Tucker, McCowen, Wilderman and Hoppers Black Diamond All Conference


Lindsey Holhubner Vienna MVP
Paige Tucker Sesser-Valier-Waltonville Captain
Haleigh Keeling Vienna
Sami McCowen Sesser-Valier-Waltonville
Lexi King Goreville
Payton Sopczak Goreville
Courtney Hoppers Christopher
Destiny Williams Chester
Brooke Wilderman Sesser-Valier-Waltonville
Alyssa Jones Vienna
Juhle Prange Trico

Winchester, L. Gunter, Launius, Curry, and Young Black Diamond All Conference


Braden Webb Goreville MVP
Tyler Winchester Sesser-Valier Captain
Keith Kiner Chester
Jared Curry Christopher
Bradley Young Christopher  
Lukas Gunter Sesser-Valier
Jared Meyerhoff Trico
Tanner Dunn Goreville
Ian Reith Chester
Peyton Massey Goreville
Preston Launius Sesser-Valier


Braden Attebury Eldorado MVP
Travis Black Carmi Captain
Jake Traxler Eldorado
Kobi Dagg Fairfield
Justin Wallace Edwards Co.
Ray May Eldorado
Jake Whipple Hamilton Co.
Justin Lamp Carmi
Cade Schnicker Edwards Co.
John Meredith Eldorado

Four from Franklin County advance to the Country Financial Three Point Showdown

Three Franklin County seniors will get to slip on their uniforms one more time shooting in the sectional finials of the Country Financial Three Point Showdown.

West Frankfort Seniors Lucas Wolfe and Brendan Russell will represent the Redbirds at the Trenton-Wesclin Class 2A Sectional.

Jared Curry, along with freshman Kye Garver, will be shooting for the Christopher Bearcats at the Hardin County Class 1A Sectional.

The contest starts at 5:00 p.m. state-wide -sd

Christopher falls to Webber in the NCOE Regional Championship game

By Steve Dunford 

NORRIS CITY –  Defense and free throw shooting wins championships. Webber Township executed at the stripe and getting in Christopher’s grill.  They earned the right to play Tuesday night in the Hardin County sectional by defeating Christopher 59-49,

Webber Township was was 14-20 from the line and 8-10 down the stretch.  Christopher was uncharacteristically awful, shooting 8-18 at the line.

Trojan coach Brad Beatty made a defensive adjustment in the second half, going from a box in one in the first half, switching off defenders on Jared Curry, to going man to man.

Curry was lighting it up in the first half with 14 points and several assists.  Coach Beatty put Dylan Stratton on Curry, and he shut him down.  Charles Neal turned in a great defensive performance on Bradley Young.  This resulted in the Bearcats losing their composure.

Neal owned the game on both ends of the floor as he had a game high 26.

Webber runs out to a 5-0 lead by Brody Mount and Charles Neal.  Curry was shooting the Bearcats back in it, with three trifectas in the quarter.  Both teams were knotted at 13 after one.

Bradley Young scores seven of his 14 points in a two minute stretch.  With a dunk, a three and and nearly picked up his second dunk, but was altered by the Webber defense.

The Bearcats were up 24-17 at that point.  The could have put Webber away, but their Achilles heel, free throws bit them.  Christopher had a 28-22 lead at halftime.

Webber came out chipping away in the second half.  The Trojans tie it up at 33 around the three minute mark as Neal converts on the “deuce and the abuse” to tie it up at 33.  That was the beginning of a 13-0 run by Webber as they had a 41-33 lead at the end of three quarters.

The Bearcats have their one last gasp as they cut the Webber lead to four from back to back buckets from Jared Curry and Bryce Pratt.  Webber goes on a 6-0 and extends the lead to 10. Pratt scores four straight points on a 15 footer and converts on two free throws to cut the Webber lead to 49-43 with a little over two minutes to go.

Stratton gets a run out to extend the Trojan lead to eight.  Someone on the Webber bench gets excited, throws a towel up in the air and it lands on the floor.  One of the officials gave a technical to the to their bench.

Starting this year, you can give the bench an official warning written in the score-book.  Should one been given there, yes.  But to “T” someone up for that in a close regional championship game, unreal.

Christopher could not convert on their good fortunes.  Pratt went to the line and missed both free throws, which he has been money all year.  The Bearcats cough it up on the next possession.

As said earlier, Webber made their free throws down the stretch, and coach Beatty had a do not foul philosophy the rest of the way, as there was celebrating in the streets in Bluford last night.

The Bearcats end their season at 20-9.   Along with Curry’s 21 and Young’s 14, Bryce Pratt had nine points.

