High school boys basketball: Romero’s big night lifts Benton past Airline

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Brodie Romero hit seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points to lead the Benton Tigers to a 63-55 District 1-5A victory over the Airline Vikings Thursday at Airline.

In two other 1-5A games, Captain Shreve downed Haughton 65-41 at Shreve and leader Natchitoches Central defeated Southwood 51-46 at Southwood.

Natchitoches Central improved to 18-1 and 6-0. It was the Chiefs’ first district game since Jan. 19.

Captain Shreve (18-7, 9-1) is second in the district followed by Parkway (10-6, 6-2).

The Gators are scheduled to host Airline (5-12, 2-6) on Friday in their final regular-season game. The Panthers are scheduled to visit Byrd (5-9, 1-7).

At Airline, Romero scored all of his points on 3-pointers and free throws. He was 8-of-8 from the line.

Romero started fast, sinking two 3-pointers and scoring eight points in the first quarter as Benton (18-8, 4-5) took a 13-6 lead. Greg Manning also hit a 3.

Both teams picked up the pace offensively in the second quarter.

Romero knocked down three more from long range and got scoring help from Jalen Taylor, Jyrell McClendon, Dylan Slaid and Manning as the Tigers put 22 more points on the board.

Airline’s Trevon Jackson scored 10 of his 14 in the quarter and Devarrick Woods had seven of his 11. 

Benton took a 35-27 lead into the locker room.

The Tigers maintained the eight-point margin through three quarters. Romero hit his final two 3s and Ryan Ward sank one.

Airline’s Colby O’Glee hit two from behind the arc and scored 10 of his team-high 15 points. 

Both teams scored 14 in the fourth. Romero was 6-of-6 from the line. Slaid made four of his six attempts.

As a team, the Tigers were 15-of-17 from the line in the game. The Vikings were 13-of-18.

Manning and Slaid finished with eight points each. Taylor had seven, McClendon six and Ward five.

Airline’s Christian Minor added nine points. The Vikings played without leading scorer Devin Bilbo, who suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday night’s win over Byrd.

Benton is scheduled to visit Haughton (5-9, 1-7) Friday.