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

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



Zeigler-Royalton falls in their own Class 1A regional to Woodlawn

By Steve Dunford 

ZEIGLER –  Around the three minute mark of the first quarter Z-R was down 11-6, had and had the ball.  They were doing a decent job handing the Woodlawn Cardinal pressure.  They were being fairly patient on the offensive end.

Considering this was against one of the six teams that most pundits are giving the chance to play in the SIU Arena two weeks from the night, the young Z-R team was holding their own in  the first quarter, hits a seventeen footer, then another three in the opening ticks of the second quarter.  After he scored 14 unanswered points, Woodlawn rolled a huge halftime lead.   McKay had a game high 28.

The Cardinals did not let the gas of the pedal as they rolled to a 65-29 win.

Along with McKay’s 28, Race Rinski added ten for the Canals.

Landon Bate (3) Trevor Mills (10) and Gannon Dollins (52), all freshman on the floor for Z-R. All three played several varsity minutes for coach Matt Morgan.

Freshman center Gannon Dollins led the Tornadoes with,  Trevor Mills and David Eldridge added six.

Woodlawn advanced to the championship game last night as they defeated Steeleville 66-58 to face the Sesser-Valier Red Devils.

There were stretches at times there were five freshman on the floor for the Tornadoes, in Dollins, Mils, Landon Bate, Ricky Checkevida, and Cole Gelso.

Yes the Tornadoes finished win-less, but I guarantee will not happen next year.   The Black Diamond West has been loaded over the last few years.  A lot of three and four year starters will graduate in May.

Along with that, and a little more schedule flexibility because the IHSA is letting schools increase the schedule to 31 games , there should be a few more wins on the schedule for Z-R.

Box Score

WOODLAWN (65)  McKay 5 5 3-4 28, Rinksi 5 0 0-0 10, Fewkes 3 0 1-2 7, Hollenkamp 0 2 0-0 6, Mahassey 0 1 0-0 3.  Hun England 0 0 2-2 2, Hay England 0 0 1-5 1, Fewkes 0 0 1-2 1, Arringron 0 0 0-0 0, Smith 0 0 0-0 0, Tiermann 0 0 0-0 0, Wenzel 0 0 0-0 0, Burcham 0 0 0-0 0, Riesaw 0 0 0-0 0

ZEIGLER-ROYALTON (29)  Dollins 3 0 1-3  7, Mills 0 2 0-0 6, Eldridge 2 0 2-2 6, Rebolledo 0 1 0-0 3, Sanders 1 0 1-4 3, Bate 0 0 0-0 0, Humprey 0 0 0-0 0, Cross 0 0 0-0 0, Gelso 0 0 0-0 0, Imhoff 0 0 0-0 0, Leeper 0 0 0-0 0,

Score By Quarters

WOODLAWN    20 – 20 – 16 – 9  –  65

ZEIGLER- ROYALTON    6 -7 -5 -10  –  29





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

Tornadoes fall in BDC West Conference game to Goreville last night

By Steve Dunford 

GOREVILLE –  I have had several conversations with Zeigler-Royalton Coach Matt Morgan over the season and we talk alto about the “process.”

The Tornadoes fell to Goreville last night 77-46 in a game that lasted a little over an hour.  The kids needed to get home last night experiencing freezing rain.  They are 0-18 on the season.

Here are some of my thoughts about the program.  They play in a loaded Black Diamond West.  There are three teams in the league that are very capable of playing in Peoria in Class 1A.  The other three schools are class 2A,

Being on the big stage and playing this type of competition, using a Dick Vitale term, “Diaper Dandies”, will help in years to come.  I understand they have a good eighth grade class coming in.

I have said this earlier, look at the season Webber Township is having.  They only lost to Cahokia to nine points in the Pinckneyville shootout.  That is one of those “positive losses.”

Thompsonville has won 12 out of their last 14 after a slow start.  These are two programs that endured winless seasons in recent history.  They will be getting T-shirts soon being 103.5 ESPN team of the week.

Webber coach Brad Beatty says he loves playing Z-R because coach Morgan has his kids play so hard, he does things right, and the most important part, they are good kids.

While watching the film this afternoon,  there were a lot of things the Tornadoes are doing right and have improved on.  They ran their offense, they did a decent job on the glass.

Z-R played last night without their 6′ 5″ freshman Gannon Dollins.  He is out with the flu.

The Tornadoes played a 2-3 zone.

Goreville goes on a 16-0 run then highlighted by a dunk in the closing seconds, to put the Blackcats up 41-12 at the half.

Z-R was down 60-31 after three, at the end of the quarter Trevor Mills hit a  buzzer beater for the Tornadoes.  He hits two more NBA threes in the fourth.

Coach Tripp subbed liberally starting about the two minute mark in the third quarter and Matt Morgan did all game.

Braden Webb and Cole Tosh led the Blackcats with 14 points on the night, Peyton Massey had 12, and Tanner Dunn 11.

Cole Sanders led the Tornadoes with 14, Trevor Mills 11, and Andrew Bisallion eight.

The Tornadoes host the Galatia Bearcats (8-15)  on Friday. Since I am very familiar with the GEC I am going to give you a scouting report.

They are the type of team that can beat anyone on any given night, and they can beat you on any given night as well.

They are very inconsistent and you never know what team will show up.  Recently they had a nice win over NCOE and lost in overtime to Elverado in a track meet.

They are led by guard Austin Stevens who can really chuck it from behind the arc.  They have some size in Austin Pritchett at 6′ 7″, Will Pulliam at 6′ 4″ and Ben Mitchell at 6′ 3″.  Pritchett is a shot blocker.  Pulliam and Mitchell are very physical and Mitchell can burn you with an occasional three.

Sophomore  A..J. Hankins is developing into a very good point guard.  Sophomore Braxton Lane is the first guard off the bench.  Noah Triplett and Garrett Beers sees time for Rodney Wallace’s club.

Coach Wallace is in his second stint with the club.  He coached the Southeastern Illinois College women between stints.

They like to run.  If the team that shows up that finished last in the GEC tournament, it would be a chance to get your first win.  If they are hot, it would be a challenge.

On any given night Galatia can beat anyone in Southern Illinois, or get beat by anyone in Southern Illinois.

I know there will be a see of dark blue on Friday night.  Whether it be from being there live, watching the home game streaming from Goreville, or seeing pictures from Randall Risley, it has been great how you have been behind the Tornadoes this year.








NOTE;  I was going to release mine today.  I started doing some notes on 2A, and I was nearly identical with Jack Bullock, so I will second his motion.

I know the West Frankfort Redbirds have only won four ball games, but they were going to get a six from me.  They are still the best team in Southern Illinois that has only won four ball games

In the Gallatin County/Meridian regional-sectional complex I was identical with Jack, except swapping Century with Egyptian for the eighth and tenth seeds. I came close to putting Pope County above both of them but I did not want to show too much GEC Bias.

In the Zeigler-Royalton/Norris City-Omaha-Enfield complex, we are all over the place with each other.  I will be releasing that soon. -Steve

Here is a link to Jack’s projected seedings


Here is a link to Jack’s weekly poll.




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








Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News