By Mark Jurgena, Reporter
Collinsville used a big run each quarter to subdue Breese Central 50-39 Saturday in the opening round of the Highland Scott Credit Union basketball tournament.
The Kahoks staked themselves to a four point lead after one on the strength of an 11-2 run.
“I think that was really important to us to set the tone which is what we had talked about doing… to make sure we were playing the game we wanted to play. Riley (Doyle) hit a big three and then she hit a runner. When she does that she kind of sparks us. She’s been shooting the ball well,” said coach Lori Billy.
Riley Doyle drained two threes and Astacia Bush added one. Kristyn Mitchell began the run with a bucket down low versus a double team.
CHS began the 2nd quarter with back-to-back threes from Faith Liljegren and Bush followed by a conventional three point play by Mitchell.
Jenna Scheller’s bucket with 3:55 to go before half ended the CHS run.
The Kahoks were up 30-16 at the break.
They shot out of the locker room with an 8-3 run. Caite Knutson had four points while Bush and Mitchell hit two free throws each.
CHS pushed their lead to 38-19 after the run.
They ended the quarter up 13.
Bush, Liljegren and Mitchell each netted field goals to start the 4th quarter and get the lead back to 19 points.
Central would cut the lead to seven but baskets by Bush and Mitchell sealed the win.
Mitchell led the Kahoks with 15 points and nine boards.
Bush added 10 points, five rebounds and two steals.
“I thought Bush had a really good game. She ended up with 10 points and that was a good night for her. Defensively she was pretty solid for us as well,” said Billy.
Collinsville 53 Belleville West 51 OT
They made them both.
With CHS holding a precarious lead given to them by Doyle’s three pointer, CHS seniors Mitchell and Knutson had to make their free throws for CHS to win.
They hit all four.
“Those free throws were the difference in that game. We’ve talked about the importance of being able to get to the line and finish when we need to and they both did that for us,” Billy said.
CHS outscored West 7-5 in OT to win their SWC contest at Belleville West on January 16th.
The Maroons jumped on top in the OT when Reese Bennett hit a 12-footer as she was knocked to the floor. She missed her free throw, but West was up two.
With West still in control and just over two minutes to play, Knutson stepped in front of Maliah Sparks as she came barreling down the lane for a layup. The charge stole a possession for CHS.
“Again, that changed the game. We tell the kids that you can have the best game of your life and not score a point. Her stepping over and taking that charge was huge for us, because it gives us the ball back and we were able to come back and score,” said Billy.
After the charge, Bush brought the ball up the floor for CHS. She drove the lane drawing a double team and kicked it to the left corner for the wide open three from Doyle which gave the Kahoks the lead.
With under 1:00 to play, and the Kahoks still up one, Bennett drove the lane for a short bucket. Again Knutson came up huge defensively as she blocked the shot attempt and Mitchell secured the rebound getting fouled in the process.
Mitchell beat everyone to the line in anticipation of her free throws. She made them both to put CHS up three.
Another Mitchell rebound on the defensive end set up the eventual game clinching free throws by Knutson.
Lamiya Terrell hit West’s 10th three of the night as the buzzer sounded but CHS came away with the two point win.
The two point win was far from certain the way West was shooting in the 1st half..
West hit five threes in the first and two more in the second quarter, the last of which was banked home at the buzzer by Terrell. The Maroons led 35-23 at half.
Bennett then dropped in her fourth three of the night to begin the third quarter to give West their biggest lead at 15 points.
“We talked about that the scoreboard showed us down by 12 but honestly we contained them and defensively we did exactly what we were supposed to do and at the end (of the half) they literally heaved up a shot and it went in. Then they came out and hit the three to go up 15 at that point we just talked about going back at them and getting one basket at a time,” said Billy.
CHS outscored West by four in the third and made up the remaining eight points in the fourth.
Collinsville was led in scoring by Doyle’s 19 points and Knutson’s 18.
Doyle went 5-for-6 from three.
Knutson and Mitchell had six rebounds each.
CHS had 12 steals on the night, including two each from Bush, Doyle, Knutson, Liljegren and Natalie Becker.
Edwardsville 58 Collinsville 27
In Collinsville’s game at Edwardsville on January 14th, the Kahoks managed only five shots in the 1st quarter, while the Tigers made seven.
An even more telling stat was CHS committing nine turnovers in the quarter.
“The first quarter was rough. Honestly I think we lost the game in the first quarter. I felt like in the first half we were just trying to figure ourselves out,” said Billy.
The teams traded buckets early in the game. Sydney Harris hit a three five seconds into the contest for the Tigers, but Mitchell responded for CHS with a bucket to cut the lead.
After Quierra Love sank a field goal, Bush brought CHS back within one.
However the Tigers would score 19 of the next 20 points until the 4:20 mark of the second when Liljegren cut the lead to 24-7.
EHS led 32-10 at half.
Mitchell led the Kahoks with eight points and four rebounds.
Knutson had four assists while Liljegren had three steals.
Edwardsville was the #1 ranked large school in the St. Louis area.
-Late Monday night CHS lost 51-37 to Civic Memorial, the #1 small school in the St. Louis area in the quarterfinals of the Highland tournament
-They play today at 5 pm against the loser of Monday’s Teutopolis/Belleville West matchup. If they win that game, they play Saturday at 11:30 am for 5th place.