BENSON — Team unity, awareness and consistency are some of the keys the Bobcats will need Tuesday in the 2A Play-In tournament here.

That’s how first year Benson head coach Katie Maakestad — the fifth head coach in six years — sees the No. 15 Bobcats’ matchup with No. 16 Piñon.

A raucous crowd is sure to be expected for the 6 p.m. game at James Driggers Gymnasium. The game, however, will be held after the News-Sun’s press time.

Formula for the eight play-in games on Tuesday is simple: Win and advance for a slot in the state championship tournament bracket. Lose and call it a season.

Along with the aforementioned keys to victory, Maakestad said the girls will need to employ a strong “...desire to win. I have been truly impressed by the girls’ tenacity this season,” said Maakestad. “We have had a lot of adversity to overcome this season, and the girls have continually kept fighting. As my first season as a head coach, they have had a lot of grace and mercy with me — to have had five different coaches in six years is rough, but these girls have established a program for Benson for sure.”

The Bobcats posted a more than resectable 12-7 record overall to go with an 8-5 conference record and closed the regular season winners over three of the final five games.

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