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Benson pours in 27 as Lexington wins


Lexington’s Nolan Benson (center) gets up for a shot between Andrews’ Chris Eaton (left) and Michael Hairston during their game Tuesday night. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)


Nolan Benson may be wearing a different uniform this season but his game is still the same.

The Lexington sophomore poured in 27 points, leading the Yellow Jackets to a 65-56 win over High Point Andrews on Tuesday night.

Benson, who burst on the scene as a freshman standout at West Davidson in the 2011-12 season before transferring to Lexington, basically picked up right where he left off. The 6-footer drilled five 3-pointers and was 10-for-12 from the free throw line.

“Just keep practicing the stuff I’ve been doing,” Benson said “Going to the Y a lot. I’ve been in the gym all summer, things like that.”

There was a lot to like in Benson’s game.

“He’s a good kid,” said Lexington coach Robert Hairston, whose team improved to 3-2 in its home opener. “A very good kid. Works hard. I’m trying to figure out where I’m going to play him right now.”

Benson sure has figured out how to get the ball in the basket, especially the long range shots.

“That’s one of the things I’ve worked on,” Benson said. “I got a lot of good assists from my teammates. They were being double-teamed and I was open. They did a good job of finding me.”

Marquell White gave the Jackets a huge assist, coming off the bench to score 16 points in the second half.

Michael Hairston led Andrews, which fell to 0-2, with 14 points.

Lexington led 25-23 at halftime.

The Jackets took the lead for good at 32-30 on a layup by White with 3:35 left in the third quarter and built that margin to 60-47 on a Coleman Hayes jumper with 3:22 left in the fourth quarter.

Andrews got to within nine and had a chance to slice the margin even further when White stripped the ball from a Red Raider player and drove the length of the court for a layup to make it 62-51 with 1:27 left.

“Right now, I’m just looking for them to get better,” coach Hairston said.

Lexington aided its cause by going 21-for-29 from the free throw line.

Bennie Butler had 10 points for Andrews.

Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or mike.duprez@the-dispatch.com.