Holiday hoops action kicks off this morning as region digs out from Christmas blizzard


A blizzard may have delayed holiday week basketball in Southern Illinois this year, but it couldn’t stop it. Many of the regions’ girls’ and boys’ basketball tournaments that traditionally start on the day after Christmas will begin today, Dec. 27. Here’s a look at each Franklin County team’s schedule for the first day of games:


The Rangers are playing in Pool C at the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic at Pinckneyville Community High School. They face Jerseyville at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Thomas Gym, and Teutopolis at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Auxiliary Gym. Games on Saturday will depend on where they place in the pool Friday.


The Bearcats play Vienna today (Thursday) at 1:30 p.m. in the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament. Play will continue Friday, Saturday and Monday.


Sesser-Valier plays New Athens at 8 p.m. today in the holiday tournament they are hosting at Sesser-Valier High School. Play continues Friday, Saturday and Monday.


The Redbirds will play in the Eldorado Holiday Tournament, which runs Friday, Saturday and Monday. They face Fairfield at 10:30 a.m. on Friday.


The Z-R boys play Waltonville today (Thursday) at 10:30 a.m. in the Sesser-Valier Holiday Tournament. Play will continue Friday, Saturday and Monday.


Benton’s girls are playing in the tournament they host, the Benton Rangerette Christmas Classic 2012. The Rangerettes play Anna-Jonesboro at 11 a.m. today, Trico at 12:30 p.m. Friday and Goreville at 7 p.m. Saturday.




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.

Sesser-Valier school asks for Christmas donations for students

For several years, the Sesser-Valier School staff members have donated their time and money to sponsor deserving students and their younger siblings at Christmastime.

This year, the school’s Students Assistance Program Team is reaching out to the community for help. Individuals and businesses wishing to donate can shop for gifts for the children they sponsor or donate funds so that the SAP Team may shop. A wish list from the children is provided, and the average amount spent on each child is $60.

All children in the program remain anonymous.

To donate, call Tracy Masters at (618) 625-5101, Ext. 120, or Kerri Henry at (618) 625-5105, Ext. 103. Monetary donations may also be mailed to S-V Unit Dist. 196 Christmas Fund, 4626 State Highway 154, Sesser, IL 62884.

Benton, West Frankfort, Illinois News | Franklin County News