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Prep Hoops: Rangerettes start off season on right foot with win over Marion

  • Benton's Ensley Tedeschi (33) and Marion's Jerzy Bittle (22) battle for this loose ball in the season opener for both clubs Monday night at Rich Herrin Gymnasium.

    Benton's Ensley Tedeschi (33) and Marion's Jerzy Bittle (22) battle for this loose ball in the season opener for both clubs Monday night at Rich Herrin Gymnasium.

By Spyder Dann
updated: 11/17/2021 10:22 PM

The Rangerettes kicked off the 2021-22 campaign in style, outscoring Marion 23-11 in the second half in posting a 16-point 44-28 win Monday night at Rich Herrin Gymnasium in Benton.
Benton (1-0) trailed only once in a game that saw three lead changes and two ties.
The Rangerettes jumped out to a 11-9 first quarter lead and took a 21-17 lead into the locker room behind Ensley Tedeschi's 14 first half points.
The 6-foot-1 junior guard led all scorers with a 19 points and joined Barelyn Miller in double figures with 11.
BCHS head coach Andy Sloan said patience offensively was key in the second half in helping his team pull away.
"We didn't give Marion very many second chance opportunities at the rim. In the first half, we would be around the basketball, but we would fumble it or even get a tie up and it was their possession. It seemed like it was a two-point, four-point, six-point game forever, but in the second half, we were able to turn some of the second chance opportunities into points."
Marion (0-1) jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks in large part to a 3-pointer by Jerzy Bittle. Benton regained the lead at 5-4 after a trifecta by Tedeschi and led 11-9 after the first eight minutes.
The second quarter featured two ties, but after knotting the game at 15-all, Benton would go on to outscore the Wildcats 6-2, grabbing a 21-17 advantage.
Marion was held to seven points in the third as Benton took a 33-24 lead going into the final eight minutes of action.
Marion head coach Casey Rose noted that with last year's condensed COVID-19 schedule, his team his still learning.
"We let Tedeschi get open there in first half and hit a couple of big 3-pointers," Rose said. "It was a back-and-forth game to start. We brought it back together and then it was a 10 or 11-point game there in the third quarter, going into the fourth and we made some adjustments that were working for a while, but then started to balloon away.
"To be honest with you, we're still new. This is year 1.5 for us. Last year, being my first, we are still taking a lot of stuff in. We learned a lot about our team and did a lot of good things, but it's a quick turn around and we have to make sure that whatever happened in this game, we take from it and put it in the rear view mirror."
The Wildcats were led in scoring by Bittle's 14 points, while Gracie Connor scored seven points. Alexis Ucci finished with four points and Payton Strobel tacked on three points.
Benton got an additional eight points from Addi Krueger, while Ryleigh Bates tossed in three points. Kylie Cockrum had two points and Peyton Tieffel tacked on a free throw.
Benton returns to action Wednesday at Sesser-Valier and will take part in the Nashville Tournament, starting November 21-27.
Marion was slated to be in action Tuesday at home against Vienna and will play Friday at Massac County.

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