Cairo Junior High Claims Regional Championship

The Juninor High Cairo Pilots beat Meridian High School to claim the Class M Regional Championship on Saturday.

The Cairo Junior High basketball team is shown after being crowned Class M Regional champions on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Meridian High School in Mounds. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Cairo Junior High basketball team is shown after being crowned Class M Regional champions on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Meridian High School in Mounds. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo's Tyler Lewis Drives past Meridian defense on Saturday, February 1, 2014.  The Junior High Cairo Pilots went on to win the Class M Regional Championship. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo’s Tyler Lewis Drives past Meridian defense on Saturday, February 1, 2014. The Junior High Cairo Pilots went on to win the Class M Regional Championship. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

Cairo Varsity Loses to Scott County Central 86-65

The Cairo Pilots faced Scott County Central High School Tuesday evening at Cairo High School.

The Junior Varsity squad played an aggressive game, maintaining possession of the ball for a majority of the game.  The Junior Varsity Pilots pushed past Scott County and were crowned victorious with a score of 63-57.

The Varsity Pilots were unable to contain the Scott County Varsity team, losing 86 – 65.

Cairo's Junior Varsity squad beat Scott County Central High School 63 -57 on Tuesday evening at Cairo Junior/Senior High School.   The Junior Varsity Pilots maintained possession for a majority of the game and were able to hold on with the lead for the win. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo’s Junior Varsity squad beat Scott County Central High School 63 -57 on Tuesday evening at Cairo Junior/Senior High School. The Junior Varsity Pilots maintained possession for a majority of the game and were able to hold on with the lead for the win. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

Saluki Sports: January 30, 2014

It’s hardly final . . . and we haven’t taken the time to check records extensively, but in addition to being one of the losingest teams in SIU’s history, the 2014 Salukis may become the all-time leader in “close” losses.

Coach Barry Hinson’s outfit is developing a true ability to play well enough to lose by just a few points.

Check the records to date:  The Salukis lost by two points to Austin Peay and Miami  (Ohio), by three points to San Diego and Drake, by four points to Chicago State, by six points to Evansville, Bradley and Missouri State, by eight points to Murray State, and by nine to Western Kentucky.

It’s true . . . a loss is a loss whether by one or 21, but eight losses by six or fewer points is somewhat unusual.  And, believe me, we’re not trying to make excuses for this year’s team.  Nor last year’s team (14-17).  Nor Chris Lowery’s final team in 2012 (6-23).  Nor Lowery’s second-to-last team in 2011 (11-19).  Nor his 2010 team (15-15).  Nor his 2009 team (13-18).

It’s been six years since SIU’s basketball program has finished with a winning record and that was a somewhat modest 18-15 mark.

That’s not good.  In fact, it’s bad even if this year’s outfit is showing some signs of being competitive.

We acknowledge the fact that Hinson has gone to a young starting lineup.  In SIU’s most recent loss — at Missouri State — it not only was young, but exceptionally young with three freshmen and a sophomore.

The Salukis competed.  They got off to a fine start, overcame several Missouri State leads during the game and were definitely within striking range in the closing minutes of the game.

However, before one gets excited about the future . . . and particularly in competing against Missouri State, it’s only fair to note that the Bears have one of the youngest teams in the nation.  Their leading scorer, a sophomore Marcus Marshall, was recently injured and out for the remainder of the season.  A freshman, Austin Ruder, and two other sophomores — Gavin Thurman and Dorrian Williams — combined for 39 of Missouri State’s 69 points against SIU’s 63.

Bear coach Paul Lusk — yeh, the former Saluki great — has two other underclassmen playing at 6-10.  Lusk is loaded for the future just as are several other Missouri Valley Conference teams.  The Valley, while not necessarily strong this season outside of Wichita State and Indiana State, is loaded with young players.

Despite the fact that the Salukis are comparatively young, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to wind up being the league’s next pre-season choice for championship honors.  Or the following season.

Yet, it’s first things first and the Salukis need to win a few games this season, by a single point or whatever.  Win a few games and avoid another single-digit win total.  That’s a truly tough figure to hide and fortunately there’s only been a few in SIU’s basketball history.

