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Benton Goes Back-To-Back

  • The Benton golf team captured its second straight sectional championship, winning by 18 strokes Tuesday at Centralia.

    The Benton golf team captured its second straight sectional championship, winning by 18 strokes Tuesday at Centralia.

By Spyder Dann
updated: 10/16/2020 8:54 AM

In an feat that Benton head coach Reggie Norman calls "rare," the Ranger golf team capped off a perfect season by hoisting the championship plaque at Tuesday's IHSA Class 2A Sectional in Centralia's Greenview Country Club.
The Rangers won back-to-back sectionals and their third since 2004, all while going 26-0 in matches this past year, which also includes winning all tournaments (Massac County Invite, Centralia Invite, SIRR Ohio Conference Championship and the IHSA Class 2A Regional).
Benton won by 18 strokes Tuesday, shooting a 318 and beating Highland (336), Mattoon (342), Jacksonville (346), Paris (355), Carbondale (356), Mascoutah (362) and Glenwood (367).
Considering the playing conditions, Benton head coach Reggie Norman was certainly excited with the outcome.
"The wind was up and it was really firm out there. There were a lot of places to get in trouble, but we came out and played to our game plan."
The Rangers had three players finish in the top 10, including sophomore sensation Cy Norman, who took overall medalist honors with a 68.
Norman, fresh off an AJGA event over the weekend, had a pair of birdies on the front and just one bogey to shoot a 1-under 34. Norman followed that up with two birdies on the back, including the par-5 18th, where he finished two-under on his round.
Luke Melvin, a freshman, secured a sixth place finish with an 81 and senior Peyton Sieveking shot an 82 and finished seventh.
Andrew Bell finished in a tie for 24th after shooting an 87, while Keaton House and Nick Melvin added an 89 and finished in a tie for 33rd.
Going unbeaten throughout the season and knowing that Tuesday's round was the curtain call on the fall golf season was the motivating factor that Norman said pushed his golfers throughout the day.
"We wanted to be one of the rare teams that can actually say the won every time they teed it up. That's a tall task and we did it. These guys have gone out to prove people wrong all year and it's a high note for me right now. I'm really proud of them."
Individually, Marion's Hayden Burns finished in a tie for second place overall as the senior ended his career in style, shooting a 77.
After playing even par through the first four holes, Burns birdied the par-3 fifth hole, but made the turn at one-over after back-to-back bogeys on No. 7 and 8.
Burns rebounded with a birdie on the par-3 10th and closed closed out his career with three pars.
Also playing his final career, Harrisburg's Andrew Bittle carded an 86 and finished in a six-way tie for 18th place. Bittle wasn't the only Bulldog playing as an individual, as sophomore Grant Wilson carded a 90 and finished in a two-way tie for 40th.
Herrin's Logan Baggett finished in a three-way tie for 33rd as the senior shot an 88 on a Greenview Country Club course that played 6,061 yards.
IHSA Class 1A Golf Sectional
In the 1A Golf Sectional at Franklin County Country Club, Noah Smith put an exclamation point on his career as the Eldorado senior shot a 78 and finished in a four-way tie for 12th Tuesday.
Smith shot a 3-over 39 on the front side and closed out the back nine with four bogeys.

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.