By Mark Jurgena, Reporter
With 6:09 left in the third quarter, Collinsville’s Keydrian Jones hit a layup off a pass from Ray’Sean Taylor to give CHS a five point advantage 34-29. In the next 2:28 the Kahoks would score 15 more points to balloon their lead to 49-29 en route to a 76-63 SWC win last Friday in Collinsville.
“It was really fueled by our diamond press. Our diamond press has been, the last couple of years, lethal to certain teams. It depends how they handle it and it really bothered Alton a lot. We got some turnovers out of it, got some runouts, we went on quite a run,” said coach Darin Lee.
They went 8-8 from the field and made the only free throw they attempted in that stretch.
During that run, Taylor tossed in six points, had three assists, a steal and a rebound. Jones had seven points and a rebound while Hall had four points, two blocks and a rebound. Lorent Dzeladini had two assists and a steal while Cawhan Smith had a steal and a rebound.
The game did not start as hot for CHS as they missed their first five field goal attempts in their first outing since upsetting the #1 team in Class 3A Chicago Morgan Park last Saturday.
“We didn’t shoot well early, we had some good looks but yeah that was a frustrating way to start,” said Lee.
The teams traded buckets throughout the 1st quarter, but Taylor hit a three off the dribble as time expired to give the Kahoks a 13-11 advantage.
Collinsville’s teamwork showed to begin the 2nd quarter.
Keydrian Jones came up with a blocked shot on the defensive end. Smith got the rebound and passed it to Taylor. Taylor drove the lane, avoided the Alton defender who was set for a potential charge and delivered a no look pass to Dzeladini for the layup and a four point lead.
Jones delivered six points in the quarter and Hall had five, but the Kahoks could not shake the Redbirds and only led by five at the half.
For the game, CHS shot an outstanding 60.4% from the field.
Ray’Sean Taylor had 26 points and Nate Hall added 20 for the Kahoks. Those two together hit 21 of 32 shots; a 66% clip.
Keydrian Jones added 15 points on six for eight shooting.
CHS was able to turn Alton over 20 times with 10 steals led by Taylor’s five.
“Cawhan Smith and Ray’Sean Taylor… you just don’t get guards like that. They can just get their hands on a lot. Also when we are in that diamond, Keydrian Jones at the top of that diamond is really good. He’s long, he’s active, sometimes they get you in a trap and they just smother you,” Lee said
However, CHS committed 18 themselves.
“We got going fast. There’s no doubt he (Taylor) and Skeet (Smith) they had more turnovers than they are used to, just very uncharacteristic,” Lee said.
The Kahoks again outrebounded their opponent, this time by a 31-26 margin, including 22-16 on the defensive glass.
“We’re definitely rebounding better. I think the Morgan Park game was big. That’s an area I feel like we’ve improved. We’ve improved in practice putting bodies on people, screening out. But we’ve got to continue to make it a focus especially on the defensive end,” said Lee.
Against Morgan Park, the Kahoks had a 49-27 advantage on the boards.