The one we have trouble with is the 1980 record of 7-20 which came after a 7-2 start, including an opening win over Memphis State.  We still haven’t figured that one out and don’t even try any longer.
Fred Huff| For The Cairo Citizen

The Week in Photos: December 19, 2013

The visual report for the week of December 19, 2013:

Billy Colman, of Cairo, sorts wood on his front porch Monday.  Colman uses a wood-burning stove as a way to keep heating costs down over the winter.  Choice cuts of the wood were saved for a future woodworking project.  Colman estimated having about two cords of wood; two stacks four feet deep by four feet high by eight feet long.  The ppile of wood is not nearly enough to heat his home through the winter.  "It goes quick once you start it burning," said Colman.  "It's a lot of work but there's definitely a few benefits." -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Billy Colman, of Cairo, sorts wood on his front porch Monday. Colman uses a wood-burning stove as a way to keep heating costs down over the winter. Choice cuts of the wood were saved for a future woodworking project. Colman estimated having about two cords of wood; two stacks four feet deep by four feet high by eight feet long. The ppile of wood is not nearly enough to heat his home through the winter. “It goes quick once you start it burning,” said Colman. “It’s a lot of work but there’s definitely a few benefits.” — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Billy Colman looks over a choice piece of wood in Cairo on Monday.  Colman selected the piece as a component of a planned woodworking project. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Billy Colman looks over a choice piece of wood in Cairo on Monday. Colman selected the piece as a component of a planned woodworking project. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Alishia Watkins takes video of the Cairo Head Start Christmas program on her tablet device Thursday.  Parents were on hand to observe the children performing musical selections.  The classes sang the songs "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Up on the Housetop," and "Jingle Bells" among others.  Both of the morning and afternoon sessions performed to captive audiences. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Alishia Watkins takes video of the Cairo Head Start Christmas program on her tablet device Thursday. Parents were on hand to observe the children performing musical selections. The classes sang the songs “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” “Up on the Housetop,” and “Jingle Bells” among others. Both of the morning and afternoon sessions performed to captive audiences. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
An accident involving a tractor trailer left debris littering Illinois Highway 57 on Wednesday.  Britton Trucking in Mounds spent much of the morning assisting in clearing the debris from the roadway.  Traffic conditions quickly returned to normal after the road was cleared. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
An accident involving a tractor trailer left debris littering Illinois Highway 57 on Wednesday. Britton Trucking in Mounds spent much of the morning assisting in clearing the debris from the roadway. Traffic conditions quickly returned to normal after the road was cleared. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Jordan Wyatt drives past Charleston defense on Tuesday at Meridian High School.  The Bobcats played an aggressive game, leading by at least ten points for a majority of the game.  Meridian was victorious over Charleston with a final score of 80 - 62. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Jordan Wyatt drives past Charleston defense on Tuesday at Meridian High School. The Bobcats played an aggressive game, leading by at least ten points for a majority of the game. Meridian was victorious over Charleston with a final score of 80 – 62. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Sophomore Daniel Valentine moves the ball down the court against Charleston at Meridian High School on Tuesday evening. The Bobcats forced numerous turnovers to remain in possession of the ball for most of the game.  Meridian was victorious over Charleston with a final score of 80 -62. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Sophomore Daniel Valentine moves the ball down the court against Charleston at Meridian High School on Tuesday evening. The Bobcats forced numerous turnovers to remain in possession of the ball for most of the game. Meridian was victorious over Charleston with a final score of 80 -62. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Egyptian School Lady Pharoahs played Dongola High School Monday night at Egyptian School.  Egyptian got off to a quick lead, keeping the Lady Demons from scoring until the second period.  The Lady Pharoahs beat Dongola with a final score of 57 - 50. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The Egyptian School Lady Pharoahs played Dongola High School Monday night at Egyptian School. Egyptian got off to a quick lead, keeping the Lady Demons from scoring until the second period. The Lady Pharoahs beat Dongola with a final score of 57 – 50. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Week in Photos: November 21, 2013

The visual report for the week of November 21, 2013:

