Rangers improve to 2-1 with 51-38 victory over Hamilton County

By Jim Muir

The Benton Rangers improved to 2-1 on the season with a 51-38 victory over a scrappy Hamilton County team in Friday night action from the Goreville Invitational Tournament.

Both teams played dead-even in the opening stanza with the score knotted at 10-10. The Rangers outscored the Foxes 14-6 in the second to gain a little breathing room with a 24-16 halftime lead.

Benton put together a good third quarter, outscoring the Foxes 11-5 to open up a 35-21 lead entering the final frame. The game was decided in the two middle quarters with the Rangers outscoring the Foxes in the second and third quarter by a total of 25-11. Hamilton County outscored Benton in the fourth quarter 17-16.

Benton Coach Ron Winemiller said he felt like neither team every got in a ‘good flow’ offensively. Winemiller said the play of senior Cade Thomas, who had the highest point total of his varsity career with 15, was a bright spot in the contest.

“I thought Cade had a really good game,” said the Benton coach. “He looked to score tonight and made the best of his opportunities.”

The Rangers, who have gone 14-1 at the GIT in the previous three years, have a pair of tough games on Saturday, facing an up-tempo Johnston City team in a 10 a.m. matchup and then coming back Saturday night to meet the host Goreville Blackcats in the tournament finale at 8:30 p.m.

Winemiller said both games on Saturday with be “tough matchups.”

Johnston City is fast and they have some shooters and Goreville is always tough on their home floor,” said Winemiller. “Both those games could come down to who takes care of the basketball in the final four minutes.”

Along with Thomas’ 15 points Parker Williams added 11, Gehrig Wynn chipped in eight points and Carson Lewis added seven points. Rounding out the Rangers’ scoring Hamilton Page and Brett Bonenberger each had four points and Braxton Lutz added two points.




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