The Benton Tigers defeated the Parkway Panthers 67-50 in a District 1-5A opener Tuesday night at Benton.
In other 1-5A openers involving parish teams, Airline dropped a tough 46-45 decision to Natchitoches Central at Airline, and Haughton fell to Byrd 28-25 at Byrd.
In the other 1-5A opener, “Doc” Edwards Invitational champion Captain Shreve routed Southwood 53-30 at Southwood.
In a non-district game, Plain Dealing fell to North Webster 59-56 at home.
At Benton, Jalen Taylor scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Tigers (8-13).
Greg Manning and Major Wiese scored 13 and 11 points, respectively. Manning had three steals and Wiese had three assists.
Trey Smith chipped in nine points. He also had three steals and three assists.
Zaccheaus Ziegler and Marc Perry had seven rebounds each.
Brhaelyn Brown, who hit seven 3-pointers, led Parkway (5-8) with 25 points.
Smith sank two 3-pointers and scored eight points in the first quarter as Benton grabbed a 19-11 lead.
Wiese nailed two of his three 3-pointers in the second quarter. Taylor tallied eight points. The Tigers extended the lead to 33-22 at the half.
Brown kept the Panthers within striking distance with four 3-pointers.
Six Tigers scored in the third quarter. Benton held Parkway to six points and led 48-28 going into the fourth.
Taylor scored eight and Manning six in the fourth. Brown added 10 to his total.
At Airline, the Vikings came close to snapping Natchitoches Central’s seven-game winning streak.
AJ Coleman led Airline (6-6) with 18 points. Cameron Walker added eight.
The Chiefs improved to 11-3.
At Byrd, Haughton dropped to 12-5 with the loss in the low-scoring game. The Yellow Jackets improved to 8-5.
At Plain Dealing, three Lions scored in double figures in the close defeat. Carnez Hillmon had 16 points, Jamuriel Ray 13 and Kendric Blanks 10.
— Featured photo by Jeff Thomas