The Benton Junior Rangers are in the trophy round!
Derek Oxford's game-winning shot gave the Rangers a 42-40 victory Saturday over the Olney Cubs in the quarterfinals of the SIJHSAA Class L State Basketball Tournament quarterfinals, played in James "Hummer" Waugh Gymnasium at Rend Lake College.
Oxford, who surpassed the 1,000-point mark in last week's regional championship game, paced the team with 22 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists against Olney.
The teams were tied at 8-8 after one quarter before Benton forged a 22-15 halftime lead. The Rangers took a 33-26 lead into the final period.
Benton will play Centralia in the state semifinals at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, following a 6 p.m. matchup between Marion and Herrin. Centralia got past Collinsville 44-27 in the quarterfinals, Marion defeated Du Quoin 50-29 and Herrin downed Triad 42-23.
Austin Wills tallied six points for the Rangers. Tyson Houghland added four points, followed by Blane Pankey, Gehrig Wynn and Hamilton Page, all with three points.
Houghland had six rebounds for Benton, with Wills and Pankey both grabbing four, Page three, Brett Bonenberger two, and Oliver Davis and Scott Mosley, one each. Wynn tied Oxford for the team lead in assists, both with two, while Page nabbed a steal.