The GEC girls all conference team


Haley Chubb – Gallatin County (MVP)

Kennedy Harris – Galatia-Thompsonville (CAPTAIN) 

Audrey Jackson – Gallatin County

Amy Weaver – Pope County

Kate Bond – Galatia-Thompsonville 


Mallory Mays – Galatia-Thompsonville

Arin Hicks – Hardin County

Keely Clay – Pope County

Haylee Brown – Hardin County

Emma Mott – Hardin County

Keerstin Fritch – Pope County

GEC Boys Basketball All Conference Team Released


Audie Gobel – Gallatin County (MVP)

Corbin Fitch – Thompsonville 

Austin Stevens – Galatia (Captain)

Levi Vinson – Crab Orchard

Jamison Hicks – Hardin County


Cameron Stevens – Crab Orchard

Robbie Prince – Gallatin County

Tyson Kessler – Thompsonville 

Anthony Darge – Thompsonville 

Brandon Skaggs – NCOE



Jaron Austin – Hardin County

Sabastian Fasolo – Pope County

Sesser-Valier wins…Thompsonville loses at the Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament

By Steve Dunford 

MURHPYSBORO – Sesser-Valier was on the upside of a 73-48 win over their BDC West rivals, The Trico Pioneers last night 73-48,

I only was able to watch the fourth quarter, as I was having trouble with the streaming (on my end.)

Leading the way for Brian Laur’s club was Logan Kirk with 21, Tanner Eubanks had 20, and Garett Gunter was the thrid Devil in double figures with 11.

Also in the scoring column for S-V was Peyton Bates with nine, Johsten Stanley and Clayton Bonner four, and Jaden Lance and Seth Loucks had two points each.

Caiden Snow, Jake Newburry, Zack Stnaley, Matthew Thery, and Matthew Galloway, played but did not score.

Sesser-Valier will face the Marion Wildcats, winners 53-46 over the Red Bud Musketeers last night.  They will play Saturday Morning at 11:30, in a consolation semi-final game.

Hamilton County  doubled up Thompsonville 46-23, and there is not a tactful way to say it, in an ugly one for David Payne’s team.  They could not throw it in the Big Muddy last night, with the river above flood stage.

I knew coming in that T’ville would have their hands full with Hamco.  I remember from the Christopher Tournament a year ago that Garrett  Webb and Evan Shelton could flat out shoot it.  Zack Weaver was a good post player.

You throw Robbie Morgan in there (6′ 5″ freshman and still growing), and I knew the Tigers would have their hands full.   In my last conversation with Super Fox, he told me that Morgan can be the best to wear the Foxes uniform since Brian Sloan, by the time he is a senior.

I knew coming in it would be good experience for 6′ 4″ sophomore center Bryson Chullen, facing Morgan.

The Foxes looked like the “McLeansboro” days of David Lee and Curt Reed, slowing the ball down and playing tough man-to-man defense.  They double teamed Corbin Fitch and Grady Furlow most of the game.

The Foxes shot the lights out last night.  Playing as a JV team in the 2016 Chirstopher Turkey Tournament, they set the tournament record for made threes over the three game span.  Keep in mind that NCOE has been in the tournament the last two years.

Fitch led Thompsonville with ten, Chullen seven, Furlow four, and Seth Clark two.  Tristan Haskins, Huner McDonough, and Josh Sullivan played for the Tigers.

West Frankfort is still alive in the winners bracket, as the face the host Murphysboro Red Devils Thursday Night at 8:30.

I was a little more elaborate on the T’ville game because I was able to watch all four quarters.  I was not being a “homer.”

I will stick with the Devils and the Redbirds as long as they are alive at Murphy.


Redbirds win, Tigers….Red Devils fall in the Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament

By Steve Dunford 

MUPRHYSBORO – The Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament gives a look in the future for several programs.  That is why I enjoy it as the basketball season is winding down.

Since the IHSA lifted the amount of quarters a player can participate in, several underclassman that received a lot of varsity minutes can participate.  That is the case yesterday with West Frankfort and Thompsonville.

Sesser-Valier played in the morning session yesterday.  They were the first Franklin County school to face a team from the SIRR Mississippi, as they faced the Nashville Hornets.  The Devils fell 48-36.

Peyton Bates led S-V with 14 points, Tanner Eubanks was the second Devil in double figures with 10.  Garrett Guunter, Jake Newburry, and Matthew Thery added three, Logan Kirk a bucket, and Josten Stanley a free throw.  Caiden Snow played and did not score.

Sesser-Valier will face the Trico Pioneers at 5:00 p.m. in a consolation quarterfinal match-up on Monday.

Thompsonville faced DuQuoin, out of the River-to-River, and gave them all they wanted, falling 69-62 in overtime.

Corbin Fitch led the Tigers with 26 points, Grady Furlow 25.  Bryson Chullen added six, and Aiden Ramsey five.  Tristan Haskins, Seth Clark, and Hunter McDonough played and did not score.

T’ville goes left in the bracket as they face the Hamilton County Foxes, at 7:00 p.m. Monday.

The West Frankfort Redbirds defeated the Chester Yellow Jackets, 60-47, late yesterday afternoon.

Josh Melvin led West Frankfort with 15 points, Quincy King 13, and Gavin Gaylor was the third Redbird in double figures with 12.  Andrew Cunningham had seven, Paxton Griffith and Ethan Culley six, Brock Dorris one, and Michael Scales played but did not score.

Below, is all the scores from yesterday, and the quarterfinal pairings.





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.

Class 1A Z-R Regional Preview: (#2) Sesser Valier (18-11) vs.(#7) Thompsonville (18-9)

By Steve Dunford 

ZEIGLER – In a battle of two Franklin County teams vying for the right to play in the Championship game.  The Red Devils received a first round bye in the tournament.  In the old regional system, they are the top seed.

Thompsonville won in the quarterfinals by defeating Elverado 58-38, ironically, another team that had 18 wins on the season.

T’ville and S-V’s records might be identical,  there is a huge difference in playing in the BDC West vs. the GEC.

What Pete Gordon will come out in tonight defensively, I am mixed.  The Tigers defended the perimeter against NCOE well playing man to man, and did as well also playing a 2-3 zone.  I say they will come out in a 2-3 and if Tyler Winchester hits a couple bombs, they will go back man to man.

I don’t think I remember any Shane Garner coached team playing a zone.  I look for them to press tonight, especially on made baskets.

Here is how I think both teams will match up.

Preston Launius – Corbin Fitch

Lukas Gunter – Tyson Kessler

Joshua Gunter – Peyton Roberts

Tyler Winchester – Reed Raubach

Addison Page – Anthony Darge

There have the potential to be a couple of mismatches in there.

Bench wise the edge is to Sesser-Valier.  They have, by far the deepest bench in Southern Illinois.   I would put T’ville around three or four in 1A.   I can see Peyton Rock causing the Tigers a world of trouble.

Tempo is going to be the key to this one.  If the game gets in the 70’s, I would say Sesser-Valier is the 20 point favorites.   If it is a 20 point game it would not be 50-30.

A lot of pundits say the first few minutes of the first quarter is the key to the game.

Thompsonville can play McLeansboro ball and they can play it well.  If it is in the 40’s it means Thompsonville is in striking distance.  If it is low scoring, I would have to go with the Devils as the favorites still, but could be in a little hot water.

Its going to be a good one, and I am going to love telling you about it.


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.


Murphysboro Sophomore Tournament pairings released

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