Benton finishes their season 25-6 falling to Marion in the Carbondale Class 3A regional

CARBONDALE — It’s probably only fitting that longtime South Seven Conference rivals from Marion and Carbondale will meet up for a regional championship on Friday.

Marion defeated Benton, 77-53, in the nightcap. Carbondale held off Massac County for a 54-47 win in the early game.

“I thought our seniors were really locked in and ready to play,” said Marion coach Gus Gillespie. “(Saddoris) had a big night. He was ready to play and distribute the basketball. Benton is awfully hard to guard. They can spread you out, and they can all shoot it. Our kids had to guard as hard as they’ve had to because I was very concerned about Benton’s kids.”

Benton was led by Gehrig Wynn with 20, and Parker Williams had 17 on the night.  They end the season with a 25-6 record and capturing back-to-back SIRR Ohio crowns.

Here is a link to the story from Scott Mees of the The Southern Illinoisan.



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.


Rangers Draw the Marion Wildcats in first round of the Carbondale Class 3A regional

BLOOMINGTON – The Benton Rangers will face the Marion Wildcats on Tuesday February 27, at 7:30 P.M in the first round of the Carbondale Class 3A Regional.  Below are the pairings for the Centralia Sectional.

Centralia (H.S.) Sectional (map)

Manager: Lee Bennett

Phone: 618-532-7636, Fax: 618-532-9286


Tue., Mar. 6

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: Winner Waterloo (H.S.) Regional vs. Winner Carbondale (H.S.) Regional

Wed., Mar. 7

Game 2 at 7:00 pm: Winner Mt. Vernon (H.S.) Regional vs. Winner Highland Regional

Fri., Mar. 9

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

Carbondale (H.S.) Regional (map)

Manager: Mark Albertini

Phone: 618-457-3371 x239, Fax: 618-351-9603


Mon., Feb. 26

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: (8) Metropolis (Massac County) vs. (10) Carterville

Tue., Feb. 27

Game 2 at 6:00 pm: (2) Carbondale (H.S.) vs. Winner Game 1

Game 3 at 7:30 pm: (3) Benton vs. (5) Marion (H.S.)

Fri., Mar. 2

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

Mt. Vernon (H.S.) Regional (map)

Manager: Doug Creel

Phone: 618-231-3226, Fax: 618-246-1765


Mon., Feb. 26

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: (7) Mt. Vernon (H.S.) vs. (9) Herrin (H.S.)

Tue., Feb. 27

Game 2 at 7:00 pm: (1) Centralia (H.S.) vs. Winner Game 1

Wed., Feb. 28

Game 3 at 7:00 pm: (4) Murphysboro vs. (6) Salem

Fri., Mar. 2

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

Waterloo (H.S.) Regional (map)

Manager: Mitchell North

Phone: 618-939-3455, Fax: 618-939-1373


Mon., Feb. 26

Game 1 at 6:00 pm: (7) Mascoutah vs. (10) Freeburg

Game 2 at 7:30 pm: (5) Columbia vs. (12) Waterloo (H.S.)

Tue., Feb. 27

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

Wed., Feb. 28

Game 4 at 7:00 pm: (4) Bethalto (Civic Memorial) vs. Winner Game 2

Fri., Mar. 2

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

Highland Regional (map)

Manager: Caleb Houchins

Phone: 618-654-7131, Fax: 618-654-6548


Mon., Feb. 26

Game 1 at 6:00 pm: (8) Breese (Mater Dei) vs. (9) Breese (Central)

Game 2 at 7:30 pm: (6) Cahokia (H.S.) vs. (11) Troy (Triad)

Tue., Feb. 27

Game 3 at 7:00 pm: (2) East St. Louis (Sr.) vs. Winner Game 1

Wed., Feb. 28

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

Fri., Mar. 2

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

Rangers #3 seed in the Boys Class 3A Carbondale/Centralia Sub sectional

Centralia (H.S.) Sectional (22T) (map)

Manager: Lee Bennett

Phone: 618-532-7636, Fax: 618-532-9286


Sub-Sectional A

1. Alton (Marquette)

2. East St. Louis (Sr.)

#3. Highland

4. Bethalto (Civic Memorial)

5. Columbia

6. Cahokia (H.S.)

7. Mascoutah

8. Breese (Mater Dei)

9. Breese (Central)

10. Freeburg

11. Troy (Triad)

#12. Waterloo (H.S.)

