Cairo, Benton, Pinckneyville post BIT wins
Pilots edge Okawville, Rangers win over Carlyle, Panthers battle past Ham Co.

BENTON - For the Okawville Rockets to win basketball games, their top player must see a lot of minutes on the court.

However on Wednesday against Cairo at the Benton Invitational Tournament, Brent Frederking spent most of the contest sitting on the Rockets bench in foul trouble.

With the 6-6 senior riding the pine, 6-4 junior Beau Barkow stepped up his game to lead the Rockets in scoring with 18 points.

But Cairo's Gary Williams canned a huge 3-point shot late in game and the Pilots nailed 4-of-5 free throws in the last 24 seconds to hold off Okawville 54-49 at the Benton Invitational Tournament Wednesday night at Rich Herrin Gym.

Cairo won this game, despite its slow pace, to improve to 1-1 in the round robin event and 15-3 overall.

With Frederking on the bench after picking up his second foul of the game on a 'double foul' call with 4:40 to go in the first quarter, the Rockets' Barkow stepped up his game immediately to give his team a lift.

He scored the first time he touched the ball on a lay in from the right side of the lane to give Okawville an 8-3 lead.

He then scored the final points of the opening frame on a spin move in the paint while being fouled by Cairo's Roman Wright.

His free throw put the Rockets up 17-9 at the first horn.

Neither team got much done offensively in the second quarter.

With Cairo playing a 2-3 zone since the 3:04 mark of the first quarter and Okawville already in foul trouble, neither team was in a hurry to do much.

"I saw the way the game was being called and decided to play more zone." said Cairo coach Larry Baldwin. "I didn't want us to get into foul trouble so we backed it off a little."

Cairo did manage to score the last five points before halftime to tighten the score.

All five came from Brandon Childs, as the 6-0 junior canned a 3-pointer and then scored on a move down the lane to cut the lead to 23-18 at intermission.

Frederking came out and scored quickly to start the third quarter, scoring in the paint while being fouled by Deovaunta Williams. His free throw made it 26-20 with 5:58 left in the third.

Anthony Mackins on the next trip rebounded his own miss to cut the lead back to 26-22.

Then Childs got Frederking to commit his third foul of the game with 5:20 to play.

Seville Bell scored the next four points for the Pilots, on a shot in the lane on a pass from D. Williams and then on two free throws. His tosses cut the Rockets lead down to 28-26 with 3:49 to go.

Barkow made a super move in the paint on the next Rockets possession, scoring on a jump hook on a pass from Frederking to make it a four-point cushion.

However maybe the biggest play of the game came just seven seconds later, as Frederking pick up a 'reach in' foul while guarding Mackins and had to return to the bench with 3:42 left in the third with his fourth personal.

The Pilots turned up the pressure from this point on, as they scored on consecutive trips to even things a 30-apiece.

D. Williams laid one in from in close to the basket, and then Childs did the same scoring from close range, which forced an Okawville timeout at 2:27.

Okawville's Joel Boeschen and Child exchanged buckets on the next two trips. Then after Barkow converted 1-of-2 free throws, G. Williams hit his first 3-pointer of the evening from just past the right elbow with :12 left and the Pilots had their first lead since early in the game at 35-33.

The Rockets quickly got the lead back in the fourth quarter with Lance Rabenhorst nailing a 3-pointer and Boeschen scoring from just inside the free throw line to make it 38-35 Rockets.

Cairo struck back immediately with D. Williams converting a lob pass from Childs with 5:58 left.

Cairo came out of its zone defense and picked up the Rockets full-court.

The pressure paid off for the Pilots as Okawville was forced to burn its final timeout of the game on a sideline out-of-bounds play with 4:25 left. G. Williams then stole the ensuing in-bounds pass and fed Mackins a pass which resulted in a easy lay in and a 39-38 Cairo advantage.

D. Williams made a steal near the mid-court line and his two-handed dunk made it 41-38.

Barkow answered with a lay in for Okawville but Cairo scored the next two baskets, with Mackins and D. Williams scoring on baseline moves.

Frederking scored his final basket of the game on a back door pass from Barkow with 2:12 left.

Instead of milking the clock Cairo continued to attack the basket as Mackins scored again, this time of a 12-foot jumper in the lane for a 47-42 lead.

But Barkow hit in the lane on a pass from Frederking once again to narrow the lead back to three.

It was at this point the Gary Williams hit his 3-point dagger.

Okawville cut the lead to three as Barkow hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 50-47.

But Cairo hit its free throws down the stretch to send Okawville (15-4) home with a 0-2 mark in the BIT.

"We got a wake up call Monday night and we responded well tonight." added Baldwin. "It was good to see the kids show some intensity tonight. It was a good win tonight against a real good team."

Childs had 13 to top the Pilot scoring honors while Deovaunta Williams added 12.

Mackins and Gary Williams scored eight points each while Wright and newcomer Bell hit seven and six respectively.

Okawville was paced by Barkow's 18. Boeschen added 12 for the Rockets and Frederking scored seven.

The Rangers got a strong game from Justin Raby to cruise past Carlyle in the second BIT contest Wednesday night.

Raby's 22 points lead three Benton players in double-figures as the host school moved to 2-0 in the BIT with its eighth win in a row. Ryan Fraulini and Kyle Meyers added 12 and 10 points for the 16-5 Rangers.

Carlyle (9-8) got a team-high 13 points from Kyle mith and nine points each from Freshman Ryan Meyer and senior Matt Carpenter.

The Panthers forced Hamilton County into playing catch up basketball in the second half, and the Foxes could muster only 10 points in the final 16 minutes. Pinckneyville (10-6) improved to 2-0 in the BIT.

Daniel Maddox had 13 points to pace the Panthers while Mason Woodside and Eric Sutues added nine and seven in the low-scoring affair.

The Foxes (7-11), who led nearly the entire first half, got 13 points from Joshua Wiggins and eight points from Rickey Rubenacker.