Lady Rams place 1st in Benton Christmas Classic

Claire Heinzman and Jacie Dees make All-Tournament Team

Lady+Rams+and+Khaos+Kage+pose+for+picture+following+their+first+place+finish.

Lady Rams and Khaos Kage pose for picture following their first place finish.

Cam Meyer, Editorial Staff

MV’s Lady Rams competed in the Benton Christmas Classic at the Prep Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament from December 27 to 29, finishing with a record of 4-0, defeating Alton (Marquette) on Wednesday to bring home the championship.

The Rams started off hot, winning a convincing game against the Herrin Tigers, 69-41. Senior Guard Kennady Hayes scored 14 points in the win.

“It was a good game for us, and it was really the definition of a team win,” Coach Jeff Lonnon stated. “We were able to play everybody when we’re usually able to only play 8 or 9 of our players.”

In their second game, The Lady Rams defeated the DuQuoin Indians by a score of 56-36. Mount Vernon ended the game on a 20-8 run in just the fourth quarter. Senior guard/forward Jacie Dees led the way for the Lady Rams scoring 23 points.

“It felt really good, I had fun playing the game and I couldn’t have done it with my teammates,” proclaimed Dees.

The Rams then went on to defeat the Carterville Lions in the semifinals with a final score of 62-58. Senior forward Claire Heinzman played well that night, scoring 13 points.

“I thought it was a well-earned win that was a team effort, everybody contributed and kept the energy high,” answered Heinzman.

The Lady Rams then went on to capture the Benton Christmas Tournament Championship by defeating Marquette Catholic High School (Alton) 62-42. Senior guards/forwards Jacie Dees and Claire Heinzman made the All-Tournament Team.

“It was a great experience, it’s always rewarding when hard work pays off,” responded Heinzman.

“I’m happy with how I played, but we all came together as a team and had a good game,” declared Dees.

Senior Guard Kennady Hayes controlled the game with her 24 points and 6 3’s. “I was super excited knowing that we got into the championship game at Benton, we started shooting really well in the beginning, and it just kept going throughout the whole game,” stated Hayes.

Hayes, Heinzman, and Childers combined for 37 of Mount Vernon’s 38 first-half points.

“I felt really good, and knowing that we all contributed to that win was even better,” expressed Hayes.