 points for Pine Bluff. Junior Jasmyn Eckermann contributed with 13 points.
Benton sophomore Skylar Davis hit a three-pointer to start the second quarter scoring and it gave the Lady Panthers a 14-13 lead.
Richardson completed a three-point play with 6:17 left in the first half and it gave the Fillies a 16-14 lead. Eckermann followed suit with a three-point play of her own and Pine Bluff had a 19-14 lead with 3:48 left.
Benton retook the lead on a bucket by Davis but Richardson hit a three-pointer as time expired and Pine Bluff had a 23-21 lead right before half.
About three weeks ago, Benton thought it would be lucky to get a 4-seed for the 6A state tournament. But after winning six straight games — including a win over first-place El Dorado — the Lady Panthers have clawed to the No. 2 seed in the conference.
“We will probably play Jonesboro out of the East on their home court,” Chumley said. “It is going to be a tough task, but we have been playing really good ball lately.
“We are happy with our seeding.”
El Dorado (23-3, 10-2) defeated Bryant 52-25 on Tuesday but still has Texarkana and Sheridan left on its schedule.
Pine Bluff will close out the regular season on Thursday when it travels to Texarkana.
Fillies head coach Loy Moore was not available for comment.