Carterville wins over WF at MWC

The West Frankfort Redbirds and Carterville Lions faced off Friday night for a spot in the MidWinter Classic title game.

The West Frankfort Redbirds and Carterville Lions faced off Friday night for a spot in the MidWinter Classic title game.


Christian Dunning shoots from the lane in the second quarter.

Christian Dunning shoots from the lane in the second quarter.

Carterville Lions Coach Scott Burzynski admitted after the game that teams that shoot 33 percent from the field rarely win games.

He also admitted that when his team did, they were fortunate enough to still win. However, the head coach did quickly credit his players for making the plays at the end of the game to have a chance to win. Carterville parlayed a Lucas Hunter corner shot to a win over the West Frankfort Redbirds 47-45.

The win propelled the Lions to Saturday night’s title game against Goreville. Both the Lions and Blackcats won their respective pools. The two teams played earlier with Goreville winning.

The West Frankfort Redbirds established their game plan early, and took advantage of Carterville’s cold shooting from the field.
After one quarter the Redbirds led 9-2. However, as ineffective as they were shooting the basketball in the first quarter, the Lions were as exact in the second frame. In fact, both teams simply traded places. It was the Redbirds who struggled with their first basket of the second frame coming at the 4:02 mark. That was a Christian Dunning turn around shot in the lane. At the half, Carterville led 18-15.
The third quarter belonged to the Redbirds. A pair of 3-point shots from sophomore Braxston Koehl and sophomore Dunning paced the home team. A third shot was mistakenly announced as a Redbird 3-pointer, but changed at the scorers table to the 2-point shot the referees had called on the floor. After three quarters,the ‘Birds  led 34-29.
Carterville's Lucas Hunter takes the game-winning shot from the corner.

Carterville’s Lucas Hunter takes the game-winning shot from the corner.

The fourth quarter  saw both teams turn in big plays, one after the other.  Carterville started their run early when they were down by seven points. Matt Galik and Blake Watson drained 3-point shots in the fourth quarter’s first four minutes. Galik’s trey pulled the Lions to within two points with 3:20 left in the game. At that time,the score 41-39.

The game was tied at 42 as the clock hit 1:30 remaining. Carterville’s comeback was aided by some key Redbird turnovers late in the game. A tie up on a rebound gave the Lions the ball underneath their own goal with the possession arrow favoring them. With :53 seconds left, Lucas Hunter hit a free throw to tie the game at 45.
That set the scene for the Lions receiving the winning shot from the left corner by Hunter.
As the ball exited the basket, the clock showed a tenth of a second. Officials informed the scorers bench that time had been officially called with 2.1 seconds left in the game. The Redbirds inbounded at the far end of the floor and manuevered to the top of the opponents key before Koehl tossed up a heave toward the goal. It was slightly off to the left, and there would be no Redbird miracle win this night.
Scoring for the Redbirds: Koehl 18, Dunning 17, Easley 5, Williams 2, Keller 1,  Fort 1, Maller 1.
Carterville was led by the 13 of Blake Watson.
With the loss, the Redbirds fall to 6-11 for the season. It snapped the first two win streak of the year for Dan Dewerff’s squad. West Frankfort will play for Third Place tonight against Herrin, in the 7 p.m. game of the MWC.


Sesser-Valier Red Devils win hard fought game over West Frankfort Redbirds

The West Frankfort Redbirds lost their second game of the season Friday night 43-40. Playing a second straight road game this week, the ‘Birds played at Black Diamond conference opponent Sesser-Valier’s gym.
The game began slowly offensively. Both teams had leads in the opening quarter. At the end of the frame. the Redbirds held a slim one point lead, 9-8.  At the half, the same margin favored the visitors, 29-28. A series of shots in the paint, a square up jump shot and more allowed the Redbirds to build as much as a none point third quarter lead. At the end of the third quarter, the Red Devils hit a key three point shot at the buzzer. Jacob Vanway fired his shot as time expired to cut the defcit to 29-28 . That seemed to give the home team momentum that they lacked all quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the two teams spend the first four minutes trading mistakes, fouls and occasionally points. After Sesser-Valier caught and passed the Redbirds, Nic Korolenko regained the lead for West Frankfort with a three point play when he out muscled the Red Devils for a rebound basket, and converted a free throw off the ensuing foul, at the 4:01 mark of the game. N.
Nick Marlo answered with a bucket to give the Red Devils a 39-38 . The two teams traded buckets until the final seconds. Sesser-Valier inbounded the ball with :21 seconds remaining, with the game decided when Derek Hood beat the Redbird defense for a lay in with :12 remaining. A free throw gave them te final margin of victory, 43-40.  The balance of the game wasn’t however, officially decided until Christian Dunning’s full court shot bounced tantalizingly off the rim.
With the win, Sesser-Valier goes to 2-0 for the season. With the loss, Dan Dewerff’s team falls to 0-2 for the year. The Redbirds were led in scoring by Christian Dunning who had 13 points, and 10 rebounds.
Sesser-Valier won the junior varsity game 49-42.

Meridian spoils Redbirds’ season opener


The Meridian Bobcats rode the 26 points from senior Josh Jones enroute to a 67-43 win over the West Frankfort Redbirds. This was the opening game for coach Dan Dewerff and his Redbird team.

Meridian jumped out to a 15-9  lead after one quarter of play. The Redbirds mounted comebacks but could not get close enough to make the game in doubt. Meridian continued to build their lead in each quarter.

Leading the way for the Redbirds was sophomore Christian Dunning with a dozen points. Seniors Trent Easley and Nick Korolenko were the only other ‘Birds in double figures with 10 points apiece.

The Redbirds stay on the road as they travel to Sesser-Valier Friday night. The home opener is set for Saturday night against Pinckneyville.

Redbirds ready for season opener tonight


Coach Dan Dewerff begins his third season at the helm of the West Frankfort Redbird boys basketball team on Tuesday night.

The opening game of the season was to have been this past Saturday as the ‘Birds were scheduled to host Benton. However, the Rangers asked to move the game, and it will now be played Dec. 21.

So, the Redbird junior varsity and varsity open their 2012-2013 season tonight against Meridian High School in Mounds. While always a top notch Class A program, the Bobcats mark a change in the Redbird schedule under Dewerff. In his first two years, he was tasked with preparing the Redbirds to play powerful Pinckneyville.
This year’s edition of the Redbirds feature eight seniors as part of their roster. Two freshmen starters from a year ago also return.
One sophomore  expected to start and heavily contribute is Hunter Johnson. However a knee injury will keep him on the sidelines tonight.
Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News