By Jim Muir
The Benton Rangerettes completed a successful week of basketball Saturday afternoon with a 58-18 victory over Marion and the championship of the Lady Wildcats Invitational.
Benton finished in first place with a 4-0 mark followed by Vienna at 2-2 and Herrin at 2-2. With identical records Vienna took second place because they beat Herrin in head-to-head competition. Marion and Carterville both finished at 1-3 in the five-team round robin tournament.
“It was a good week of basketball for us and I’m proud of the way we competed,” said first-year Benton coach Andy Sloan. “We have a lot of things to work on in order to improve but to come in here and win four games in five days is a great way to begin the season.”
After a thrilling 41-40 victory over Carterville on Friday night the Rangerettes wasted little time disposing of Marion in the finale at Cuss Wilson Gymnasium. Marion actually got on the scoreboard first on a three-pointer and a layup by Daily Williams to take a 5-0 lead. But, those would be the final points by the Lady Wildcats until late in the second quarter as the Rangerettes put together a 25-0 run to take a 25-5 lead before Marion got on the scoreboard again.
Benton held a commanding 29-9 lead at halftime and then extended it to 44-17 at the end of three quarters and then cruised on to the easy victory.
Benton was led in scoring by Morgan Corn with 14 – her fourth time in as many tries in double figures. The Rangerettes had another balanced scoring attack with eight players scoring. Also scoring for the Rangerettes was Evelyn Mendez with nine points, Cali Carney with eight points, Mikala Carney with five, Marcela Mendez and Cassandra Johnson with four each, Also scoring was Rowdee Sanders, Bobbi Wegrazyn and Katlyn Biddle with two each.
Corn was chosen to the All-Tournament team along with Abby Horn, Herrin, Carly Childress and Miranda Chance of Vienna, Allison Gwaltney, of Marion, Savanah Jones, of Carterville and Whitney Woodis of Herrin.
The Rangerettes are back in action on Nov. 27 when they open play in the tough SIRR Ohio Division against the Herrin Lady Tigers.