BENTON — The Rangerettes took care of business at home Tuesday evening by defeating the Herrin Lady Tigers 43-27 in a big stretch of SIRR-Ohio conference games coming up.
“Winning at home in the conference is big and I think the Ohio is really balanced this year,” said Rangerettes coach Andy Sloan. “This is a tough stretch for us but a big win against a team coming in on a bit of a hot streak.”
Benton (4-3) was able to extend its winning streak to two in a row after notching a victory over Mascoutah on Saturday.
The loss for Herrin snaps a three-game winning streak for the Lady Tigers and returns their record back to .500 at 3-3.
Benton might have three freshman starters, but that didn’t stop the Rangerettes from outscoring Herrin 27-17 in the second half. The Rangerettes were led in the second half by freshman Ensley Tedeschi with 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
It was a slow start to the game for Tedeschi after scoring only two points in the first half but the freshman showed out with 10 points in the third quarter to put her team ahead by 12 points after three quarters.
Tedeschi got the ball rolling for the Rangerettes to start off the second half after converting on an and-one drive through two Herrin defenders to the rim. Tedeschi’s free throw gave Benton early momentum in the second half and its largest lead of the game at 19-10.
“She played well tonight,” Sloan said about Tedeschi. “She’ll need to do a little bit better from the free throw line moving forward because she has that ability to draw fouls, but she’s long and athletic on both ends of the court.”
After a low scoring first quarter, the Rangerettes carried a 16-10 lead over the Lady Tigers heading into halftime. Senior Mady Wallace led Benton with eight points at halftime to go along with three rebounds.
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Wallace tied the game at 9-9 after sinking both of her free throws with a little over two minutes remaining in the second quarter. The senior turned around and drilled a three-pointer nearly a minute later to give Benton a 12-9 advantage.
Wallace is normally a starter for Benton, but came off the bench on Tuesday and finished with eight points and three rebounds.
“She usually starts for us but we’ve shaken up the lineup a bit,” said Sloan. “We’re just working on some things with some of our young players, but Mady is one of our leaders and probably played her best game of the year tonight.”
The Rangerettes went on to close out the first half on a 9-1 run due in part to Herrin’s 12 first half turnovers. Benton played a clean game all around only committing two turnovers in the first half and none in the second half.
Benton got a good performance from starting Adisyn Miller. The junior finished with eight points and three rebounds, with two big three-pointers in the second half to help build Benton’s lead.
Herrin was led in scoring by Presli Karnes and Layla Wade with eight points each. Wade also tallied six rebounds, but it was Meghyn Blankenship who snagged a team-high seven rebounds for the Lady Tigers.
Benton will next take on Massac County in a Saturday matchup at 11 a.m.
Herrin will travel to Centralia for its next game on Thursday at 6:15 p.m.