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Mid-Winter Moving Parts

  • Max Morris Gymnasium, home to the West Frankfort Mid-Winter Classic, will be reduced to a four-team round robin this season after multiple teams have pulled out in favor of other events. The four teams that remain at the Mid-Winter are Cairo, Herrin, Marion and the host Redbirds.

    Max Morris Gymnasium, home to the West Frankfort Mid-Winter Classic, will be reduced to a four-team round robin this season after multiple teams have pulled out in favor of other events. The four teams that remain at the Mid-Winter are Cairo, Herrin, Marion and the host Redbirds.
    SPYDER DANN | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 7/3/2019 10:15 AM

A fixture of the West Frankfort Mid-Winter Classic since 2002, the Eldorado boy's basketball team will visit a new court starting this season.

Eldorado will join fellow WF Mid-Winter participant Anna-Jonesboro, along with, Christopher and Du Quoin at the Johnston City Mid-Winter Tournament, held January 20-25.

The West Frankfort Mid-Winter started in 1987; Anna-Jonesboro has been a part of that tournament since 1989.

Carterville is also out of the West Frankfort Mid-Winter and will join a list of teams (Massac Co., Goreville, Vienna, Century, Cobden, Charleston, Mo., and Graves Co. Ky.) that compete in the Massac County Superman Classic.

The remaining teams at West Frankfort now include the host Redbirds, as well as, Herrin, Marion and Cairo.

That tournament will now remain a four-team round-robin tournament.

In keeping with the theme of mid-winter tournaments, on the girls side, the Lady Eagle Mid-Winter Classic will have two less teams this season as Benton and Anna-Jonesboro have opted out of their contracts.

Those two teams will not be replaced and the tournament will be held January 18-25.

Coaching Vacancy

Evan Wyllie, who in one season as head coach at West Frankfort High School led the Redbirds to their first IHSA Class 2A Regional title since 2006-07, has resigned from his position to take a graduate assistant position at the University of Western Florida.

UWF is a Division II school, located in Pensacola.

"This past year at Frankfort has been a year I won't forget," Wyllie said. "I was fortunate enough to be around a group of guys who wanted to do whatever it took to win. They bought in from day one and worked their tails off. I appreciate all the support from the school, community and fans.

College coaching has been something I have pursued for the last three years or so and now I am fortunate enough to make a dream a reality," Wyllie added. "My wife Rachel and I are so excited for the next chapter of our lives and cannot wait to get started."

Prior to coming to West Frankfort, Wyllie replaced Byron Graven at Norris City-Omaha-Enfield.

Last season, West Frankfort was 21-11 and senior CJ Johnson recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at Kaskaskia

Saw That

Aric Holman, who helped lead Owensboro to its one and only title in the 2014 Eldorado Holiday Tournament, as well as, a state championship in Kentucky agreed in principal to a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers after going undrafted in the NBA draft recently.

Following high school, Holman played four seasons at Mississippi State and the 6-foot-10 forward averaged 8.3 points and 5.6 rebounds a game.

Still Going

Justin Dentmon continus to find a home on the hardwood following his playing days at Carbondale High School and Washington University.

Dentmon, who graduated from CCHS in 2004 and helped lead Washington to the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and who played for the San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors and as recently as 2013 the Dallas Mavericks, will be hooping for Team Everyday in the Memphis Regional in this summer's The Basketball Tournament.

The Basketball Tournament (TBT) -- the $2 million summer basketball event broadcast live on ESPN networks is in its the sixth year, starting on July 19 and the 2019 tournament features more than 60 players with NBA experience, 23 college alumni teams (three in the Memphis regional) and elite players from top leagues around the world. More than 20 Division I college players who finished their eligibility in 2019 will also compete in this year's tournament.

Eight regional winners will advance to Championship Weekend in Chicago that culminates with the winner-take-all championship game on August 6 (6 p.m. on ESPN).

Team Everyday, who adopted the slogan as an ode to their team booster, is looking to bring that mentality to TBT. Organized by former NBA player and Vanderbilt star Derrick Byars, Everyday features four players with NBA experience; Renaldo Balkman (South Carolina), Bobby Jones (Washington), and Mickell Gladness (Alabama A&T).

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois Local Media News Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.