Debbie Short prepares a hamburger at Tom's Place in Tamms.  THe restaurant reopened Friday after being closed since late September due to a truck crashing through the kitchen wall of the establishment.  "We're so happy to have people coming back in," said Bonnie Riston, owner of Tom's Place.  The reopening featured drawings for prizes and a catfish dinner. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Debbie Short prepares a hamburger at Tom’s Place in Tamms. The restaurant reopened Friday after being closed since late September due to a truck crashing through the kitchen wall of the establishment. “We’re so happy to have people coming back in,” said Bonnie Riston, owner of Tom’s Place. The reopening featured drawings for prizes and a catfish dinner. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Debbie Short takes a to-go order at Tom's Place in Tamms on Friday, November 15.  While customers passed through during the grand reopening on Friday take-out orders also kept the staff busy. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Debbie Short takes an order at Tom’s Place in Tamms on Friday, November 15. While customers passed through during the grand reopening on Friday take-out orders also kept the staff busy. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Linda Mallert and Ellen Braggen order their lunch at Tom's Place in Tamms on Friday, November 15. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Linda Mallert and Ellen Braggen order their lunch at Tom’s Place in Tamms on Friday, November 15. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Dessert items offered for sale sit on the counter at Tom's Place in Tamms.  The restaurant held a grand reopening on November 21. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Dessert items offered for sale sit on the counter at Tom’s Place in Tamms. The restaurant held a grand reopening on November 21. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Volunteers in Brookport, Ill. sift through debris at the site where the H & H Feed Store stood for 27 years -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Volunteers in Brookport, Ill. sift through debris at the site where the H & H Feed Store stood for 27 years — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Mark Harris fills a garbage bag with small debris as part of the cleanup effort in Brookport, Ill. on Monday.  Volunteers came out in large numbers to help clear streets and yards of trees and debris. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Mark Harris fills a garbage bag with small debris as part of the cleanup effort in Brookport, Ill. on Monday. Volunteers came out in large numbers to help clear streets and yards of trees and debris. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Ron Henson repairs siding damaged by the tornado in Brookport, Ill.  The house, occupied by his mother, suffered only minor damage. "We had a few broken windows and some torn off siding," said Henson.  "I think we got pretty lucky" -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Ron Henson repairs siding damaged by the tornado in Brookport, Ill. The house, occupied by his mother, suffered only minor damage. “We had a few broken windows and some torn off siding,” said Henson. “I think we got pretty lucky” — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Utility workers service the overhead lines on 4th street in Brookport, Ill. on Monday. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Utility workers service the overhead lines on 4th street in Brookport, Ill. on Monday. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Dalton Wright and Bailey Durapau survey the damage to their grandmother's home in Brookport, Ill. on Monday.  A tornado passed through the town Sunday afternoon damaging several local businesses and homes.  Governor Quinn declared Massac county a disaster area along with six others throughout the state. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Dalton Wright and Bailey Durapau survey the damage to their grandmother’s home in Brookport, Ill. on Monday. A tornado passed through the town Sunday afternoon damaging several local businesses and homes. Governor Quinn declared Massac county a disaster area along with six others throughout the state. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
A child's Barbie doll lays in the roadway on 4th Street in Brookport, Ill. on Monday, November 18, 2013.  The town was hit by a tornado on November 17, leaving parts of the town in ruin.  -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
A child’s Barbie doll lays in the roadway on 4th Street in Brookport, Ill. on Monday, November 18, 2013. The town was hit by a tornado on November 17, leaving parts of the town in ruin. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The ruins of the H & H Feed Store in Boorkport, Ill. on Monday, November 18, 2013.  A tornado touched down in the area on the previous afternoon leaving a path of destruction through the town. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
The ruins of the H & H Feed Store in Boorkport, Ill. on Monday, November 18, 2013. A tornado touched down in the area on the previous afternoon leaving a path of destruction through the town. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Members of the Varsity and Junior-Varsity Cairo Pilots met to play an exhibition game against each other on Friday, November 17 at Cairo High School. The Blue and White game brought out members of the community excited at the prospects of the coming season.  -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Members of the Varsity and Junior-Varsity Cairo Pilots met to play an exhibition game against each other on Friday, November 17 at Cairo High School. The Blue and White game brought out members of the community excited at the prospects of the coming season. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Members of the Varsity and Junior-Varsity Cairo Pilots play one another at the annual Blue and White Game at Cairo High School on Friday November 17.  -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Members of the Varsity and Junior-Varsity Cairo Pilots play one another at the annual Blue and White Game at Cairo High School on Friday November 17. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citize
Ruby Smith passes out prizes to raffle winners at the Delta Activity Center in Cairo, Ill. on Thursday, November 14.  Members of the community met for a buffet lunch of chicken and to support the PATH program.  The Program for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness helps support those who are or are at risk for being homeless.  The program helps participants by aiding them in their search for jobs and providing services such as counseling and medical care. -- George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen
Ruby Smith passes out prizes to raffle winners at the Delta Activity Center in Cairo, Ill. on Thursday, November 14. Members of the community met for a buffet lunch of chicken and to support the PATH program. The Program for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness helps support those who are or are at risk for being homeless. The program helps participants by aiding them in their search for jobs and providing services such as counseling and medical care. — George Lamboley | The Cairo Citizen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Camp teaches more than skills on the court

Brian Branter hopes to pass on more than basketball skills with his summer camp.

