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Rangerettes poised to improve this season

  • The 2019-2020 Benton Rangerettes Varsity Girls Basketball Team

    The 2019-2020 Benton Rangerettes Varsity Girls Basketball Team
    CHRIS KAYS | For The News

  • The 2019-2020 Benton Rangerettes Junior Varsity Girls Basketball Team

    The 2019-2020 Benton Rangerettes Junior Varsity Girls Basketball Team
    CHRIS KAYS | For The News

 
By Geary Deniston
Contributing Writer
updated: 11/19/2019 10:20 AM

The Benton girls basketball team is coming off a great season where the Rangerettes posted their best record and first SIRR Ohio Division title in four years, but the season ended early with a 39-33 loss in the regional finals.

This year the Rangerettes are moving down a class from 3A to 2A, which should help their prospects, but Benton will also have to face Carterville and Mater Dei, which also moved down.

"Last year was especially hard when you host the regional, but we faced a pretty good Olney team, who had one of the best freshmen in the state, in the finals," said Coach Andy Sloan. "We had our chances, but just couldn't get it done."

Sloan, who was the SICA Ohio Division Coach of the Year last year in 3A, only lost three players off last year's team that posted a 23-9 record, which was the first time since the back-to-back regional championship teams of 2014-15 and 2015-16 that the Rangerettes won at least 20 games.

"Looking back on it we had a lot of unknowns and probably over-achieved a little bit to win the conference, which we weren't expecting to do," Sloan said. "From that we got a good number of kids back that I think learned how to win last years, so hopefully we'll be a little better this year. This year we have to be really good defensively and if we do that we'll be ok. I think we've got the pieces to play with anybody."

Gone is starting All-Conference forward Ember Milby and two reserves guard Lacey Jerkins and center Macie Cockrum. However, Sloan has the other four starters back in senior All-South guard Mady Wallace and senior center Zoe Carlton along with junior All-South shooting guard/small forward Addisyn Miller and sophomore guard Jacey Eubanks.

"I think we'll be able to pressure the ball a little more and we will have the ability to score more, so we'll be in pretty shape," Sloan said. "At the same time we've got 19 kids and nine are freshmen, so we have a learning curve with those kids. However, they've been pretty good and it's been a pretty smooth transition."

Wallace and Miller averaged 10 points a game and Carlton averaged six rebounds a game last season. Miller was the second leading rebounder.

"Wallace and Miller will be the keys, so they will be keying on those two, so somebody else is going to have to step up, " Sloan said. "Carlton is a scrappy kid who is always around the ball and we're looking for Eubanks to put some more points on the board."

Also back is junior guard Sesley Tedeschi. Joining her will be her younger sister Ensley.

"Sesley came off the bench last year, so she'll be in the mix," Sloan said. "She has the ability to score and spread the defense out. Three to five of those freshmen could see some time right out of the gate. Ensley will probably get the most playing time. She's a 5-11 freshman who can handle the ball and get to the rim."

Benton Rangerettes Basketball Roster

No. Name Hgt. Class

0 Jacey Eubanks 5-3 So.

1 Cailyn Fowlkes 5-2 Jr.

2 Mia Wills 5-3 Fr.

3 Mady Wallace 5-5 Sr.

4 Addisyn Miller 5-8 Jr.

5 Zoe Carlton 5-6 Sr.

10 Remi Thomas 5-5 So.

11 Addie Dungy 5-5 So.

13 Kylie Cockrum 5-9 Fr.

21 Peyton Tieffel 5-8 So.

22 Sesley Tedeschi 5-10 Jr.

24 Addi Krueger 5-7 Fr.

25 Braelyn Miller 5-8 Fr.

33 Ensley Tedeschi 5-11 Fr.

52 Katy Johnson 5-7 Sr.