The Benton Grade School 5-8 seventh-grade boys’ basketball team beat Marion 47-44 to advance to the conference championship game Saturday against Carbondale.
The Junior Rangers came up just four points short, 33-29, in the title contest.
Against Marion, Benton built leads of 13-8, 29-19 and 39-31 at the first three quarter breaks.
Gehrig Wynn paced the Rangers’ scoring with 14 points to go with four rebounds and three assists. Hamilton Page tallied nine points in addition to two rebounds and three assists.
Adding to the balanced scoring effort were Brett Bonenberger and Blane Pankey, each with eight points; Bonenberguer also had five rebounds and two steals, with Pankey also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out two assists. Parker Williams contributed five points, two rebounds, a steal and an assist, with Drew Owens scoring two points.
In the championship game, Benton trailed 7-4 after one quarter and 18-9 at halftime before closing the gap to three, 22-19, going into the final period.
Pankey scored 11 points, grabbed five rebounds and had a steal. Page added eight points to go with two rebounds, a steal and two assists.
Bonenberger had four points, six rebounds and two steals, with Gehrig Wynn tallying three points to go with a rebound and a steal.
Williams nabbed a steal, and Owens also saw action for Benton.