All South Football team released

The All South Football team was released this afternoon.  There are seven from Franklin County that are listed.   They are the following:


Hamilton Page – QB

Blaine Pankey RB/LB

Cade Thomas – WR/DB


Madison Allen – RB/LB

Greg Cooper – OL/LB


Lukas Gunter – WR

Bryce Jones


High school basketball schedule for today

West Frankfort Midwinter Classic

3:30 p.m.  Sesser-Valier-Waltonville vs. Herrin (girls)

5:00 p.m.  West Frankfort at Pinckneyville (girls)

6:30 Cairo vs. Marion boys

Martin Luther King Shootout at Meridian

Thompsonville plays Agape Christian from Marion at 2:00 p.m.

Click and scroll down for the full schedule

Cancellations/Makeup Dates

West Frankfort at Massac County, February 6th

Zeigler Royalton at Vienna is postponed for tonight a makeup date will be announced next week.

Benton-Murphysboro, Will be determined at a later date

Crab Orchard at Galatia, February 3rd








Rangers edge Patriots

Benton improves to 13-2, 4-0 in SIRR Ohio, with 59-56 victory

BENTON – For head coach Ron Winemiller and his 2017-18 Benton Rangers, the beginning of the season has been one of the surprises in southern Illinois boy’s basketball.

After graduating most of what turned out to be a record-breaking 31-3 squad from a year ago which produced the first ever SIRR Ohio Division championship in the programs’ history, this squads’ expectations weren’t nearly as high heading into this campaign months later.

Please click on the link for the full story from Jack Bullock of A Baseline View.

Rangerettes drop Ohio Division match up at Murphysboro

By Jim Muir

The Benton Rangerettes fell behind early and battled back but came up short in a 50-36 loss to Murphysboro in Tuesday night action.

The Rangerettes fell behind by double digits at the end of the first quarter, trailing the Lady Red Devils 18-6 after one in the SIRR Ohio Division match up. Murphysboro outscored Benton 15-9 in the second quarter to open up a 33-15 halftime lead.

Benton Coach Andy Sloan said turnovers continue to hurt his young team.

“We just had too many costly turnovers between the middle of the first quarter to the middle of the second quarter,” said Sloan. “We were down by 22 at one time and battled back and got it to 10 but couldn’t get any closer.”

Sloan said he was disappointed in his team’s defensive effort.

“We didn’t guard very well as a unit and we gave up far too many second and third opportunities to Murphysboro,” Sloan said. “The result is disappointing because I thought we were prepared and had a good game plan. We let their athleticism take over early and I think that’s what cost us the game.”

Madyson Wallace led Benton in scoring with 15 and drew praise from her coach. Wallace, a sophomore, did not play last year and is competing at the varsity level for the first time.

“I thought she (Wallace) had a good game,” Sloan said. “She is getting better each game.”

Rounding out the scoring for Benton, Addisyn Miller and Zoe Carlton each had six points, Eb Casey had five points and Kelsey Wilcox had four points.

The Rangerettes are back in action on Thursday, January 4 when they host Massac County and then hit the road for a pair of road games next week, facing Herrin on January 9 and Du Quoin on January 11.

Duster Thomas Hoops Classic Pairings/Scoreboard

Gold Pool

Game 1:  Benton 51  Pinckneyville,  41   F 

Game 2:  Trenton Wesclin 47 vs DuQuoin  44 1:30 p.m.

Game 3:  Pinckneyville 72 DuQuoin 45  3rd place

Game 4:  Benton 18 Trenton-Wesclin 15   H

Silver Pool

Game 1:   Cissna Park 40  Olney 38  F

Game 2: Jerseyville 65  Carterville 34  F

Game 3:  Olney 42 Carterville 33 F  7th place

Game 4:  Jerseyville 35  Cissina Park 27  F

Bronze Pool

Game 1:  Greenville 44  Roxanna 29  F

Game 2:  Trico 64 Elverado  31  F

Game 3:  Roxanna 60 Elverado 55 F  11th place

Game 4:  Greenville 72 Trico 51 F 9th place


Benton opens up play in the DTHC this afternoon

The Benton Rangers open up play in the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic in Pinckneyville today, facing Cissna Park at 3:30 in the auxiliary gym, and Greenville at 8:30 in Duster Thomas Gym.

Cissna Park (Enrollment 99) is between Champaign and Kankakee.  They have a record of 5-3  They have a “will play anyone” attitude.  They just came out  the St. Joseph Odgen invitational, 4-1, which is made up of 2A and 3A schools.

Benton Coach Ron Winemiller had this to say about Cissna Park. “There are two different styles of teams we play tomorrow. Cissna part is very big and relies on pounding the ball into their 6’7 Sophomores.We will have our hands full keeping them away from the basket and also not getting crushed on the offensive back board.” 