Cairo High School basketball coach Brian Brantner, middle, addresses camp goers June 14 at Cairo High School during his two week summer basketball camp. Brantner said  the camp was an opportunity to talk about life lessons with kids. “Basketball a lot of times is a metaphor for life,” he said. He worked with students from grades 3-8 during the camp and hopes to host a second two week session at the end of the summer but has not finalized the details. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Cairo High School basketball coach Brian Brantner, middle, addresses camp goers June 14 at Cairo High School during his two week summer basketball camp. Brantner said the camp was an opportunity to talk about life lessons with kids. “Basketball a lot of times is a metaphor for life,” he said. He worked with students from grades 3-8 during the camp and hopes to host a second two week session at the end of the summer but has not finalized the details. – Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen

12 arrests made in Cairo, Meridian brawl

The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department has arrested and charged 11 adults and 1 juvenile in their involvement in the brawl at Meridian High School Feb. 20.

Those arrested were: Bruce Woodson, of Cairo, Cameron Robinson of Cairo, Cordell Johnson, of Cairo, Darian Engram of Mound City, Darmez Nelson of Ullin, Darryl Jackson, of Cairo, Dejhanane Washington of Cairo, Jemond Pilgram, of Mounds, Kathryn Nesby, of Mounds, Richard Steele, of Mounds and Wilmont Gibson of Cairo. A juvenile was also arrested.

All 12 suspects were charged with reckless conduct. In the state of Illinois, reckless conduct can either be a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 4 felony.

The Illinois Compiled Statutes, defines reckless conduct as: (a) A person commits reckless conduct when he or she, by any means lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or act that: (1) cause bodily harm to or endanger the safety of another person; or (2) cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person.

Pulaski County Sheriff Randy Kern and his officers worked with Meridian High School principal Terrance Gaddy to review video footage and come up with a list of suspects.

Kern said while there have been fights at previous Cairo vs. Meridian basketball games, this even was unique.

“We’ve never had any fights like this before,” Kern said. He added that the number of participants this year was larger than any year he could remember.

“I think there’s probably more that could have been arrested but we didn’t have any information or any I.D.’s on any of them,”he said.

Pulaski County State’s Attorney Grayson Gile could not be reached for comment in this report.

The incident took place after the Cairo vs. Meridian Regional semi-final game at Meridian High School in Mounds. Century and Egyptian were on the court warming up for the final semi-final game when the brawl started and both teams were directed to their locker rooms as county and state police tried to separate the offenders. Police dogs were brought in to help control the crowd. The final game of the night was cancelled and fans were split up based on what side of the gym they were seated and directed to leave from two separate exits.

Isaac Smith contributed to this report.

–Tyler Dixon can be reached at (618)-734-4242

Meridian senior signs letter of intent

Meridian High School athletic director Mitch Haskins, top, Ozell Jones, left, Josh Jones, middle, and Lisa Jones pose for a portrait April 18 at Meridian High School as Jones signs his letter of intent to play basketball at Odessa College in Odessa, Tex.-- Tyler Dixon | The Cairo Citizen
Meridian High School athletic director Mitch Haskins, top, Ozell Jones, left, Josh Jones, middle, and Lisa Jones pose for a portrait April 18 at Meridian High School as Jones signs his letter of intent to play basketball at Odessa College in Odessa, Tex.– Tyler Dixon | The Cairo Citizen

Meridian senior big man Josh “Joddy” Jones signed his national letter of intent April 19 to play basketball at Odessa College in Odessa, Tex.

Odessa College is a junior college power and according to their website, they have had over 100 divison-1 signees. Their most notable alumnus is Larry Johnson, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduate and the 1st pick in the 1991 NBA draft.

Jones had an illustrious high school career scoring 1673 points over 104 games, which brings his high school scoring average to 17.1 PPG.

