Two years ago, the Benton Tigers made school history by reaching the quarterfinals of the playoffs for the first time.
The 2020-21 Tigers made history again Saturday night at Bossier’s Memorial Stadium. With temperatures hovering in the 30s, No. 3 seed Benton defeated No. 6 Caddo Magnet 2-0 in a Division II boys quarterfinal match.
Benton (15-4-3), which has won 13 in a row, advanced to the semifinals for the first time. The Tigers will face the winner of a quarterfinal match between No. 2 St. Thomas More (13-5-4) and No. 10 East Jefferson (4-7-4) scheduled for Tuesday.
Saturday’s quarterfinal was a rematch. The Tigers defeated the Mustangs 4-0 on Jan. 28 in a match for the District 1 championship.
The rematch was tighter but the outcome the same.
Ethan Bihler and Logan Smith scored the goals. Devin Ryan assisted on Smith’s goal.
Bihler scored after a diving Magnet goalkeeper blocked his penalty kick. The ball rebounded back toward Bihler, who alertly ran toward it and kicked it in the net.
Magnet finished 11-10-3.
The news wasn’t as good Saturday for the parish’s other teams remaining in the playoffs.
In a Division III boys quarterfinal, No. 8 Bossier fell to defending state champion and top seed University Lab 3-0 in Baton Rouge.
In a Division II girls quarterfinal, No. 7 Benton lost to No. 2 Lakeshore 7-1 in Mandeville.
Last year, Bossier lost to No. 1 seed Vandebilt Catholic 8-0 in the quarterfinals.
The Bearkats fared much better this time, trailing just 2-0 at the half.
University improved to 13-1-3.
Bossier finished 16-5-4. Over the past three seasons, the Bearkats have gone 53-19-6. The last two seasons they were 37-8-5.
The Benton girls kept it close in the first half. Lexy Bouillon’s goal with about nine minutes left made it 2-1. The Lady Titans scored on a penalty kick to make it 3-1 at the half.
Lakeshore, the 2019 state runner-up, improved to 18-4-2.
Benton finished 18-8-1 and made it to the quarterfinals for the second straight year. The Lady Tigers won 32 matches over the last two seasons.