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



ROAD CLOSED ~ Murphysboro High School, 16th Street Entrance/Exit

From Len Novara, Murphysboro High School Athletic Director 

MUPRHYSBORO – Please be advised, the Murphysboro High School 16th Street Entrance/Exit (Harry Ray Drive) is currently CLOSED!   It is expected to be closed during and/or through the upcoming 41st Annual MHS Sophomore Boys Basketball Tournament, in which Sesser-Valier, Thompsonville, and West Frankfort Participate in.



Sesser-Valier defeats Thompsonville to earn right to the Z-R Regional championship game

ZEIGLER –  Tyler Winchester popped five three pointers in the first ten minutes of the game, scoring a game high 19 points, as Sesser Valier beat Thompsonville 50-44 last night at the Zeigler-Royalton Class 1A Regional.

Sesser-Valier improves to 19-11 on the season, and advances to the championship game to face the Woodlawn Cardinals, winners over the Steeleville, 66-58 last night.

Lukas Gunter also added 15 points, and Peyton Rock added 10.

Anthony Darge had a game high 14 and Cobin Fitch added 12.

The game had a lot of media coverage last night.  Below are links to stories from Geary Dentison of the Southern and Jack Bullock of A Baseline View.  A box score is included in both stories.

I do not believe in redundancy.   I am going to take a different approach.  I will be sharing my take shortly.

Parr breaks Redbirds heart … A-J last second win

JOHNSTON CITY-  The Redbirds stormed back from a ten point deficit to take the lead late in the game.  Anna-Jonesboro’s Jake Parr converts on a conventional three point play as, A-J advances the Championship game of the Johnston City regional with  a 59-57 win.

C.J. Johnson led the Redbirds with 20 and Lucas Wolfe added 12.  Please click on the link for the full story from Jack Bullock of A Baseline View.

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

By Tom Weber,

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.

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

Rangerettes fall to Carbondale in Mt. Vernon Class 3A Regional

MT. VERNON –  Carbondale withstood two Benton runs in the second and fourth quarters to hold off the Rangerettes, 47-39, and advance to the finals of the Mount Vernon 3A girls basketball regionals Wednesday.

“We got their lead down to three in second and to four in the fourth, but just couldn’t get over the hump,” said Benton coach Andy Sloan. “Obviously we’re not a real big team so we’re a jump shooting team and when we don’t hit many shots we don’t look very good. I was a little worried about the nerves with two kids who have never started in a regional before, but after the first quarter everything was fine. It just came down to they were better than us tonight and they deserved to win. We just made too many mistakes.”

Mady Wallace led Benton in scoring with twelve points on the night, Ember Milby 11, and Eb Casey had eight in her last game in a Rangerette uniform.

Please click on the link below for the full story from Geary Dentison of the Southern Illinoisan.



Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament pairings released

IHSA Board of Directors Updates Sanctioning Policy

BLOOMINGTON – The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting at the IHSA office in Bloomington on Monday, February 12, 2018, where the Board announced a significant change to the IHSA Sanctioning Policy (Policy 8).

The Board added new language to Policy 8 that prohibits IHSA schools from hosting events/tournaments that include junior high teams, as well as non-high school teams (i.e, a high school team that is not a member of its state high school association). Per the Policy 8 change, the IHSA will no longer approve sanctioning for its member schools to host events which feature non-high school teams.

The new Policy 8 language reads: “In order for an event to receive sanctioning in Illinois all invited and participating schools in the event must be member schools of their high school state association or approved for competition by their respective high school state association. If any listed school does not receive approval the event will be denied by the IHSA. Any non-high school team cannot be involved in any respect with a sanctioned event.”

“We believe this policy update makes a strong statement about the importance of education-based athletics at the high school level,” said Anderson. “The growing integration of junior high games within high school events has the potential to create, or at very least create the perception of, issues with the IHSA’s recruitment by-laws. We believe it is in the best interest of both groups to maintain separate events.”

Previously, an IHSA school could host a sanctioned tournament or event with a non-high school team (junior high or high schools that are not members of their state high school associations) as long as the competing IHSA schools did not play against those teams.

“To not have this policy seems counterintuitive,” said Anderson. “High school sports are built on community and we believe our schools should compete against, and alongside, like-minded teams. We want the events our schools host to be built on those merits, not on barnstorming all-star teams comprised from players throughout a state or from around the country.”


1. The Board voted to approve Huddle/GoFan as the official digital ticketing partner of IHSA State Series and State Championship events.

2. The Board approved a recommendation to set its meetings dates for the 2018-19 school year:
August 20, 2018
September 10, 2018
October 10, 2018
December 10, 2018
January 9, 2019
February 11, 2019
March 16, 2019
April 16, 2019
June 10, 2019


1. The Board approved the consent items from the Advisory Committees in the following sports & activities: Boys/Girls Cross Country, Football, Boys/Girls Golf, Boys/Girls Tennis, Boys/Girls Volleyball, Sportsmanship.

Consent items are recommendations that received approval from the sport/activity advisory committee, the Athletic Administrators Advisory Committee and the IHSA staff.

Non-consent items are recommendations from sport or activity committees that did not receive a majority vote from the Athletic Advisory Committee or IHSA staff.

No Non-consent item was/were approved.

Some consent items of note include:
Cross Country
1. State Series roster size increased from 12 to 14 runners.

Boys Volleyball
1. Friday State Final schedule match times adjusted to Match 1: 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM.

No appeals


At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken. The following is a report of those items from the February 12, 2018, agenda:
1. The Board discussed the Legislative Commission voting from the 2017 meetings.

2. The Board discussed Head Strong Concussion Insurance. The IHSA will work to present the concussion insurance program options to member schools.

3. The Executive Director informed the Board that two schools have been suspended from membership for failure to attend an IHSA Town Hall meeting this year or any of the subsequent make-up meetings. Chicago (ACE Tech Charter) and Chicago (Young Women’s Leadership) have been suspended until January 18, 2019.

4. IHSA staff members will participate in the Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics on February 24.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News