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High school boys golf: Benton runner-up in Division I tournament after second-round charge

Benton made a big run at defending champion Byrd in the second round of the Division I state tournament Tuesday, but the Tigers came up just short in their quest for the title.

Benton began the day tied for third, 13 strokes behind Byrd, at The Farm D’Allie in Carencro. The Tigers shot a 6-over 294 on the par-72 course. Benton was the only team to break 300 Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Byrd shot a 304. But combined with Monday’s 289 in the first round, the Jackets’ two-day total of 593 was good enough for a three-stroke victory over Tigers.

Catholic-Baton Rouge finished third at 602.

The runner-up finish was Benton’s second in three full seasons of playing in Division I. The Tigers moved up to Division I in 2020 but almost all of that season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Before moving up, Benton won seven state titles in Division II, including five in a row from 2012-16 and another in 2018.

Benton senior Noah McWilliams and junior Miller Davis finished tied for fourth in the medalist competition. They both finished at 1-under 143, three strokes behind medalist Drew Silman of Zachary. Silman shot 70 in both rounds.

Davis shot a 70 Tuesday, three strokes better than his first-round score. McWillians shot a 72.

McWilliams, an LSU signee, finished no worse than fourth in his three state tournaments. He was the runner-up in 2021 after losing a playoff.

Benton sophomore Kade Bryant shot a 76 for a two-day total of 153. He and Airline’s Madden Sawrie shot the same score each day and finished tied for 15th.

Benton junior Cason Toms shot a 76, six strokes better than his first-round score, for a 158. His teammate, junior Colton Halverson, shot a 79 for a 160.

Byrd was led by Ethan Dial (71-77–148), Grant Reagan (71-77–148), Duke Bowen (71-78–149) and James Holtsclaw (79-76–155).

The title was the Jackets’ sixth in the last eight years.

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