As the fouls piled up for the Harrisburg High School girls' basketball team, head coach Jake Stewart saw his team's flow circle around the drain.
In a chippy, highly-contested battle Thursday night at Davenport Gymnasium, Benton got the better of the Bulldogs, knocking them off 59-53.
Harrisburg played in foul trouble the entire night with Shelby Boer picking up three in the first quarter, thus sending her to the bench. Fellow post player Devan Jones had three fouls in the first half.
Harrisburg did their best to hang around in the ballgame as they put three players in double figures.
Lindsey Murray scored a team-high 15 before fouling out in the fourth quarter, while Boer, who also fouled out in the fourth quarter, finished with 11. Ashley Ferrell tacked on 10 for the Bulldogs who dropped to 20-6 on the season.
Late in the third quarter, Benton took advantage of Harrisburg's foul situation, building a 12-point lead, but with less than 40 seconds to play in the third, Murray gave Harrisburg a key spark with a 3-pointer, cutting the lead to eight at 40-32.
Benton took a 42-32 lead into the fourth quarter when Boer tacked on a 3-point play, followed by a Murray bucket to get Harrisburg to six at 43-37.
But, Benton didn't quit, knocking down free throws late in the game, especially in the last minute and a half as they were able to hold off Harrisburg.
"We're in a really bad shooting slump right now," Stewart said. "Inside and Out. I was proud of the way the kids battled back after being down by double digits in the second half. We just couldn't make a shot down the stretch."
Stewart admitted that the foul scenario made things difficult for his club to find any rhythm against the Rangerettes, who were led by 23 points from Morgan Corn.
"We had problems with Corn tonight," Stewart said. "But that's going to happen, especially when we got into foul trouble in the first half. Shelby got three in the first quarter and Devan had three in the first half.
"A lot of fouls made for a slow game and we like to play fast. I don't think any team was really able to get into the flow. We couldn't get in a rhythm and that's what we need."
Kelsey Hobbs came off the bench and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to finish with six, while Hanna Jones finished with five points for Harrisburg. Whitney Younger had four points for the Bulldogs.
Michael Dann can be reached at hbgsports@dailyregister. com Follow Michael Dann on Twitter @spydieshooter.