Webber Township improves to 20-8 on the season.  They will face the Goreville Blackcats in the first round of the Hardin County Class 1A Regional, Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.

Along With Neal’s 26, Stratton added 15, and Brody Mount added nine.

Box Score

WEBBER TOWNSHIP (59) – Neal  7 1 9-11 26, Stratton  4 1 4-8 15,  Mount  4 0 1-1 9,  Hart 1 1 0-0 5,  Davis 1 0 0-0 2, Adcock 1 0 0-0 2 Taylor 0 0 0-0 0

CHRISTOPHER (49) –  Curry  3 4 4-6 21, Young 5 1 1-3 14, Pratt 3 0 3-5 9,  Hawkins 2 0 0-2 4,  Motsinger  0 0 1-2 1, Garver 0 0 0-0 0, Saeger 0 0 0-0 0

Score By Quarters

WEBBER TOWNSHIP (20-8)  13- 9 -15 – 22  –  59

CHRISTOPHER (20-9)  13 – 15 – 5 – 17  –  49

Representatives of Franklin County Schools in the Country Financial 3 pt. showdown.

Zeigler-Royalton Regional


Recent Z-R grad Brendan Whiting in the showdown last year at the NCOE Sectional.

Lukas Gunter

Tyler Winchester

Preston Launius

Joshua Gunter


Reed Raubach

Trey Bybee

Grady Furlow

Peyton Roberts


Trevor Mills

Landon Bate

Dalton Humphrey

Noah Leeper

Johnston City Regional


Ethan Culley

Josh Melvin

Lucas Wolfe

Brendan Russell

Norris City Regional


Jared Curry

Gabriel Motsinger

Ty Garver

Braden Ingoldsby



Christopher punched their ticket to the NCOE regional title game by defeating the hosts

By Steve Dunford 

NORRIS CITY –  In the second half of the season, several teams have discovered the way to beat the high octane offense of the NCOE fighting Cardinals is to slow the ball down and turn it into a half court game.  Hamilton County and Thompsonville were very successful at this.

Christopher outscored the fighting Cardinals 28-12 in the second half Tuesday night,  en route to a 58-32 win.   They punched their ticket to the regional championship game of the Norris City Regional against Webber Township tonight at 7:00 p.m.

The philosophy of NCOE Coach Evan Wylie is to shoot 80 shots a game, and 40 threes, if you get the ball across half court, they will give up an uncontested layup.

The gym at Norris City. The best 1A facility in the south, in my opinion. Thank you Andrew Dunford.

Coach Eric Stallman,  tried running and gunning with the Fighting Cardinals, and Bearcats were only up 20-17 after one.

The Bearcats, uncharacteristically, slowed down the tempo and took a 30-20 halftime lead.

In the third the Fighting Cardinals did not take care of the basketball, resulting in  several Christopher run-outs.  The exclamation point at the end of the quarter were two Bradley Young dunks.  You can see the video of one, on the website’s Facebook Page.  They put the game away, leading 50-28 after three.

The Bearcats took the air out of the ball in the fourth, and the JV teams finished it up for both teams in the last three minutes.

Christopher picked up their 20th win on the season, coupled with eight losses.  Game time for the championship game is 7:00 PM.

Jared Curry had a game high 21 points and Bradley Young added 15 for the win.

Hats off to the Bearcat defense for shutting out sharpshooters Evan Healey and Jack Riggs from behind the arc.

Norris-City-Omaha-Enfield ended the season  at 9-17  They were led in scoring by Jeb Baumgart and Brandon Skaggs with nine points each.

Box Score

NCOE (32) Healy 1 1-2 3, Riggs 0 1-2 1, Skaggs 4 0-0 9, T. Money 0 0-1 0, Richardson 1 0-0 3, Simmons 1 0-0 3, O’Neal 1 1-2 4, Baumgart 3 3-4 9. Brown 0 0 0-0 0, Dauby 0 0 0-0 0, H. Money 0 0 0-0 0, Travelstead 0 0 0-0 0, Melton 0 0 0-0 0,  Team Totals: 11 6-11 32

Christopher (58) Motsinger 2 2-5 6, Young 7 0-0 15, Pratt 3 0-0 6, Hawkins 5 0-0 10, Curry 9 3-3 21, Saeger 0 0 0-0 0, Garver 0 0 0-0 0, Fletcher 0 0 0-0 0, Ingoldsby 0 0 0-0 0, Dorris 0 0 0-0 0, Blankenship 0 0 0-0 0, Weeks 0 0 0-0 0  Team Totals: 26 5-8 58