Greenville plays in the South Central Conference.  They have a record of 5-5.  They faced a couple of teams from this area in the Carlyle Kaskaskian Classic.  They were defeated by Pinckneyville 64-43, and Woodlawn 43-40.  Coach Winemiller had a few comments about Greenville coming into tonight’s game,”Greenville is a little more like us. They don’t have great team size but they are very aggressive at the defensive and offensive end. They will try to create offense with their defense.”

“Coach Cantrell and Coach Long are 2 guys I have known for a long time and we look forward to competing against them in Pinckenyville.”

The pairings for the championship round will not be available until all the pool play games are completed.  I will share them as soon as possible.

Rangers – Redbrids face off tonight

By Steve Dunford 

The girls between the two rivals took the floor last night and it was a dandy.  It was an overtime win by West Frankfort with a buzzer beater being waved off at the end of regulation.  This contest has the potential to be another barn burner.

The Benton Rangers (6-1)(0-1) and the West Frankfort Redbirds (0-5)(0-1) will face off tonight at Max Morris Gym in West Frankfort.

If you would ask people from West Frankfort what is the nicest gym in Southern Illinois they would say Max Morris. If you would ask people from Benton, they would say Rich Herrin. I love the 1950’s era bowl gyms., which I feel Duff-Kingston is the grand daddy of them all. This photo is from the Peoria Journal star a few years ago, in which they featured the top gyms south of them. All three made the list.

The Rangers picked up a nice road win at Carmi on Tuesday night, a place the Rangers have historically struggled.   It has been a week since the Redbirds have taken the floor.  They were blown out by the Harrisburg Bulldogs in their SIRR Ohio opener, a team that can make a deep run in the post season in class 2A.

West Frankfort Coach Kevin Toney had to say this about the Rangers, “This group of kids is seeking name contribution in a historic program.  Last year they was able to watch a very fine team being celebrated by the community.   They want to chart their own reputation.  They are intense, hard working and most of all good kids.  They are very well coached as well.”

Benton Coach Ron Winemiller shared some thoughts about West Frankfort tonight. He said, “The Redbirds are very big and physical. Their size and strength will cause use lots of issues. (Kyle) Hammers has developed into a very good point guard that does a very good job of running their team. (CJ) Johnson is a very good scorer that does a good job of scoring and is a very tough match up for us. (Lucas) Wolfe and (Bradlee) Croslin can score if we aren’t with them. (Keagan) Thrash is a good in out kid as well.”

The five that I look for Coach Winemiller has went with all season can step out and hit the three.  Gehrig Wynn, Parker Williams, Cade Thomas, and Hamilton Page played a lot of minutes, and all four started at one time or the other through out the year on the Sweet 16 team in Class 3A last year.

Sophomore Carson Lewis stepped in that fifth starting slot for the Rangers and played well.   All five can stroke the three.  If the Rangers are hot behind the arc, it can be a long night for the Redbirds.

C.J. Johnson’s grandpa will be calling his name a lot tonight.  If Jim is making his signature “foul is called” on Thrash and Croslin, this would be an advantage to the Rangers.

There are two that can get hot from behind the arc for West Frankfort in Lucas Wolfe and Kyle Hammers.

Both coaches have played a lot of kids early.  I would not be a bit surprised if you would see 6′ 6″ Junior Braxton Lutz log a lot of minutes for the Rangers tonight, to counteract the Redbird tall trees in the post.

I know the contests at Rich Herrin Gym were a little ugly in favor of the Rangers the last couple of years, but the ones at Max Morris were pretty tight.

I might be wrong but West Frankfort played them to 10 points last year at home, and they about sprang a major upset on the Rangers on the “Saturday night after Thanksgiving game,” two years ago.

Personally I am glad they did away with that game.  That is like North Carolina and Duke playing in their season opener.

It is Benton and West Frankfort, enough said.  Sesser-Valier and Christopher are playing tonight as well.  Thompsonville and Z-R are off tonight.  This would be two opportunities to come out and see some great HS basketball tonight.

Keep in mind that Friday is one of the busiest nights for Candy Cane Lane.  The carriage rides start as well this weekend.  This will make parking less available, and those from Benton might consider taking Poplar or St. Louis street.





Rangerettes square off against the Lady Redbrids this evening

By Steve Dunford

For the next two nights Benton and West Frankfort will be meeting at Max Morris gym.

Both teams records are pretty ugly, the Rangerettes come into the game with a 2-6 record and 1-1 in the conference.  They have a win over Herrin on their resume.

Two of their losses are against the powerhouse Nashville Hornetettes.

West Frankfort’s Max Morris gym, given the name “The Supreme Court” by the late Redbird broadcaster Bruce A. Fasol.

The Lady Redbirds are 1-7 on the season.  (Correct me if I am wrong).  They are 0-2 in the conference.  They were up at halftime against Murphysboro in their last contest.

West Frankfort Coach Matt Hampleman has this to say about tonight’s contest.  . “We have been playing pretty well for longer periods of time. We led Murphy at half down by two at end of third quarter. Missed some easy shots that turned into scores for them. We have been getting better, but are really young.” 

