Rangers score home victory


Four tight quarters of basketball was decided late as the Benton Rangers held off the Eldorado Eagles, Tuesday night. The non-conference game went the way of Rangers 74-71 at Duff-Kingston Gym.

Benton held a slight 31-27 lead at the half. They matched points with the Eagles through out the third and fourt quarters, barely besting the home team.

It took all of the game high 24 points from Cole Forby and the 15 from Nathaniel Higginson for the Rangers to score the close win.

Benton is now 6-10 for the year, and Eldorado 8-10 for the season.

Thompsonville beats Hardin County

The Thompsonville Tigers and Hardin County Cougars appeared to be locked into a four-quarter struggle Friday night. After one period, seeing considerable offensive success for both teams, the hosts led by two buckets, 17-13.
In quarter No. 2, the Tigers put some distance between themselves and their opponents based on a 16-5 advantage in the second eight minutes. That halftime edge of 15 points propelled them on to a win by virtually the same margin 51-38.
Ryan Darnell blistered the nets for 16 points, and Lance Darnell nearly matched it with 11 as the only Tigers in double figures.
Hardin County had the game high scorer in Austin with 17 points on the night.
With the win, Thompsonville ran their record to 9-6 for this season.

Zeigler-Royalton Tornadoes defeat Trico in overtime


ZEIGLER – Zeigler-Royalton used a tenacious team defense, clutch scoring and outstanding free-throw shooting to defeat Trico 64-61 in overtime Tuesday night.

“Our kids battled the entire game and gained confidence as the game went on,” said Zeigler Royalton coach Matt Morgan. “Their willingness to make a commitment on the defensive end, our ability to knock down free-throws, and our crowd’s energy were the difference in the game.”

The Tornadoes were led in scoring by Nick McPhail with 19 points and Boris Moskoff with 16.

McPhail had five field goals and was nine of eleven from the free throw line in addition to six assists and five steals.

Moskoff had three field goals and was an outstanding ten of ten from the charity stripe. Boris also added a team high seven rebounds.

Brandon Jones contributed eight points and six rebounds against the taller Pioneers, Jeffery Pedigo ran the offense, Jeremy Weddle added a clutch three pointer and Brandon Stubblefield and Bailey Schmipf
provided scoring and intense defense.

The Tornadoes are 10-3 on the season and 2-1 in Black Diamond Conference play.

Next up for Z-R will be #3 seed Waltonville in the first round of the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament.

“It’s a big win for our team and we are going to enjoy it, but at the same time we know we have to get back to the gym and get to work to prepare for the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament next week,” Morgan said.

Benton students collect items for food pantry


The Benton High School Fellowship of Christian Students/Fellowship of Christian Athletes club recently collected food items for the Benton Ministerial Alliance food pantry.

The students had read that the food pantry was running low this fall and wanted to do something to help. It was completely their idea.

Items were donated by Benton High School students and faculty in their classrooms at the school.

In addition, items were collected at the gate at the home football playoff game against Robinson this year. Ultimately, several hundred items were collected and donated.

Lady Indians score road victory at West Frankfort

A furious third quarter comeback by the West Frankfort Lady Redbirds could not keep visiting Johnston city from scoring a 49-44 victory Saturday afternoon. The non-conference game was played at Max Morris Gym.
Johnston City dominated the first half, leading 9-5 after one quarter. In the second quarter the Indians took a commanding27-17 lead into the locker room. But, the Lady Redbirdss caught fire in quarter three and made up a huge difference outscoring Johnston City 12-4. The Indians stopped the comeback with an 18-14 advantage in the
last frame.
Scoring for the lady Redbirds: Wilce 12, Calvert 9, Cunningham 8, Stewart 8, Melvin 4, and Sailiez 1.

