Rangers fall to Egyptian in season opener


The Benton Rangers opened the new basketball season on a losing note Tuesday night dropping a 68-59 decision to the Egyptian Pharaohs.

Egyptian rode the one-two punch of Demantae Price and Justin Prewett, who combined for 52 points in the victory in second round action from the first-ever Goreville Invitational Tournament. Prewett had 28 and Price had 24 respectively.

The Rangers fell behind 19-10 after one quarter and trailed by 12 points early in the second quarter before rallying behind the play of Nathaniel Higgins and Daulton Ward to outscore Egyptian 19-12 in the second frame and trail only 31-29 at the half.

Benton actually grabbed the lead early in the third quarter surging ahead 34-33 but fell behind again and trailed 43-41 heading into the final frame.

“I thought we showed some character to come back after falling behind early,” said Benton coach Ron Winemiller. “When we got the lead I thought we were going to be all right but we had a couple of possessions where we shot too quickly and we made a couple of ill-advised passes and then when we fell behind again we just couldn’t bounce back.”

The Rangers entered the game with virtually no varsity experience except for Cole Forby who was a mainstay on last year’s 19-9 regional championship team.

“I thought our inexperience showed some during the game and I really do think this team is going to get much better,” said Winemiller. “That is not coach-speak, I think we have the potential to be a pretty good team as the season rolls on. I really like this team, they have been a great group to work with.”

While Benton was playing in its first game of the season Egyptian, who played in last week’s Christopher Turkey Tournament, was playing game number five, a point not lost on Winemiller.

“I think we had some season opening jitters and they (Egyptian) got off to a great start tonight,,” said Winemiller. “But, I think we settled down in the second quarter.”

Nine players saw action for Benton in the season-opening loss but only four hit the scoring column with three of them going for double figures. Ward led the way with 23 points, followed by Higgins with 20 and Forby with 10. Ethan Hughes also added six points for the Rangers.

In other action last night Goreville, who has established itself as the team to beat in the tournament, walloped Anna-Jonesboro by a score of 81-41. The tournament is idle Wednesday night but resumes on Thursday with a pair of games and also two games each on Friday and Saturday.

Here is the schedule for the remainder of the week:


AJ vs. Egyptian 6 p.m.

Johnston City vs. Benton 7:30 p.m.


Benton vs. AJ 6 p.m.

Goreville vs. Johnston City 7:30 p.m.


Egyptian vs. Johnston City 6 p.m.

Benton vs. Goreville 7:30 p.m.

12 Franklin County students named to SIRR-Ohio All Conference Football Team

Twelve players from Benton and West Frankfort high schools have been named to the 2012 Southern Illinois River to River-Ohio Division All Conference Football Team. Here is the full team line-up:

1st Team Offense

QB                  Mat Buntin                     JR                    Benton

RB                  *Dylan Sheeks              SR                   Benton

RB                   *Dylan Hathaway               SR                   Harrisburg

RB                   *Diamante Bradley            SR                   Murphysboro

RB                  *Hadin Restivo            SR                   West Frankfort

TE                   *Jared Daugherty               SR                   Herrin

WR                 *Austin Butler                     SR                   Herrin

WR                 Daz Nickerson                     SR                   Massac County

C                      *Jordan Quertermous       SR                   Harrisburg

OL                   *Gavin Suver                 SR                   Benton

OL                   Daulton Ward               SR                   Benton

OL                   Issac Ingram                        SR                   Harrisburg

OL                   *Dakota Upchurch             SR                   Harrisburg

At Large Selections

QB                  Ryne Roper                          SR                   Harrisburg

RB                   Capel Henshaw                   SR                   Harrisburg

2nd Team Offense

QB                  Austin Starkweather          SR                   Herrin

RB                   Chase Merrill                       SO                   Herrin

RB                   Jordan Troutman                JR                    Massac County

RB                 Dakota Cali                      SR                   Benton

RB                   Aeian Baird                          JR                    Murphysboro

TE                   Kevin Gude                           SR                   Murphysboro

WR               Austin Myers                   SR                   Benton

WR                 Kane Wilson                         SR                   Murphysboro

C                      Sheldon Klaus                     JR                    Murphysboro

OL                 Ethan Sisk                       JR                    West Frankfort

OL                   Artur Romanishyn             SR                   Herrin

OL                   Corey Vaughn                     JR                    Herrin

OL                   Mark Sawyer                       SR                   Murphysboro

1st Team Defense

DB                  *Austin Butler                     SR                   Herrin

DB                Cameron Rock               SR                   Benton

DB                  Justin Younger                   SR                   Harrisburg

LB                 *Dakota Cali                   SR                   Benton

LB                   *Brandon Pate                    SR                   Harrisburg

LB                   Nathan Vaughn                  SR                   Herrin

LB                 Hadin Restivo                SR                   West Frankfort

DE                *Cole Forby                      SR                   Benton

DE                   Kevin Gude                          SR                   Murphysboro

DE                   Gabe Oglesby                      SR                   Harrisburg

DL                 *Shane Bettenhausen SR                  Benton

DL                   *Dakota Upchurch             SR                   Harrisburg

DL                 *Brady Karnes                SR                   West Frankfort

DL                   Diamante Bradley              SR                   Murphysboro

DL                   Tyler Bebout                        SR                   Harrisburg

K                      *Josh Haynes                      SO                   Herrin

P                      Kane Wilson                        SR                   Murphysboro

At Large Selection

DB                  Tylon Kerrans                       SR                   Murphysboro

* Denotes unanimous selection

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