Four from Franklin County advance to the Country Financial Three Point Showdown

Three Franklin County seniors will get to slip on their uniforms one more time shooting in the sectional finials of the Country Financial Three Point Showdown.

West Frankfort Seniors Lucas Wolfe and Brendan Russell will represent the Redbirds at the Trenton-Wesclin Class 2A Sectional.

Jared Curry, along with freshman Kye Garver, will be shooting for the Christopher Bearcats at the Hardin County Class 1A Sectional.

The contest starts at 5:00 p.m. state-wide -sd

Redbirds win, Tigers….Red Devils fall in the Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament

By Steve Dunford 

MUPRHYSBORO – The Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament gives a look in the future for several programs.  That is why I enjoy it as the basketball season is winding down.

Since the IHSA lifted the amount of quarters a player can participate in, several underclassman that received a lot of varsity minutes can participate.  That is the case yesterday with West Frankfort and Thompsonville.

Sesser-Valier played in the morning session yesterday.  They were the first Franklin County school to face a team from the SIRR Mississippi, as they faced the Nashville Hornets.  The Devils fell 48-36.

Peyton Bates led S-V with 14 points, Tanner Eubanks was the second Devil in double figures with 10.  Garrett Guunter, Jake Newburry, and Matthew Thery added three, Logan Kirk a bucket, and Josten Stanley a free throw.  Caiden Snow played and did not score.

Sesser-Valier will face the Trico Pioneers at 5:00 p.m. in a consolation quarterfinal match-up on Monday.

Thompsonville faced DuQuoin, out of the River-to-River, and gave them all they wanted, falling 69-62 in overtime.

Corbin Fitch led the Tigers with 26 points, Grady Furlow 25.  Bryson Chullen added six, and Aiden Ramsey five.  Tristan Haskins, Seth Clark, and Hunter McDonough played and did not score.

T’ville goes left in the bracket as they face the Hamilton County Foxes, at 7:00 p.m. Monday.

The West Frankfort Redbirds defeated the Chester Yellow Jackets, 60-47, late yesterday afternoon.

Josh Melvin led West Frankfort with 15 points, Quincy King 13, and Gavin Gaylor was the third Redbird in double figures with 12.  Andrew Cunningham had seven, Paxton Griffith and Ethan Culley six, Brock Dorris one, and Michael Scales played but did not score.

Below, is all the scores from yesterday, and the quarterfinal pairings.





Representatives of Franklin County Schools in the Country Financial 3 pt. showdown.

Zeigler-Royalton Regional


Recent Z-R grad Brendan Whiting in the showdown last year at the NCOE Sectional.

Lukas Gunter

Tyler Winchester

Preston Launius

Joshua Gunter


Reed Raubach

Trey Bybee

Grady Furlow

Peyton Roberts


Trevor Mills

Landon Bate

Dalton Humphrey

Noah Leeper

Johnston City Regional


Ethan Culley

Josh Melvin

Lucas Wolfe

Brendan Russell

Norris City Regional


Jared Curry

Gabriel Motsinger

Ty Garver

Braden Ingoldsby



ROAD CLOSED ~ Murphysboro High School, 16th Street Entrance/Exit

From Len Novara, Murphysboro High School Athletic Director 

MUPRHYSBORO – Please be advised, the Murphysboro High School 16th Street Entrance/Exit (Harry Ray Drive) is currently CLOSED!   It is expected to be closed during and/or through the upcoming 41st Annual MHS Sophomore Boys Basketball Tournament, in which Sesser-Valier, Thompsonville, and West Frankfort Participate in.



Johnston City Class 2A Regional Preview: #8 West Frankfort (5-21) vs #10 Vienna (8-18)

By Steve Dunford 

JOHNSTON CITY – I am going to be a homer for all five Franklin County teams as they start post season play.  The West Frankfort Redbirds, the only Class 2A team in the county, will face the Vienna Eagles tonight, in a play-in game at the Johnston City Regional.  The time snuck up on me as it is a 6:00 p.m. tip.  The winner will face the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats.