As a senior, Jones was named the MVP of the South Egyptian Conference. He was named All-Conference every year since his sophomore year.

Jones’ end of the season accolades are also impressive.  He was 3rd team all state according to the AP, 1st team All Area by A Baseline View, and 4th team All State 1A-2A combined by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.

Jones led Meridian his senior season in points, rebounds, and steals. He racked up 12 double-doubles and competed in 3 post-season all star games his senior year.

Since Jones’ sophomore season, Meridian’s record was 81-16.

“It will take a lot of hard work and conditioning,” Jones said when asked about what it will to be successful at the next level.

Jones said he will also keep in mind the “good advice” that he received from coaches and players during his time in high school.

Darius Brown of Northeast High School in Clarksville, TN will also join Jones at Odessa.

– Tyler Dixon can be reached at (618)-734-4242

Local seniors play in All Star Game

Meridian Bobcat Josh Jones puts up a shot  March 29 during the 35th Annual Lions Club All-Star basketball games at Rend Lake College. -- Photo Provided
Meridian Bobcat Josh Jones puts up a shot March 29 during the 35th Annual Lions Club All-Star basketball games at Rend Lake College. — Photo Provided

Century’s Cordon Hight and Meridian’s Josh Jones played in the 35th Annual Lions Club All-Star game at Rend Lake College on March. 29.

Over 30 seniors from Southern Illinois played in the game. There event also featured a three point contest for both the girls’ and boys’ teams as well as a boys dunk contest.

Century’s Cordon Hight scored 6 points, with 7 assists and added 3 steals for the home team.

Josh Jones from the Meridian Bobcats finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists.  Jones had the game winning lay-up for the away team; he started on a fast break and put it in with 4.0 seconds left in the game and his team up 125-123 in overtime.  The home team wasn’t able to get the win with their last shot.

– Tyler Dixon can be reached at (618)-734-4242

The Week in Photos: March 28, 2013

The visual report from the week of March 28, 2013

Clinton Pecord looks at floodwaters March 25 on the back of his property in Cache. Pecord lives a few hundred yards from the house he grew up in and said flooding has been something he has dealt with all of his life. However the flooding in 2011 was the highest he has seen on the property. He said even though the flood was difficult, he is not sure he will accept a buyout. “It really depends on what kind of offer they give us,” Pecord said.-- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Clinton Pecord looks at floodwaters March 25 on the back of his property in Cache. Pecord lives a few hundred yards from the house he grew up in and said flooding has been something he has dealt with all of his life. However the flooding in 2011 was the highest he has seen on the property. He said even though the flood was difficult, he is not sure he will accept a buyout. “It really depends on what kind of offer they give us,” Pecord said.– Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
O.J. Taake, right, finishes cutting Morgan Laird’s hair March 22 in his barber shop in Olmsted. 84-year-old Taake said he has been barbering for the last 49 years, 44 of those years in that same shop in Olmsted. Taake said he took up barbering at age 35 after he had quit farming. A highlight of his job Taake said is talking to all kinds of people. His shop is only open three days but he said it keeps him plenty busy. “For a retired person now it makes a pretty good pastime,” he said. Taake recently shortened his hours from opening at 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. and said  it was because of his age. “The more birthdays I had it got harder to stay here that many hours,” Taake said. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
O.J. Taake, right, finishes cutting Morgan Laird’s hair March 22 in his barber shop in Olmsted. 84-year-old Taake said he has been barbering for the last 49 years, 44 of those years in that same shop in Olmsted. Taake said he took up barbering at age 35 after he had quit farming. A highlight of his job Taake said is talking to all kinds of people. His shop is only open three days but he said it keeps him plenty busy. “For a retired person now it makes a pretty good pastime,” he said. Taake recently shortened his hours from opening at 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. and said it was because of his age. “The more birthdays I had it got harder to stay here that many hours,” Taake said. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Senior Egyptian guard Devante Price puts up a shot Jan. 25 during a home game against Meridian.  Price‘s team won the first round of the All Star Game at John A. Logan. Price also took first in the  in the tournament’s dunk contest. -- Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen
Senior Egyptian guard Devante Price puts up a shot Jan. 25 during a home game against Meridian. Price‘s team won the first round of the All Star Game at John A. Logan. Price also took first in the in the tournament’s dunk contest. — Isaac Smith | The Cairo Citizen