Rangers lose at home to Massac County

In essence saying “do the math,” Benton Ranger coach Ron Winemiller pointed out something following Benton’s 66-46 loss at home to Massac County Friday night.
Winemiller said, “We played three good quarters of basketball. But as we all know, the game is four quarters long.”
What the Ranger head coach was referring to was a huge first quarter deficit that his club could not make up. After one quarter, Massac County did what every visiting team sets as a goal: survive and thrive the opening of the game in front of their opponent’s home crowd. At the end of the first quarter, the Patriots led 28-6.
For the next three periods, the Rangers played almost even basketball with Massac, even outscoring them in the second frame, 12-11. However, giving up 39 first-half points proved to be too much to overcome. Winemiller pointed to a problem for his club being confidence. “We needed to see the ball go into the hole more often.”
The Rangers, pressured by the Joe Hosmon-coached  signature defensive intensity, felt pressure from the opening tip. Another signature Patriot calling card is their ability to shoot behind the arc. Massac hit six 3-pointers while Benton could only manage three ( Higgins 2 and Head 1).
Massac was led in scoring by emerging star Daz Nickerson with 13 points. The Patriot offense featured balanced scoring with four players in double figures.
Game high-scoring honors went to Nathaniel Higginson with 17 points. Other Ranger output included: Sheeks 9, Forby 8, Head 3, Ward 3, and Hughes 2.
The Rangers fell to 5-9 for the season and to .500 in the conference splitting four league games.
Up next for Benton is undefeated Harrisburg at 15-0 for the season. The Bulldogs are looking for a sweep of Franklin County as they knocked off West Frankfort Friday night.

Patriots beat Redbirds in Ohio opener


The Massac County Patriots defeated the West Frankfort Redbirds Friday night. The game was the conference opener for both ball clubs. Once the Patriots ran their lead to double digits, they seemed to draw a line in the sand. Only a few times did the pesky Redbirds cross that line, getting no closer than 4 points.  And, Massac County began drawing that line by first quarter’s end, up 19-10.

The Redbirds were outscored 12-10 in the second quarter, after making some runs at the Patriots. In the second quarter, the Patriots found some holes in the Redbird defense that allowed Devontay Blye to drive to the goal. Autin Kendall hit a shot and got a stick back bucket as well to lengthen the Patriot lead to 31-20 at intermission.

The third quarter turned into a Dalton Mitchell-Braxton Koehl heavyweight match up. Mitchell blistered the nets for 10 points in the third quarter. He sank two three-point shots in the process. Sophomore Koehl, a Redbird starter, added a dozen points in the frame, with two field goals and ten for ten free throw accuracy. But, by quarter’s end, the determined Redbirds still trailed, but by only 10 points,51-41.

Massac County put the game away with a 23-11 scoring advantage over the last eight minutes. Trenton Easley sank a three-point shot as a highlight of the frame for West Frankfort.  The Redbird bench added the only other two field goals, one by Jacob Bartoni and one by Drew Maller.

Scoring for the ‘Birds included: 15 for Koehl, 11 Easley, 9 for Fort, 8 Maller ( who started game for injured Christian Dunning), 6 for Nic Korolenko, 2 Bartoni and 1 point for Evan Keller.

Unofficially, Massac County out-rebounded the home team 28-22. Both teams turned it over 13 times in the game.

With the loss, the Redbirds are now 1-4 for the season. They drop to 0-1 for the Ohio Division play.

The next game for the Redbirds will be a Friday road game at Herrin. The Junior Varsity lost their game 60-27 and remain winless.

Morthland men and women fall to Blue Mountain College

The Morthland men and women basketball teams hosted the Blue Mountain College Toppers in a Monday night doubleheader at Rend Lake College. The Lady Patriots fell to BMC 94-38, while the Morthland men could not hold off the Toppers (3-4), falling 81-76.

The Lady Patriots (0-6) were led by Shayly Wilce and Jade Vaughn who both chipped in 14 points. Junior forward Ashley Slack scored 8 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Pats.

The Morthland College men’s basketball team came out sluggish after the first six minutes trailing the Toppers of Blue Mountain, Miss. 10-2, but Eldorado native Will Carmickle led the charge for the Patriots scoring 19 of this 32 points in the first half to give Morthland a 46-39 lead going into the locker room.

Morthland allowed BMC to score the first 8 points of the second half to take a 47-46 lead. The undersized Patriots kept battling in the second half but could not stop BMC from driving to the basket for easy scores. Morthland allowed 18 offensive rebounds, 10 of which came in the second half, allowing the Toppers to capitalize with 19 second chance points.

Will Carmickle scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Morthland while freshman Roby Boatright was the only other Patriot in double-digits with 10 points.

“They really jumped on us early in the second half after we battled back at the end of the first to gain the lead,” said head coach Rich Herrin. “They are a heck of a team for only having two wins this season, and they are going to win a lot more.”

The Morthland men and women will be back in action Dec. 1, when they travel to McKenzie, Tenn. to take on Bethel College.

Morthland Lady Patriots fall to Bethel College

The Morthland College women’s basketball team fell to Bethel College on Thursday night, 86-38.

The Lady Patriots shot just .240 percent in the first half behind scoring leader Jade Vaughn, who scored 16 points.  Junior Gena Jones put in 13 points while pulling down 6 rebounds.

The Morthland women will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Pulaski, Tenn. to take on Martin Methodist University.

Morthland College men play first-ever home basketball game tonight

The Morthland College Patriots men’s basketball team will play the school’s first-ever home game tonight at 9:30 p.m. at Max Morris Gymnasium in West Frankfort.

The game is part of the four-team Doctors Classic exhibition tournament being held in West Frankfort this weekend. Here’s the full tournament schedule:

Friday, Nov. 16

  • 7:30 p.m. – McKendree JV vs. Webster JV
  • 9:30 p.m. – Morthland vs. Greenville JV

Saturday, Nov. 17

  • 6 p.m. – Greenville JV vs. McKendree JV
  • 8 p.m. – Morthland vs. Webster JV

Admission is free for Morthland College students, faculty and staff, and $5 for the public.

Area doctors Dr. Kent Herron, Dr. Tim Morthland, Dr. Dennon W. Davis, Dr. Norman Chiou, Dr. Rodney Herrin and Dr. Don Griffin are sponsoring the tournament.


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