Benton Coach Andy Sloan had this to say about tonight’s game.   “We have been inconsistent and struggled to put  four good quarters together. “We are young, but that’s no excuse at this point. We are really going to have to do a good job of containing WF, especially (Megan) Beery and (Cali) Wright. We must get back in transition and limit them to one shot. Offensively we must be patient and get the shot we want, not the first one we see.”

If you can not make it to the game tonight, you can join Danny Czerwinski on WQRL radio, 106.3 FM, or on the internet at





Rangerettes fall to Hamilton County in non-conference matchup

By Jim Muir

A fourth quarter run by Hamilton County spelled defeat for the Benton Rangerettes in non-conference action on Monday night. The loss dropped the Rangerettes to 2-4 on the season.

Benton trailed only 35-33 heading into the final frame but was outscored by the Lady Foxes 18-7. Benton Coach Andy Sloan said a four-minute surge by Hamilton County in the decisive fourth quarter was the difference-maker.

“We executed our game plan for 28 minutes but unfortunately a high school basketball game is 32 minutes long,” said Sloan. “We trailed by two points with four minutes to play and lost by 13.”

Sloan said turnovers by his young team were costly.

“We just had too many mental errors and mistakes down the stretch that really cost us,” said Sloan. “But, we got beat by a good basketball team tonight.”

The Rangerettes were led in scoring by sophomore Madyson Wallace who scored 23 of the 40 points her team tallied. Ember Milby added seven points, Kelsey Wilcox added four and Eb Casey, Addisyn Miller and Zoe Carlton all scored two points each.

“Hopefully this will help us move forward,” Sloan said. “We want to be like Hamilton County, they are a good team. But, we’re not there yet.”

The Rangerettes are back in action on Saturday afternoon to take on the always-tough Nashville Hornettes. The Junior Varsity game will begin at 1 p.m. with the varsity matchup to follow.





High School Basketball around the region tonight

Benton (0-1) vs Hardin County (0-1)  

The Rangers fell in a 67-65 overtime loss to the Anna-Jonesboro Wildcats last night to open their season at the Goreville Invitational Tournament.

Here is a link to the story from last night’s game from Jim Muir.

Rangers drop season opener to AJ in overtime

Hardin County out of the Greater Egyptian Conference is featured by 6′ 6″ three year starter Jamison Hicks in the middle, 6′ 1″ G-F Hunter Cullom, 5′ 10″ PG Jaron Austin, and 6′ 2″ forward Gabe Fowler.  There could be a cast of four that will fill the fifth slot in the starting lineup for the Cougars tonight.

Hardin County Coach Rodney Lane stated that, “This is not the most athletic bunch that I’ve had but this is my favorite bunch.”

The Cougars, by far, play the toughest schedule in the GEC.  Along with this week at Goreville, they play in the Eldorado Holiday Tournament, have a home and home with Crittenden County KY, and also face Kentucky schools Union County and Webster County.  Webster Co., two years back, decimated the field at Eldorado.

I have the Cougars finishing third in the GEC, and Jack Bullock has the Cougars slated to finish fourth.

Here is the link to the box score from last night’s  35-25 loss by the Cougars to the Hamilton County Foxes from Jack Bullock of A Baseline view.

Thompsonville (1-2) at Pope County (3-2)  

After the Tigers pulled off a barn burner win against New Athens, their fortunes were not very good last week at Christopher as they were blown out by Webber Township and Wayne City.

The Pirates had a good week at Crab Orchard with a nice 18 point win over Elverado, and took the hosts down to the wire for a two point loss.

Both teams open Greater Egyptian Conference play tonight in Golconda.

Coach Bill Simmons will be going with 6′ 6″ Josh Floyd in the middle.  Floyd has been a three year starter since he transferred from Massac County.  In the paint with Floyd will be 6′ 3″ Cole Blankenship, and 6′ 1″ Nick Walker.

In the back-court will be three interchangeable guards that can pop the three in 5′ 11″ Sebastian Fasolo, and Matthew Davis and Jackson Eddington, both at 5′ 8″

When I asked Coach Simmons how he thought the season would go a couple of weeks ago, he said,  “I hope maybe we can win a conference game.  I know it is between us and Carrier Mills but Keil (Peebles) will out coach me.”  The veteran coach who came out of retirement to teach and coach at the Golconda school, always gives you the same song and dance that Joe Hosman gives and Bob Dallas used to by saying they would be lucky to win five ball games and ends up winning 15-20.

I was able to talk to Coach Simmons at halftime of the T’ville/Webber game.  He says, “If Pete (Gordon) comes out in that 3-2, we will have a tough time passing around 11 (Reed Raubach) and 21 (Anthoney Darge).   If we get the ball inside past them, I like our chances.”

Both Jack Bullock and I had Thompsonville finishing second in the GEC, and Pope County in the middle of the pack.


Harrisburg at West Frankfort

Herrin at Benton


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