Sub-Sectional B

1. Centralia (H.S.)

#2. Carbondale (H.S.)

3. Benton

4. Murphysboro

5. Marion (H.S.)

6. Salem

#7. Mt. Vernon (H.S.)

8. Metropolis (Massac County)

9. Herrin (H.S.)

10. Carterville

Link for state wide seedings

Boys Basketball | Benton clinches share of SIRR Ohio

HARRISBURG — Benton clinched a share of the SIRR Ohio with a 58-51 win at Harrisburg Friday night behind 20 points from Gehrig Wynn.

Wynn, who knocked down six free throws in the final quarter, was one of four Rangers to score in double figures. Parker Williams added 13 points while Hamilton Page scored 12. Carson Lewis nailed three triples and finished with 11 points for Benton (23-3, 8-0 SIRR Ohio).

The Rangers, who won the league last winter, can earn an outright championship with a victory tonight in Metropolis.

“It feels good, but at the same time we talked to our guys in the locker room that this is nice, but this is just one step closer to the goal that we had. The goal that we had was to be a conference champion and we can accomplish that at Massac.”

Please click on the link for the full story from Jeffrey Drake of the Southern Illinoisan.


Rangers double up West Frankfort

By Steve Dunford 

Cade Thomas #3 is getting ready to be picked up by C.J. Johnson #21 on help side defense for the Redbirds. (BCHS Athletic Director Ryan Miller photo)

BENTON –  The Benton Rangers race out to a 19-9 first quarter lead , led all 32, and never looked back as the Benton Rangers defeated the West Frankfort Redbirds tonight 62-31 at Rich Herrin Gym.

As close as the game ever was was 6-5 on a three pointer by CJ Johnson who Tied Benton’s Parker Williams for a game high 19 points.

Along with Williams’ 19, Gehrig Wynn, and Hamilton Page added 11, Karson Lewis nine Cade Thomas six, Mason Morris three, Braxton Lutz and Brett Bonenberger added a bucket a piece for the Rangers.

Johnson’s 19 carried most of the offensive load for the Redbirds, as Keagan Thrash had five, Lucas Wolfe three,  Kyle Hammers and Bradlee Croslin had two for the Redbirds.

Benton improves to (21-3) and  in the drivers seat for another SIRR Ohio Division crown at 7-0.  They will be in action tomorrow in the Rich Herrin Classic as they face the Staunton Bulldogs (12-7).

The Bulldogs dropped to (2-4) in the very tough South Central Conference, as they fell to the Vandalia Vandals 61-50 this evening.

The Redbirds fall to (4-17) on the season, and (0-6) in the conference.

Joe Hosman and his Massac County Patriots  come calling to Max Morris Gym on Tuesday night, in a makeup contest.    Massac fell on the road tonight to the Harrisburg Bulldogs, 66-47.  Their record is (8-2) and (0-5) in the River-to-River.

Rangers/Redbirds renew their rivalry tonight at Rich Herrin Gym

By Steve Dunford 

BENTON –  The first time Benton and West Frankfort met was early on in the season, December 15th.  The Rangers barely escaped Max Morris Gym with a 49-45 win.

Since that point, the Rangers and Redbirds have been going in opposite directions.  The Rangers come into tonight’s game with a 20-3 record, 6-0 in the SIRR Ohio, as they are in the driver’s seat to win a second consecutive River-to-River title.

The Rangers won a 35-27 grinder against the Carterville Lions last Saturday night.

The Redbirds come in with a 4-16 mark and 0-5 in the conference .   Along with their last game with Benton, WF has went down to the wire twice with Anna-Jonesboro twice, Harrisburg, and fell to the fourth ranked team in the stae in Class 2A Eldorado who is 22-1 on the season. \

Benton Coach Ron Winemiller had this to say about tonight’s matchup with West Frankfort.    Benton/West Frankfort regardless of the records it is an old school rivalry game. (C.J. Johnson is one of the best players in our conference and we will have to do a good job on him.”

