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Benton holds off Bulldogs' rally, claims SIRR Ohio title

 
By MICHAEL DANN mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 2/12/2018 11:45 AM

Harrisburg worked themselves back into Friday night's Southern Illinois River-To-River Conference Ohio Division showdown with Benton in the fourth quarter.

Benton's Parker Williams just went to work, scoring eight points in the final eight minutes and was key in the Rangers' 58-51 win over Harrisburg where Benton 23-3 (8-0) earned at least a share of the Ohio Division title, as of Friday.

Williams was held to just three first half points, but after Harrisburg's Dalton Lambert tied the game at 41, the BCHS senior forward had eight of Benton's 11 points during a five minute stretch that saw the Rangers hold a 52-47 lead with 1:44 to play and hold off Harrisburg down the stretch.

Harrisburg got to within three at 52-49 after an Isaiah Saulsberry 3-pointer, but Gehrig Wynn calmly sunk six straight free throws as Benton closed up shop at Davenport Gymnasium.

Benton head coach Ron Winemiller said that this wasn't the first game Williams came through when his head coach needed him the most.

"He's been big for us for 27 games now. He's really undersized, but crafty and heady and does a good job of using those smarts around the rim and score against bigger guys."

Wynn finished with a game-high 20 points for Benton, while Williams tacked on 13 points. Hamilton Page tossed in 12 points, while Carson Lewis had 11 and Cade Thomas had two points for the Rangers.

Harrisburg got a team-high 18 points from Lambert, while Saulsberry finished with 16 points.

Will Sanders and Carson Burtis each scored six points for the Bulldogs, while Jordan Bartok finished with four points and Blake Drue, who returned for the fist time after an ankle injury suffered in a game against Nashville, had one points.

Harrisburg, who led once at 7-4 in the first quarter, didn't have the lead again until a Burtis 3-pointer in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs a 37-35 advantage with 1:26 to play. On the other end, Williams was there to tie the game at 37-all and Wynn hit a shot at the horn to end the third, giving Benton a 39-37 lead.

"When we took the lead by two, I thought we might be okay, but then the next three or four possessions we got beat down the floor," Harrisburg head coach Randy Smithpeters said. "We gave up some easy baskets and just not able to return from that. Those are situations that we have to fix.

"Benton is a really good team, their record shows that and we were able to play with them. With two minutes to go we had a chance, so I guess there is some success in the idea of that, but this time of the year, we really want the victory and we just weren't able to do that tonight."

Murphysboro 49,

Harrisburg 43

On Saturday night, Murphysboro led wire-to-wire in a 49-43 home win over Harrisburg.

The Bulldogs got a team-high 14 points from Lambert, while Saulsberry added 11 points.

Will Gibbs netted nine for Harrisburg, while Bartok finished with five points and Sanders flipped in four points.

Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Harrisburg Register, Eldorado Journal & The Gallatin County Democrat. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.

Benton 58 Harrisburg 51

Benton 16 09 14 19 - 58

Harrisburg 11 07 19 14 - 51

BEN (58): Thomas 1 0-0 2, Page 5 0-0 12, Wynn 5 8-8 20, Williams 6 1-2 13, Lewis 4 0-1 11, Morris 0 0-2 0. Totals: 21 9-13 58.

HBG (51): Drue 0 1-2 1, Lambert 8 1-3 18, Burtis 2 1-2 6, Saulsberry 4 7-8 16, Bartok 2 0-0 4, Sanders 2 2-2 6. Totals: 18 12-17 51.

3-pointers: BEN 7 (Lewis 3, Page 2, Wynn 2); HBG 3 (Lambert, Burtis, Saulsberry). Team Fouls: BEN 12, HBG 16. Records: BEN is 23-3 (8-0 SIRR Ohio), HBG is 20-6 (5-3 SIRR Ohio).

Murphysboro 49 Harrisburg 43

Harrisburg 08 08 14 13 - 43

Murphysboro 09 10 15 15 - 49

Harrisburg 43):  Gibbs 3 2-4 9, Saulsberry 3 5-7 11, Sanders 2 0-0 4, Lambert 5 3-4 14, Bartok 2 1-5 5. Totals 15 11-20 43.

Murphysboro (49): Gaston 2 3-4 9, Morgan 2 0-0 6, Greenwood 4 4-5 12, House 8 4-13 22. Totals 16 11-22 49.

3-pointers: HBG 2 (Gibbs, Lambert), MHS 6 (Morgan 2, Gaston 2, House 2). Team Fouls: HBG 22, MHS 16. Technicals: HBG team.