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Rangerettes defense rises to challenge in season opener

  • Benton's Jacey Eubanks applies pressure to Gallatin County guard Gracie Sauls in Monday night's season opener for both ball clubs. Trailing on the play is Rangerette's Zoe Carlton (5). Benton won 55-27.

    Benton's Jacey Eubanks applies pressure to Gallatin County guard Gracie Sauls in Monday night's season opener for both ball clubs. Trailing on the play is Rangerette's Zoe Carlton (5). Benton won 55-27.
    SPYDER DANN | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 11/18/2019 10:17 PM

Benton put two players in double figures to open the 2019-2020 season with a win, beating Gallatin County 55-27 Monday night at Rich Herrin Gymnasium.

The Rangerettes (1-0) got a team-high 15 points from Addisyn Miller and another 11 points from freshman Mia Wills as Benton put a total of seven players in the scoring column.

Benton took a 9-6 lead after one quarter and pushed the advantage to 24-11 at halftime, limiting Gallatin County (0-1) to just two second quarter field goals.

In the second half, the Rangerettes outscored Gallatin County 21-16.

"We put some different combinations out there to see what was going to stick," Benton head coach Andy Sloan said. "We struggled early and we were playing really hard, but give credit to Gallatin County, they don't have a ton of kids on their team and we just kept running fresh players at them and tried to wear them down."

In addition to Miller and Wills, Mady Wallace netted nine points for Benton, while Addie Dungy and Ensley Tedeschi each scored six points. Sesley Tedeschi finished with four points and Zoe Carlton tossed in two points.

Gallatin County's Audrey Jackson led all players with 16 points, while Carly Foster and MaKenzie Russell each flipped in five points. Molly Newton tossed in a free throw for the Hawks.

Gallatin County head coach Tiffany Sauls said her takeaway from this game will be helping her girls understand how to be more patient with the basketball -- especially on the opposition's end of the court where turnovers were a problem early.

"We have to take care of the basketball, that's the biggest thing," Sauls said. "If we take care of the basketball and learn to slow the game down against these bigger schools, we'll be okay.

"Audrey had a good game, but she has to have some help. Other girls are going to have to step up and play their part."

Benton returns to action on Wednesday night at Sesser-Valier, while Gallatin County will play host to Harrisburg Tuesday night.

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