“Thrash and Hammers are capable of big games as well. We have to be able to put the ball in the basket some to be able to put pressure on them at the defensive end. We are looking forward to tonight.”

West Frankfort Kevin Toney had this to say about heading to Benton tonight.  “Everyone of the five they put on the floor can handle the ball, they can shoot, and capable of stepping up and having a 20 point night as several have this year.  They are dangerous defensively.  We are going to have to play with a lot of intensity tonight to compete.”  

The only strength West Frankfort has over Benton is their inside game.  I think Bradlee Croslin will be a big X Factor in tonight’s game.  No one for the Rangers can match up to his size or strength.

Whoever guards C.J Johnson for the Rangers will be prone to get into foul trouble.  I don’t think you will see either coach open up in a zone tonight.  Look for Ron Winemiller to switch off who guards him.

Kyle Hammers and whoever guards him will be a good matchup.

I cant remember who matched up at WF, I think you will see Keagan Thrash and Hamilton Page on each other tonight.

I look for Lucas Wolfe and Gehrig Wynn to match up with each other.

I don’t look for a lot of points to be put up tonight, I look for it to be a defensive battle.  Here are the two factors that going into tonight’s game that the reason I am going with the Rangers as the favorites.

First Benton takes much better care of the basketball. The Redbirds have coughed it up too many times, especially too many unforced turnovers.

The Rangers are nearly automatic from the free throw line.  There have been nights the Redbirds have been good, but there have been some games West Frankfort has flat out struggled.

Both teams will tip it up around 7:45 p.m. tonight.


Rangerettes defeat Murphy on senior night for Eb Casey

By Steve Dunford 

BENTON – Eb Casey had a big senior night, scoring 20 on four threes and 8-10 from the Free Throw line as the Rangerettes defeated the Murphysboro Lady Devils 51-35 last night at Rich Herrin Gym.

Rangerette Coach Andy Sloan had this to say on the teams Facebook page about Casey.  “There is one special player who has meant a ton to our program over the last four years. Two Regional titles, one conference title, and 84 career wins and counting, From a little freshman, to a little senior, she has grown up a lot and done some great things, experienced a lot of success, and knows how to win. She has displayed toughness, grit, and guts throughout her career.”

Along with Casey’s 20, Addison Miller added 13 and Ember Milby eight.  Kayla Walker led Murphy with 17.

The Rangerettes will face Carterville at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon as part of the Rich Herrin Classic.

Box Score

BENTON (51)  Casey 0 4 8-10 20, Miller 1 3 2-6 13, Milby 2 0 4-4 8, Carlton 2 0 0-0 4, Wallace 1 0 1-2 , Johnson 1 0 1-2 3

MURPHYSBORO (35)  Walker 4 0 9-13 17, Williams 4 0 0-0 8, Kerner 2 0 1-3 5, Hibbler-Johnson 1 0 0-2 0, Cigranovich 0 0 1-2 1

Score By Quarters

BENTON    9 – 18 – 11 – 13  –  51

MURPHYSBORO  8 – 7 -6 -14  –  35


Rangers pick up votes in the latest Class 3A AP basketball poll

Here are the Southern Illinois teams that are ranked in the latest AP poll

CLASS 4A:  Belleville West third

CLASS 3A:   Centrailia eighth, Carbondale and Benton receiving votes

CLASS 2A:  Pinckneyville third, Eldorado 4th, Effingham St. Anthony receiving votes

CLASS 1A:  Cairo tenth, with Okawville receiving votes

Here is a link to the full poll

Hamilton Page had ice in the veins, as the Rangers escape Herrin with an OT win.

Hamilton Page fights through a pic from Herrin’s Brandon Anthony (Thank you Cindy Page)

HERRIN -Hamilton Page scored the last five points, including the tie-breaking free throws with 7.4 seconds left Friday night, as the Rangers eked out a 43-41 decision in Memorial Gym.

“He’s one of those guys who’s been through the wars before,” Benton coach Ron Winemiller told The Southen abot Page. “Quarterback in football, shortstop in baseball … he’s been through a few pressure situations.”

“They’re a much-improved team from when we saw them earlier this year,” Winemiller said of Herrin.

Please read the full story by clicking on the link from Bucky Dent of The Southern.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News