Benton wrestlers split early season matches

The Benton Rangers wrestling team split a pair of early season matches losing to Sparta 39-36 and then rebounding with a big SIRR Ohio Division win over Herrin on Tuesday night.
Benton coach Duane Bean said his young team made great strides following the season-opening loss to Sparta.
“I think we might have taken Sparta lightly but they have 38 kids wrestling and a nice program,” Bean said.  “We came back and had a good week of practice and did a much better job at Herrin.”
The Benton team has 19 wrestlers that includes seven freshmen and five sophomores.
“We’ve got two juniors and four seniors and only two of our seniors have any experience,” said Bean.  “We are very young so I think we will get better as the season goes on.”
The Ranger grapplers will be at Carterville tonight for a SIRR inter-divisional match up before heading to Bethalto Civic Memorial on Saturday for a tournament that will draw some of the top schools from the region.
“It’s an excellent tournament, a really solid tournament with several Class AA schools in it,” said Bean.  “It will be a good test for us.”
  • 106 – Jarred Burnett pinned Triston Loucks in :58.
  • 113 – Nathan Flatt won by forfeit.
  • 120 – Double Forfeit.
  • 126 – Chris Worthey won by forfeit.
  • 132 – Collin Donaldson won by forfeit.
  • 138 – Peyton Smith pinned Anthony Carter in :58.
  • 145 – Alex Yates lost by pin in 3:29 to Charles Rodgers.
  • 152 – Daniel Krug lost 13-9 to Deon Baker.
  • 160 – Jarron Bennett lost by pin to Shawn Rogers in 3:55.
  • 170 – Benton Forfeited.
  • 182 – Zach Mocoby won by pin in 3:00 over Jay Baue.
  • 195 – Braxton Pullium lost by pin in :41 to Dillon Hatley.
  • 220 – Devon Siveking lost by pin in 1:02 to Cedric Briscoe.
  • HVY – Tyler Williams lost by pin in 1:15 to John Leuth
  • 106 – Jarred Burnett won by forfeit.
  • 113 – Nathan Flatt lost by pin in 4:52 to Braden Whitecotton(H).
  • 120 – Chase Worthey won by pin in :55 over Dustin Basler(H).
  • 126 – Chris Worthey lost 4-1 to Eli Roberts(H).
  • 132 – Peyton Smith won by pin in 2:24 over Jimmy Pearsley(H).
  • 138 – Daniel Krug won by pin over Brian Burgess(H) in 1:00.
  • 145 – Alex Yates won by disqualification over Pierce Martin(H) due to an illegal slam.
  • 152 – Jarron Bennett lost 20-4 to Chris Ward(H).
  • 160 – Luke Blackman lost by pin to Alec Smith(H) in 1:16.
  • 170 – Benton forfeited to Alec Franklin(H).
  • 182 – Zach Mocoby lost 10-3 to Tad Cravens(H).
  • 195 – Braxton Pullium lost by pin in :47 to Nathan Vaughn(H).
  • 220 – Devon Siveking won by pin in 1:37 over Dylan McRoy(H).
  • HVY – Tyler Williams won by pin in 1:42 over Alex Stewart(H).
Benton is 2-1 and 1-0 in the Ohio division of the River to River conference. Next, at Carterville on Thursday, November 29 and at Bethalto Civic Memorial on Saturday, Dec. 1.

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.

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.

Benton Rangerettes win Marion Lady Wilcat Invitational

The Benton Rangerettes pose with their trophy after winning the Marion Lady Wildcat Invitational. (Christopher Kays / Franklin County News)

By Jim Muir

The Benton Rangerettes completed a successful week of basketball Saturday afternoon with a 58-18 victory over Marion and the championship of the Lady Wildcats Invitational.

Benton finished in first place with a 4-0 mark followed by Vienna at 2-2 and Herrin at 2-2. With identical records Vienna took second place because they beat Herrin in head-to-head competition. Marion and Carterville both finished at 1-3 in the five-team round robin tournament.

“It was a good week of basketball for us and I’m proud of the way we competed,” said first-year Benton coach Andy Sloan. “We have a lot of things to work on in order to improve but to come in here and win four games in five days is a great way to begin the season.”

After a thrilling 41-40 victory over Carterville on Friday night the Rangerettes wasted little time disposing of Marion in the finale at Cuss Wilson Gymnasium. Marion actually got on the scoreboard first on a three-pointer and a layup by Daily Williams to take a 5-0 lead. But, those would be the final points by the Lady Wildcats until late in the second quarter as the Rangerettes put together a 25-0 run to take a 25-5 lead before Marion got on the scoreboard again.

Benton held a commanding 29-9 lead at halftime and then extended it to 44-17 at the end of three quarters and then cruised on to the easy victory.

Benton was led in scoring by Morgan Corn with 14 – her fourth time in as many tries in double figures. The Rangerettes had another balanced scoring attack with eight players scoring. Also scoring for the Rangerettes was Evelyn Mendez with nine points, Cali Carney with eight points, Mikala Carney with five, Marcela Mendez and Cassandra Johnson with four each, Also scoring was Rowdee Sanders, Bobbi Wegrazyn and Katlyn Biddle with two each.

Corn was chosen to the All-Tournament team along with Abby Horn, Herrin, Carly Childress and Miranda Chance of Vienna, Allison Gwaltney, of Marion, Savanah Jones, of Carterville and Whitney Woodis of Herrin.

The Rangerettes are back in action on Nov. 27 when they open play in the tough SIRR Ohio Division against the Herrin Lady Tigers.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News