Three Pointers: NCOE: 4 (Skaggs 1, Richardson 1, Simmons 1, O’Neal 1) Christopher: 1 (Young 1) Fouls NCOE: 11. Christopher 13

NCOE  (9-17)  “17”3″8″4″ “32

Christopher (20-8)  “20”10″20″8″ “58

Saluki Men’s Basketball hosts first-place Loyola on Senior Night

By Tom Weber, siusalukis.com

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois hosts Loyola on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a key Missouri Valley Conference showdown at SIU Arena. The Ramblers have already clinched at least a share of their first-ever MVC regular-season title. The Salukis, though, could still earn a piece of the title if they win their last two regular-season games and Loyola loses their last two games. SIU has not won a conference title since 2007.

Southern Illinois is 7-3 versus Loyola since the Ramblers joined the league in 2014, including a 3-1 mark at SIU Arena. Loyola head coach Porter Moser is 3-15 lifetime against SIU between his stops at Loyola and Illinois State. SIU G Armon Fletcher is a career 54 percent shooter in six games against Loyola, including 7-of-14 from 3-point.

In the first meeting this season between the teams on Jan. 17 in Chicago, Loyola shot 56 percent from the field, never trailed, and led by double digits the entire second half in a 79-65 win over SIU. Sean Lloyd led Southern with 21 points, but SIU made just 2-of-13 from 3-point range and turned the ball over 20 times. Donte Ingram led Loyola with 25 points.

Harrisburg seinoir Tyler Spmithpeters appearing in his final game at SIU arena.

SIU has won seven-straight home games, its longest home streak since winning nine-straight in 2014. SIU can finish anywhere from 1st to 3rd in the MVC standings. The highest SIU has finished in the last 10 years is 3rd (2008 and 2017). The last time SIU won 11 games in conference play was 2016. The last time it won more than 11 was in 2007 (15).

The team will recognize three senior players during pregame ceremonies — guard Tyler Smithpeters, forward Jonathan Wiley and forward John GardnerBarry Hinson has never lost on Senior Day as a college head coach (16-0).

Head coach Barry Hinson met with the media on Tuesday.

Preview tomorrow’s matchup vs. Loyola.
I think there’s a lot of hot teams in the league right now. We’re certainly one of them, but the hottest team without question is Loyola. They’ve won 12 of their last 13. There’s 13 statistical categories I look at before I go into a game, and they lead nine of those 13 statistical categories against us. What I’m looking for, we’re going to have to really play well, we know that. To be honest, what a great position to be in. We could be in a lot different positions. Our basketball team has put us in a position to possibly share a conference championship, and that was our goal to start the season, regardless of what’s happened to this team, regardless of the adversity we’ve gone through. Until they ship that trophy to Chicago, we’re going to continue to play for it.

How much closer are you to getting to playing your best ball?
I was disappointed — I think we have some individuals who can play much better than what they’re playing. We’ve battled some sickness. I think Kavion (Pippen) will be much healthier going into this game. He’s our leading rebounder and he has one rebound in the last two games. We’ve got to get through that. I am convinced and I know Marcus Bartley can play better than what he played at Indiana State. He’s been in foul trouble the past few games. People are attacking him to get him out of the game. I think when I say our best basketball is ahead of us, I believe that. It’s not coach-speak, it’s not media talk. I don’t think we’ve played our best basketball yet and I believe in what these guys can do.

Pippen has to have a great game to be the offset for what (Cameron) Krutwig can do.
I think he’ll respond well. He always has responded to most of his challenges. I think the reason we haven’t seen the real Kavion is because he had the flu. I’m sorry, it’s a 7-to-14 day period. I had the flu and felt bad for 17 days. Kids are more resilient than we are as adults. I think that has a lot to do with it. I think there’s five key matchups. Can we stop Krutwig and can we stop four guys on the perimeter? That’s going to be a challenge for us. When you have five guys averaging double figures, there’s a chance you’re going to win a lot of ballgames and they’ve won 23 of them.

Is there anything you’ll say to motivate them tomorrow before the game or are they just motivated by themselves?
There won’t be any Knute Rockne speeches tomorrow. This group is a low-key group, they’re not a rah-rah group. No, this is what we’ve come here to do. We’re not going to change anything we do. We’re certainly going to stay the course of what we’ve done all year long. Our goal yesterday was to get better, our goal today is to get better, our goal tomorrow night is to win the ballgame. These guys, I just don’t think they’re going to respond to rah-rah.

