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Benton beats rival Hamilton County at JC 2A Regional Semifinal

  • Benton senior guard Mady Wallace had a career-high 23 points as the Rangerettes knocked off Hamilton County 40-18 in Wednesday's IHSA Class 2A Regional Semifinal at Johnston City High School.

    Benton senior guard Mady Wallace had a career-high 23 points as the Rangerettes knocked off Hamilton County 40-18 in Wednesday's IHSA Class 2A Regional Semifinal at Johnston City High School.
    SPYDER DANN | mdann@dailyregister.com

 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 2/12/2020 9:47 PM

What separates Benton and Hamilton County High School in McLeansboro is about 24 miles down Route 14.

On Wednesday night in the IHSA Class 2A Regional semifinal at Johnston City, the mileage almost matched the score.

Benton (17-12) held Hamilton County to six second half points and picked up a 22-point 40-18 win over the Foxes.

The first half belonged to Benton's Mady Wallace as the senior point guard for had seven points in the first quarter, including a buzzer beating 3 and parlayed that with 16 in the first half as the Rangerettes took a 20-12 halftime lead.

Wallace said she didn't feel a lot of pressure on herself to contribute right away, but she knew early on her shot was falling.

"I just came in and we had a game plan and I really felt it tonight so my team let me just kinda go. My teammates just move the ball and open up the lane so I can drive in there. I didn't feel like it was all on me, I just felt like my shot was on tonight and I was making my layups so I was going to go until someone was open"

Wallace had a career-high 23 points, while Addisyn Miller and Ensley Tedeschi each finished with five points. Sesley Tedeschi flipped in four points, while Katy Johnson tossed in two points and Zoe Carlton had a free throw.

As good as Wallace was on offense, Benton was just as good on defense.

Benton limited Hamilton County (26-7) to one possession on offense. The Foxes didn't get their first points in the third quarter until the 2:20 mark when Sydney Downen drilled a pair of free throws to make it 27-14.

Hamilton County was held to six second half points as Benton claimed the 22-point victory. It was the second win of the year over the Foxes as Benton earned a four-point win back in December.

"Mady Wallace was good at both ends of the floor," BCHS head coach Andy Sloan said. "Her defense really got our offense going. Our defensive effort as a team was really good. We knew coming in -- I watched a game last week where Grace Luke and Chloe Braden come out for 57 points and when we struggle like we do offensively at times, we knew we couldn't let that happen tonight. I thought Ensley did a great job on Luke and Zoe did a great job on Braden, but our other three kids were really spying it and we knew if the ball went inside to Kolby Brake, we had to get down there and help Zoe. We played behind her, so we thought if they threw it over the top, if we played in front then we would be in trouble. I thought our team played great defense tonight."

Lueke was held to six points for Hamilton County, while Carson Belangee and Kaelee Karcher each tacked on three points. Braden, Brake and Downen all had two points.

Benton will now play Carterville in Friday night's championship game at 7 p.m. at Johnston City High School.

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