REGION — The tough times keep coming for the Benson High School boys basketball team as they went 1-2 in their last three games.

Benson had a close game with Morenci last Tuesday but foul trouble kept two of their key players, Carson Barney and Brok Determan, on the bench. The Bobcats could not complete the comeback attempt, falling 62-56 on the home court.

The Bobcats rebounded and snapped their lengthy losing streak with a 60-40 win at San Miguel on Thursday. However, they couldn’t carry the momentum into their second game of a back-to-back on Friday at rival Pima High School.

Three Pima starters scored in double-figures as they took down Benson, 57-38, for the second time this season in conference play.

The Eastern Arizona Courier caught up with Benson’s head coach Chris Taylor to pick his mind on his thoughts on the game before tip-off.

“Pima is a good team we played them tough last time,” he said. “We’re both two different teams right now and ... we need to get better and focus on trying to get into state.”

The Roughriders started the scoring with a deep three-pointer from Drew Thompson, which led to a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter over the Bobcats.

After a quick time-out, the Bobcats’ Talon Palmer hit a 3-pointer to get the Bobcats on the scoreboard for the first time in the game. The Roughriders turned the ball over on their next two positions that lead to four straight points and a 7-6 lead for the Benson in the first.

After Pima called a timeout and regrouped, they got some momentum from Alec Judd’s acrobatic layup that brought the Pima bench and fans onto their feet.

The Roughriders were the faster and stronger team, getting second-chance shots and crashing the boards on offense. The Roughriders’ fast-paced offense gave them a 17-11 edge going into the second quarter.

Benson exchanged a couple of buckets with Pima early on in the second, but it was Pima’s energy and team play, getting the ball to the open man and nailing down the shot, that made the difference as they began to pull away.

Benson struggled to get thing’s going on offense and only scored seven points in the second quarter. The Bobcats went into halftime down 28-18.

In the second half, things got worse for the Bobcats as they went ice-cold shooting from the field and not being able to slow down the Roughriders high scoring offense.

“During halftime in the locker room we talked about defense and wanted to hold them to seven points as we did in the second quarter and the first half we had a lot of missed layups so I think we just played better defense and better offense and kept running the score up,” Thompson said.

Benson played Bisbee on Tuesday but the results were not available by press time. They host Tombstone on Friday.

Herald/Review reporter Alexis Ramanjulu contributed to this report.

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