CARTERVILLE — What was a two-point game midway through the third quarter turned into a rout Saturday night as Carterville's boys basketball team pulled away for a 59-34 victory over Benton in a non-conference game.
After being blasted by Herrin the night before, 73-47, the Rangers again were crushed by a Williamson County team. The Lions turned a 25-23 lead into a blowout in the second half with a 23-0 run.
Blake Watson hit four 3-pointers and led the Lions (11-9) with 15 points. Michael Aschemann added 14 and Tyler Horn had seven.
Dylan Sheeks led Benton (8-15) with 14 points. Nathanael Higgins scored 21 points and Sheeks had 14 in Friday's loss to Herrin.
Carterville's game Friday night at Pinckneyville was a dandy with the Lions coming up short in overtime, 54-52, in SIRR Mississippi Division play at Duster Thomas Gymnasium.
Pinckneyville allowed a 14-point lead to slip away only to win in overtime on an off-balance driving lay-up by senior guard Luke Miller with 1.4 seconds left on the clock.
The Lions outscored the Panthers 31-17 over the final 10 minutes of regulation to force the OT, but couldn't overcome the career night by Miller, who led all scorers with 24 points.
There wasn't much to see on offense by either side in the first half, at least not until Pinckneyville's 10-0 run to close out the second period and head into the locker rooms with a 16-10 lead.
After failing to score in the first half, Pinckneyville's Chris Priebe got the ball inside more often in the third quarter and put in seven of the Panthers' 16 points as they built a 32-23 lead heading to the fourth.
The Lions erupted for 24 points in the fourth period where Aschemann had 11 of his team-high 17. Aschemann, Watson and Matt Galik all hit 3-pointers in the frame and it was Galik's driving lay-up with 3.4 on the clock that tied the game for the first time since it was 10-10 in the second quarter.
With Horn already fouled out, Lucas Hunter joined him on the bench early in the OT when he hacked Priebe, who sank both free throws. Galik tied it with another driving lay-up, but a three-point play from Miller after a crossover move gave PCHS the lead with 1:57 left.
Watson made free throws to tie the score, but the Panthers had a shot to win it as time ticked away. Miller drove in got the shot off just before hitting the ground.
With Sparta upsetting Nashville on Friday, the Panthers can now split the SIRR Mississippi Division if they win their remaining conference games.
Priebe and Caleb Dahn joined Miller in double digits with 12 points apiece.
Page 2 of 2 - Watson added 13 for Carterville, while Galik and Horn both had nine.
Benton plays at home Tuesday night against Hamilton County, while Carterville plays Friday at home against Nashville.