Chester tops Christopher Bearcats


In a regular season, non-tournament game Friday night, the Chester Yellowjackets knocked off the Christopher Bearcats 61-51.

The second quarter proved to be the difference as the Yellowjackets had a 20-11 advantage in the stanza. That coupled with a 2-point advantage ( 17-15 after one quarter ) proved to be enough for the win.

New police cooperation contract to be sought


A new contract among members of West Franklin Central Dispatch is to be formulated by Zeigler Mayor Dennis Mitchell.  The Zeigler City Council empowered their mayor to begin negotiations with Christopher and Valier toward a new agreement.

At Tuesday night’s meeting the situation with neighboring Royalton was discussed. Zeigler routinely responded for back-up to Royalton and vice versa. Now, Royalton has decided dispatching services should be concentrated in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. That puts officers, providing mutual aid to each other in dangerous situations on separate radio frequencies. It was theorized that life-threatening information may not reach officers on a frequency they would not normally monitor.

Mitchell is to now meet with representatives of the communities left in the pact. The Western Franklin Central Dispatch has developed a lawsuit against the City of Sesser. The suit stems from payments to the IRS and state agencies over the financial scandal that rocked the entity in 2012. That lawsuit against Sesser has yet to be authorized for filing by the Board.

The Board could vote to authorize filing tonight, or could authorize a final billing statement for money alleged due to Central Dispatch by the City of Sesser.

Football teammates, basketball rivals meet


Fans at the Christopher / Zeigler-Royalton basketball game Friday should have felt right at home sitting together.

After all, in football and some other sports, the two schools co-op to field a team made up of athletes from both schools. In high school basketball, they divide back into geographic rivals. Friday night, fans and parents sat together again – just on separate gymnasium sides as the two teams squared off.

Both teams came into the game with a modest amount of momentum. Christopher had won 5 of their past 7 games. Zeigler-Royalton  was on a 3-game win streak themselves.

Early on, Eric Stallman’s Bearcats decided to go inside against the Tornadoes. In the first quarter, Christopher received 8 of their 16 points inside the paint. ZR would score 8 points total for that quarter. And, just three minutes into the second quarter the Bearcats achieved their first double digit lead. They never looked back easily outscoring the Tornadoes in each second half quarter as well.

Echoing that early inside attack, big men Kevin Mercks, and R.J. Kuh paced the home team with 16 points apiece. Adding depth and balance, Towers broke double digits as well with 11. Matt Morgan’s ZR squad was paced by Weddle’s 11 points.

With the win, the Bearcats move to 9-3 overall, and back to .500 in the conference with a 2-2 mark in the Black Diamond West.

With the loss, Zeigler-Royalton drops to 13-5 overall, and the same 2-2 even water mark in the BDW.

Christopher takes third place in Turkey Tourney


Eric Stallman’s Christopher Bearcats defeated the Thompsonville Tigers 49-39 Saturday night at the 38th Christopher Thanksgiving Tournament. The Bearcats had defeated Wayne City on Monday and lost to the 2012 champions Waltonville on Wednesday while the Tigers defeated Webber Township on Tuesday and lost to the defending champions Egyptian on Friday night.

Strong play from junior guard Jake Towers, whose defense held Thompsonville’s Brady Householder to no field goals and only two free tosses, was a big key in the victory. Householder, started the tournament with 20 points in an opening win and was the “straw” that stirred the young Tiger team. Towers and senior Tyler Atchison led the Cats in scoring with 13 points each , 6-feet-6-inch senior Kevin Mercks had six, senior R.J. Kuh had 3 and junior Eric Young had 7 points while freshman Josh Calloni had 4 points and Hunter Wheeler one free throw.

The Cats jumped to 15-7 first quarter lead behind two baskets from Young and Atchison while the Tigers were having trouble with fouls as leading scorer Ryan Darnell and twin brother Lance each picked up two fouls. Both teams scored 9 each in the second frame and the Cats were up 24-16 at half.

In the third quarter at the 6:12 mark, Young led a fast break and hit Atchison with a nifty pass for a score, Towers stole the ball on the next exchange and  hit Kuh who then fed big Mercks for another great example of the Cats team work. The hosts outscored the Tigers 16-10 in this quarter as Atchison scored 7 and Calloni 4. The Tigers only got 5 shots up in the quarter because they spent so much time at the free throw line where they were 3-for-8.

In fact the free throw line is where both teams spent a large portion of the night and if you happened to go by either high school early in the morning this week there may be some early free throw shooting going on. Thompsonville shot 15-for-30 for the game while the Cats were only 18-for-39 for a 31 percent effort for a combined 69 tosses shot.

Thompsonville was led in scoring by the Darnell’s, Ryan with 14 and the left-handed Lance with 10. Others who scored were

Immediately following the championship game in which Waltonville upset the favorite Egyptian Pharaohs 57-49 the all- tournament team was announced and the Bearcats; Atchison, Mercks and Young were named as were the Tigers’ Ryan Darnell and Householder. Others selected for this honor included J.C. Chapman of Cobden, Jordan Hale and Trey Witges of Waltonville and two named for the  second year Egyptian’s Justin Prewitt and MVP Devantae Price (for the second year).

The Bearcats return to action December 4 when they travel to Elverado for their first Black Diamond Conference game. The Tigers face Elverado Nov. 27 at home.

Angel Tree now up in Christopher awaiting gifts from public

 The Christopher Area Betterment Association’s “Angel Tree” project is asking for help from residents to provide gifts for deserving children this Christmas.

The tree is set up in the lobby of the Banterra Bank of Christopher, 506 N. Victor. To participate, you choose an ornament from the tree, which includes a child’s gender, age and other details to help you shop for gifts to brighten up his or her Christmas.

Gifts should be wrapped and taken back to the bank by Friday, Nov. 30, or to the Jaycees building at 106 S. Thomas St., Christopher on Monday, Dec. 3.

For more information about the Christopher Angel Tree program, call Banterra Bank’s Susie Williams at (618) 724-9416.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News