What’s it like to see Jonathan Wiley and Tyler Smithpeters go through Senior Night?
I’ve never hidden my emotions on Senior Night. I’ve always told you guys the two most important games of the year you play are the conference championship tournament game and Senior Night. That’s how I’ve always felt. It will be a very emotional night for a lot of people, especially the head coach and his seniors. Tyler Smithpeters has meant so much to this university, to our athletic program and to our region. He comes from a basketball tradition-rich family. This is going to be the last Smithpeters to have an impact for quite some time until I coach Tyler’s sons.

How much do you look back at the last game vs. Loyola versus the recent games?
We do both. These guys beat us worse than anybody in the league. It’s our worst loss in the league. It was a bad game at Loyola, we didn’t play well, and they had a lot to do with it. I go back, when you put us head-up against Loyola, we can’t just have an average game because we’re at home and win, we’re going to have to play our best basketball of the year to beat these guys. This is a team that won at Florida and Florida is a top 20 team. We refer to the past but we focus on the present.

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.


Hardin County Class 1A Boys Basketball Sectional parings

Hardin County Sectional

Tue., Feb. 27

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: Winner Norris City (N.C.-Omaha-Enfield) Regional vs. Winner Mounds (Meridian) Regional

Wed., Feb. 28

Game 2 at 7:00 pm: Winner Junction (Gallatin County) Regional vs. Winner Zeigler (Z.-Royalton) Regional

Fri., Mar. 2

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

Zeigler-Royalton Regional

.Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: (7) Thompsonville vs. (8) Elkville (Elverado)

Tue., Feb. 20

Game 2 at 6:00 pm: (3) Woodlawn vs. (12) Zeigler (Z.-Royalton)

Game 3 at 7:30 pm: (6) Steeleville vs. (11) Waltonville

Wed., Feb. 21

Game 4 at 6:00 pm: (2) Sesser (S.-Valier) vs. Winner Game 1

Game 5 at 7:30 pm: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

Fri., Feb. 23

Game 6 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5


Norris City Omaha-Enfield Regional

Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 6:00 pm: (9) Galatia vs. (10) Norris City (N.C.-Omaha-Enfield)

Game 2 at 7:30 pm: (5) Wayne City vs. (13) Grayville

Tue., Feb. 20

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

Wed., Feb. 21

Game 4 at 7:00 pm: (4) Bluford (Webber) vs. Winner Game 2

Fri., Feb. 23

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


Gallatin County Regional

Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: (6) Marion (Crab Orchard) vs. (7) Elizabethtown (Hardin County)

Tue., Feb. 20

Game 2 at 6:00 pm: (4) Cobden vs. (12) Carrier Mills (C.M.-Stonefort)

Game 3 at 7:30 pm: (5) Junction (Gallatin County) vs. (8) Golconda (Pope County)

Wed., Feb. 21

Game 4 at 6:00 pm: (1) Cairo vs. Winner Game 1

Game 5 at 7:30 pm: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

Fri., Feb. 23

Game 6 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Meridian Regional

Mon., Feb. 19

Game 1 at 7:00 pm: (10) Tamms (Egyptian) vs. (11) Joppa (J.-Maple Grove)

Tue., Feb. 20

Game 2 at 6:00 pm: (3) Goreville vs. (14) Dongola

Game 3 at 7:30 pm: (9) Ullin (Century) vs. (13) Wolf Lake (Shawnee)

Wed., Feb. 21

Game 4 at 6:00 pm: (2) Mounds (Meridian) vs. Winner Game 1

Game 5 at 7:30 pm: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3

Fri., Feb. 23

Game 6 at 7:00 pm: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5


Hardin County Class 1A Boys Basketball Sectional seedings

NOCE/ZR Sub Sectional

1. Christopher

2. Sesser (S.-Valier)

3. Woodlawn

4. Bluford (Webber)

5. Wayne City

6. Steeleville

7. Thompsonville

8. Elkville (Elverado)

9. Galatia

#10. Norris City (N.C.-Omaha-Enfield)

11. Waltonville

#12. Zeigler (Z.-Royalton)

13. Grayville

Meridian/Gallatin County Sub Sectional

1. Cairo

#2. Mounds (Meridian)

3. Goreville

4. Cobden

#5. Junction (Gallatin County)

6. Marion (Crab Orchard)

7. Elizabethtown (Hardin County)

8. Golconda (Pope County)

9. Ullin (Century)

10. Tamms (Egyptian)

11. Joppa (J.-Maple Grove)

12. Carrier Mills (C.M.-Stonefort)

13. Wolf Lake (Shawnee)

14. Dongola

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News