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Dailus Richardson (center) and Trevor McKinney of Benton High School win the 2016 Costa Bassmaster High School Midwestern Open on Clinton Lake.

The Benton duo of Dailus Richardson and Trevor McKinney put another notch in their belts Sunday, winning the Costa Bassmaster High School Midwestern Open at Clinton Lake.

Richardson and McKinney won the Costa Bassmaster High School Classic at Oklahoma’s Grand Lake in March and earlier this year they were named Bassmaster All-Americans.

Sunday’s win at Clinton Lake qualifies them for the Bassmaster High School Championship at Kentucky Lake Aug. 4-6.

Although Richardson and McKinney brought 16 pounds, 9 ounces of fish to the scales, they edged Cole Miles and Dillan White by a mere seven ounces.

Clinton Lake is a power plant lake and can be difficult this time of year.

“We fish quite a few tournaments there,” Richardson said.

Despite having a 5.5-pound and a 5-pound fish in their bag, they were hardly confident going to the scales.

“We didn’t think we had enough,” Richardson said. “We got up there and everyone told us we had it. “We saw the second place team go up there and we got a little worried.”

Richardson was fishing a homemade Shaky head bait while McKinney fished a 10-inch worm.

At the Bassmaster High School Championships anglers will fish Aug. 4-5 before the field is pared to 12 teams for the finals.

Richardson and McKinney will head to Oklahoma’s Lake Texoma this weekend to compete in the Bassmaster High School All-American Bass Tournament. The 12 All-Americans will be paired with an Elite Series professional for a one-day derby.

The tournament is being held in conjunction with the GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest. In addition to fishing with the pros, the All-Americans will be honored before the weigh-in crowd at BASSfest.

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Sports editor

Les Winkeler is sports editor and outdoors writer for The Southern Illinoisan.

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