It has been a year of almosts for the Redbirds.  They have had barn-burners with state ranked Eldorado, their cross-county rivals and SIRR champs, the Benton Rangers, the Harrisburg Bulldogs, and if they advance they have had a couple dandies with A-J.

Going into tonight, I have the Redbirds as heavy favorites. Vienna’s eight wins have came mostly against GEC and SEC schools and a couple over Z-R, all 1A schools.  They won the seventh place game at the Superman Classic by defeating the punching bag over the years at Massac, Fort Campbell KY.  They do not have an impressive resume, especially losing to NCOE in the Eldorado Holiday Tournament.

Here are some points and some insight into tonight’s game.

  • The Redbirds need to get out of the gate quick like they did down at Massac Friday night.  Rick Westemeyer was saying Joe Hosman was “fit to be tied.”  When I heard West Frankfort had them down by 20 early in the second quarter, my first thoughts were, I bet Joe is “real happy”  Congratulations on getting a conference win.
  • There is no one on the Eagles roster that can compare to C.J Johnson.  Look for him to light it up for 20+ tonight.
  • The Eagles have a veteran backcourt in Ben Dane and Noah Dancke.  Dancke is a big guard at 6′ 3″.  He can cause Lucas Wolfe and Kyle Hammers some match-up problems.
  • They interchange four or five guys in the post that are between 6′ 3″ and 6′ 5″.  They are not nearly as physical as Bradlee Croslin, Keagan Thrash, or Josh Melvin.

If the Redbirds take care of business tonight, they will advance to have their fourth meeting with the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats.

Tonight, everyone is 0-0.  This Redbird team can do some damage in the post season.  If I was an opposing coach, I would not want to face the veteran Kevin Toney on the sidelines.  Go Birds!!!!!!!!!


Senior night for Christopher, Sesser-Valier, and Thompsonville

By Steve Dunford 

Class 1A and 2A boys high school basketball teams are entering into their final weekend of the season, as February Fever will turn into March Madness.

There is a battle between two Franklin County teams, as Christopher will host the Zeigler-Royalton Tornadoes as it is senior night for Bradley Young, Jared Curry, Daniel Flowers, and Tyler Weeks.  Cole Sanders, Jon Meadows,  Noah Leeper, Andrew Basiallon, and Xander Schablowski played in their last regular season game for the Tornadoes last Tuesday night aginst Trico

It will not be their last appearance at Art Brandon gym. as Z-R will face the Woodlawn Cardinals on Tuesday night in their own regional.

Sesser-Valier tries to finish their perfect run in the BDC West as the face the Chester Yellow Jackets tonight.  It is Senior Night for Lukas and Joshua Gunter, Preston Launius, Peyton Rock, and Addison Page.

It is senior night for Zack Krikman and Jacob Dixon as the Thompsonville Tigers host the NCOE  Fighting Cardinals tonight at Doc Harvey gym.  It is always high scoring and a wild one when these old Mid South now GEC rivals get together.

The Junior Tiger Cheerleaders will be performing, and coach Lacey Cooksey has over 35 girls preforming.  There will be an overflowing crowd, so get a seat early.

Two grizzled veteran coaches will match up tonight down at Metropolis as Kevin Toney’s West Frankfort Redbirds and Joe Hosman’s Massac County Patriots will be hooking up.  Massac won in a makeup game at Max Morris Gym last Tuesday night.  It is the last chance for the Redbirds to pick up an SIRR-Ohio win on the season.

The Redbirds has senior night as Lucas Wolfe, Keagan Thrash, Bradlee Croslin, and Brendan and Jacob Russell played their last game in Max Morris Gym last Saturday night.  West Frankfort was defeated by the Herrin Tigers.

It will be senior night in Benton next Friday night as they face the Salem Wildcats.  The Rangers are trying to finish a perfect SIRR-Ohio campaign off as they face the second best team in the Conference the Murphysboro Red Devils at Rich Herrin Gym tonight.


Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament pairings released

Trenton-Wesclin Class 2A Boys Basketball Sectional parings

Trenton-Wesclin Sectional

Tue., Feb. 27

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: Winner Wood River (East Alton-W.R.) Regional vs. Winner Johnston City Regional

Wed., Feb. 28

Game 2 at 7:00 pm: Winner Pinckneyville Regional vs. Winner Staunton Regional

Fri., Mar. 2

Game 3 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Johnston City Regional

Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 6:00 pm: (8) West Frankfort (Frankfort) vs. (10) Vienna

Game 2 at 7:30 pm: (5) Chester vs. (11) Johnston City

Tue., Feb. 20

Game 3 at 7:00 pm: (2) Anna (A.-Jonesboro) vs. Winner Game 1

Wed., Feb. 21

Game 4 at 7:00 pm: (3) DuQuoin (H.S.) vs. Winner Game 2

Fri., Feb. 23

Game 5 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

Pinckneyville Regional

Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 6:00 pm: (7) Sparta vs. (9) Campbell Hill (Trico)

Game 2 at 7:30 pm: (6) Red Bud vs. (12) Dupo

Tue., Feb. 20

Game 3 at 7:00 pm: (1) Pinckneyville vs. Winner Game 1

Wed., Feb. 21

Game 4 at 7:00 pm: (4) Waterloo (Gibault Catholic) vs. Winner Game 2

Fri., Feb. 23

Game 5 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

East Alton-Wood River Regional

Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: (9) Wood River (East Alton-W.R.) vs. (11) Roxana

Tue., Feb. 20

Game 2 at 6:00 pm: (1) Trenton (Wesclin) vs. Winner Game 1

Game 3 at 7:30 pm: (4) Piasa (Southwestern) vs. (5) Carlyle

Fri., Feb. 23

Game 4 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

Staunton Regional

Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 6:00 pm: (7) Staunton vs. (8) Litchfield

Game 2 at 7:30 pm: (6) Hillsboro vs. (10) Gillespie

Tue., Feb. 20

Game 3 at 7:00 pm: (2) Nashville vs. Winner Game 1

Wed., Feb. 21

Game 4 at 7:00 pm: (3) Greenville vs. Winner Game 2

Fri., Feb. 23

Game 5 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

Trenton-Wesclin Boys Basketball Class 2A Sectional seeds

Pinckneyville/Johnston City Regional Sectional Complex

#1. Pinckneyville

2. Anna (A.-Jonesboro)

3. DuQuoin (H.S.)

4. Waterloo (Gibault Catholic)

5. Chester

6. Red Bud

7. Sparta

8. West Frankfort (Frankfort)

9. Campbell Hill (Trico)

10. Vienna

#11. Johnston City

12. Dupo

Staunton/East Alton Wood River Regional Sectional Complex

1. Trenton (Wesclin)

2. Nashville

3. Greenville

4. Piasa (Southwestern)

5. Carlyle

6. Hillsboro

#7. Staunton

8. Litchfield

#9. Wood River (East Alton-W.R.)

10. Gillespie

11. Roxana

Lady Redbirds season ends in loss to Vienna at the DuQuoin Class 2A regional

DU QUOIN – Third seed Vienna scored the last 12 points of the game to hold off a determined sixth seed West Frankfort to win 55-43 Tuesday, and advance to the finals of the Du Quoin 2A girls basketball regional to face second seed Hamilton County on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Megan Berry and Cali Wright on Senior Night last week.

West Frankfort (9-18) rallied from six down to take a one-point at the half and trailed by six again with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter before tying the score, 43-43, on a 3-pointer by Madison Carpenter with 4:54 remaining in the game.

“We played really well,” said West Frankfort coach Matt Hampleman. “Size wise they had us at just about every spot. I can’t say enough about my two seniors, Beery and Wright, they’ve carried us pretty much all year. We got great contributions from freshman McLaren as well as Carpenter tonight. I though Chloe Peavey did a good job on the interior post against their big kids. We just didn’t have enough at the end to stay on top.”

NOTE- My sentiments are the same about Megan Berry and Cali Wright from “Hamp.”  I have enjoyed watching them play.  Most of all they are fine young ladies who will go far in life. -Steve

Please click on the link for the full story from Gary Dentison of the Southern Illinoisan.