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Rangers run in postseason ends to Nashville


 
By Spyder Dann mdann@dailyregister.com
updated: 3/3/2020 9:58 PM

The Rangers run in the postseason came to a close Tuesday night, falling to Nashville 49-22 in the semifinals of the Hamilton County 2A Sectional.

The Rangers (27-8) were stymied by a Nashville (28-6) club that will now meet the winner of Mt. Carmel or Murphysboro in Friday night's championship game.

It was a cold shooting night for Benton as the Rangers shot 7-for-31 on the night and just couldn't overcome Nashville's length, especially in the paint.

"(Nashville) got off to a good start which is really what we didn't need to happen," Benton head coach Ron Winemiller said. "They were able to spread the floor and keep the ball in the guys hands that they wanted to. I thought they got some points by some guys that we were helping off of onto Carson Parker and Tristen Hercules. I thought Buzz Ritzel was kind of the difference in the game early. Their length really bothered us and we missed some open looks. We could never seem to get anything going to the rim. I thought that was really the difference in the game."

Benton's Reece Johnson was the only Ranger to finish in double figures as the junior guard put up 11 points.

Carson Lewis and Payton Bayless each tacked on three points, Jacob Seidel and Keegan Glover each tossed in two points and Reid Baumgarte had a third quarter free throw.

The Hornets were led by Jaxon Goforth and Parker's 11 points a piece.

Isaac Tuner added eight points, while Hercules finished with four points and Nolan Heggemeir had two points.

In the first half, Nashville set the tone, taking a 22-7 halftime lead, holding Benton to just one offensive rebound and limiting the Rangers on the offensive end to the tune of 2-for-15 shooting.

Johnson got Benton on the board in the first quarter at the 5:21 mark and that was the only basket for the Rangers as Nashville took a 14-2 lead.

Johnson had the only points for Benton in the first half as the junior guard drilled 3-pointer with 6:33 to play to make it 14-5 and added a pair of free throws with 5:47 to play to make it 16-7.

The Hornets scored six straight after to build a 22-7 halftime lead.

In a season where Benton won a share of the Southern Illinois River-To-River Ohio Division Conference with Murphysboro and captured the Carmi-White County 2A Regional, knocking off Fairfield 58-45, Winemiller was proud of the effort he got from his players and the support of the community.

"It was amazing to have the support that we've had all season really but the last couple of weeks for sure.

"To be able to represent Benton and for these kids to represent our community and our school like they've had. Even though we came up short, I'm awfully proud of what the entire body of work looked like."

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

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