By Steve Dunford 



HARRISBURG –   First of all at the end of my comments, I am going to link all the media sources that covered the game.   T’ville fans might want to grab a Southern.  Les Winkler the Sports Editor put the story on the front page .  That might be a first for Thompsonville.

I am going to link WSIL’s video too.  It was cool Darren Kinnard hung around for a while to watch the nets being cut.

I would have bet the farm, ABV Jack would have been there.

It is also great the WEBQ broadcasts the entire tournament.

The Thompsonville Tigers came back from a huge first half deficit, to defeat the Hardin County Cougars. 39-31.  This makes 10 out of 11 for the Tigers.  The only loss during this streak was down at Hardin County.

It was the first time the Tigers have cut down the nets in a bracketed tournament since they won the 1998 Coulterville Midwinter over Scott Burzynski’s Elverado Falcons.  That Tiger team featured the Mullins brothers, Rhett and Dirk.

The last time the program was in a championship game of a bracketed tournament was in 2004, as the Tigers lost a heart breaker to the West Frankfort Redbirds at the Johnston City Class A Regional.

In this time frame however, they won several Crab Orchard Turkey Tournament crowns which is a round robin tournament.

The Tigers have taken home hardware in every tournament they played in.  They finished fourth in the Christopher Turkey Tournament, and won the consolation bracket of the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament.

Reed Raubach hits an NBA three at the buzzer to bring the Tigers within four, 18-14 at halftime.

The three was a momentum changer as the Tigers outscored the Cougars 13-3 to take a 27-21 lead after three.

Tyson Kessler  (23) celebrating the victory with Zack Krikman (33) amd Reed Raubach (11)

Corbin Fitch led Thompsonville with 11 on the night.  Tyson Kessler 10, and Anthony Darge added eight with several blocked shots.

Jamison Hicks, along with Darge are two of the most underrated post players in Southern Illinois had 10.

Thompsonville improves to 14-7 on the season, winning 10 out of their last 11.  They travel to their arch rival Crab Orchard on Tuesday night.  This is considered a non-conference game in the GEC standings.

Hardin County, falls to 7-9, and plays the toughest 1A schedule in Southern Illinois.  The host Webster County KY on Monday night, a school which would be 3A in Illinois.

This championship would not be possible if it wasn’t for some unsung heroes for the Tigers.

The First one is Peyton Roberts.  He did not score a lot of points in the tourney, but turned in some awesome defensive efforts.  He burned the nets for 20 against Odin.

The second shout out goes to Zack Krikman.  He was a starter earlier in the year.  He has embraced the role of being the sixth man. and is built for that role in that role, being able to come in and play the 2-5.

The third is Jake Dixon, since Chullen is developing, his minutes has decreased.  Both him and Kirkman would start for the majority of teams in the GEC.  He has not told me, but I guarantee Coach Gordon will start both of you on senior night.

I cant say enough about two diaper dandies who came up big.  The first is Bryson Chullen.  The experience at the JV level has been invaluable for him.   He stepped in the Gallatin game and provided a spark with Darge was in foul trouble.  Between him and Dixon, you can spell Darge for a minute or two.  The best thing about Chullen, he is a sophomore.

Anytime Coach Gordon sticks Grady Furlow in there,  there has not been one freshman mistake.  He plays well beyond his years.

Trey Bybee has a knee that barks on him, and it cut down on his minutes some.  When he was a baby, I smiled at his name.  He wears his dad’s number, assistant coach Jay Bybee, 3.  Father and son can chuck it from there two.  He is an option anytime T’ville needs a trifecta.

I am crazy about Michigan State.  I am a Tom Izzo disciple.  Every bench player needs to watch Tum Tum.  He was a starter, and with the big recruiting class, is not coming off the bench.  He is the spark plug for the Spartans.

These guys are the unsung heroes of the team.  If it wasn’t for the contributions, there would not be a winning streak.

A big thanks goes out to Carrier Mills, as they were awesome hosts of the tournament.

Link to the A Baseline View Story


Link to WSIL-TV story


Link to story from Michael “Spyder Man” Dann’s story from the Harrisburg Register Friday night.


There was not a link on the Southern’s website.  You can pick them up all week at Dollar Tree.








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