Class 3A State Semifinals
Benton Community 51, Vinton-Shellsburg 42

After failing to win a game in its first four trips to the state basketball tournament, Benton Community will be now be playing for its first-ever state championship Friday night.

The Bobcats outlasted WaMaC conference rival Vinton-Shellsburg 42-35 to earn a spot in the Class 3A championship game Friday at 8:00 p.m.

Benton Community had won its two regular season meetings against the Vikings. Both games were close ones and the third game was no different as there were three lead changes and six ties. Vinton-Shellsburg built an early seven point advantage midway through the third quarter before Benton rallied to tie the score at 14-14 and the two teams went into halftime tied at 24-24.

Benton led 35-34 after three quarters and withstood foul trouble from star Jenna Twedt, who sat the first 1:30 of the fourth quarter. A Zoey Junge three-point gave the Bobcats a 37-33 to start the fourth quarter and Vinton-Shellsburg would come no closer than two points the rest of the game.

Twedt led all scorers with 18 points, four assists and four steals while Emma Townsley and McKenna Kramer both scored eight points. As a team, the Bobcats committed just eight turnovers.

Alyssa Griffith scored 12 points to lead Vinton-Shellsburg while Ashlie Meyer added 10 for the Vikings, who end their season at 18-8.