By Mark Jurgena
Collinsville 49 O’Fallon 40
A patient offense, good shot selection, and great team defense is often a winning formula.
Last Saturday’s road win at O’Fallon was no exception as Collinsville came up with a nine-point win.
“We definitely moved the basketball and did some things we wanted to do,” said coach Darin Lee. “I thought we guarded well.”
Up 11-6 after one quarter, the Collinsville defense and hustle took over to produce an 8-0 run before the first mask break.
Matt Clark began the run on the defensive end from the help side by forcing a traveling violation. Jackson Lee then hit an eight-footer to increase the lead.
On the next Kahok possession, Lee came sprinting down the lane to grab an offensive board, he gathered himself enough to get the ball to Tray Swygeart for the easy layup.
Swygeart backed that up with a steal on the low post and went coast-to-coast for a layup to put CHS up 17-6. The run was punctuated by two Kyle Moore free throws.
On Collinsville’s first possession after the mask break, they executed their zone offense flawlessly as they worked 16 crisp passes around the perimeter for a bucket. Lee found Josh Chambers cutting down the lane for a layup to make it 21-7.
“We just haven’t had much practice, that’s the first time we’ve seen a 2-zone,” said coach Lee. “We practiced it a little bit on Friday. We moved the ball, we got the ball to the baseline and Jackson kicked one to Josh, so we got some movement there. We got some really nice looks, we just couldn’t get them down.”
After a quick 5-0 run by the Panthers, CHS took a 21-13 lead to the locker room.
Despite that run, the Kahok defense held O’Fallon to 1-of-10 shooting for the quarter.
The 3rd quarter saw the Kahoks continue to out-execute O’Fallon. Collinsville’s first and last baskets were well executed set plays by Caleb Ballinger and Nate Hall.
Ballinger found Hall for a layup off a lob pass to start the Kahok scoring.
Hall then returned the favor near the end of the third when he found Ballinger streaking toward the basket off an inbounds play at half court.
The play was similar to Hall’s 4th quarter inbounds assist to Cawhan Smith at Belleville West last February to help seal a 49-43 Kahok win.
In between, the Kahoks would get a steal and a free throw from Swygeart, a 16-footer from Lee, a baby hook from Hall and a free throw by Ballinger.
At the 3:51 mark, Hall would beat O’Fallon’s 1-3-1 trap with a no-look, cross-court pass to a wide open Swygeart for a layup.
The Kahoks took a 14-point lead into the 4th quarter and eventually increased it to 20-points before O’Fallon whittled the lead to seven but would get no closer.
The period was highlighted by three fundamental plays by Collinsville.
CHS went up 37-21 when Moore found Chambers on the opposite block for a layup.
A mere :13 later Hall found Lee down low on the left side. Lee pump-faked as his defender flew by and kissed in an eight-footer off the glass.
Finally, Lee returned the solid and found Hall with a bounce pass for the layup.
Hall and Swygeart each finished with 11 points for the Kahoks.
East St. Louis 58 Collinsville 38
East St. Louis forced Collinsville into 14 turnovers over the final three quarters to take control and win at Fletcher Gym on February 11th.
After taking an 11-8 lead at the quarter break, the Flyers forced six Kahok turnovers in the 2nd period to gain the halftime advantage.
Collinsville’s Moore buried a three to tie the game 11-11 at the 7:45 mark but the Flyers soared to an 8-0 run on four straight dunks and layups.
Another three from Moore and a free throw from Swygeart cut into the lead, but the Kahoks trailed 21-15 at the half.
East St. Louis came out of the locker room and ripped off a 9-4 run by going 4-for-5 from the floor to start the frame. They ended the quarter shooting 55% from the field.
The highlight of the quarter for the Kahoks was begun by Lee who stripped the ball from his man. Moore picked up the loose ball and found Hall in the open floor for a thunderous two-hand jam.
However, CHS was only 3-for-10 in the period and trailed by 15 headed to the fourth.
In the 4th period, it was more of the same as CHS turned it over four times.
East St. Louis went 6-for-6 from the field including two threes to spark a 14-4 scoring spree to start the final stanza. They pushed their lead to 23 points late in the game before settling for the final 20-point margin.
For the third time this season Swygeart led Collinsville in scoring. He put in 14 points while Moore added 11.
Belleville West 52 Collinsville 42
The Kahoks carried a 22-21 lead into halftime, but the Maroons lit up the Fletcher Gym scoreboard in the 2nd half to claim their initial win of the young season on February 9th.
The 3rd quarter saw West outscore Collinsville 16-5 and take a ten-point lead into the final period. The Maroons blistered the nets at a 55% clip on 6-for-11 shooting. They went 3-for-4 from three in the quarter. Meanwhile, the Kahoks went 2-for-13 from the floor, a 15% clip.
West was even hotter the first five minutes of the 4th quarter. They went 6-for-7 during that time and expanded their lead to 20 points.
From that point, Collinsville closed out the game on a 14-4 run going 6-for-9 from the floor during those last three minutes.
That final scoring outburst was in sharp contrast to the beginning of the game as CHS led 4-2 at the first mask break.
Collinsville found themselves down 6-4 after the fairly listless opening quarter, however, they ripped off an 8-3 run to start the second.
Swygeart hit two layups early in the quarter before Matt Clark hit a 15-foot jumper from the left elbow to put the Kahoks ahead 10-9. CHS extended their lead after a Chambers blocked shot led to another layup by Swygeart.
But Swygeart soon picked up his third foul trying to defend West’s, Tommie Williams.
Williams, a first team all-conference selection last year, knotted the score 12-12 on the free throws.
Collinsville would go on an 8-1 run with their leading scorer on the bench.
Moore kickstarted the outburst with a three from the left wing with 4:21 left in the half. Nick Graf drained two free throws to put CHS up four. Ballinger then came up with a steal, took it to the other end, and calmly hit a three from the left wing to put the Kahoks up 20-13 with just over two minutes left in the half.
From there, West went on an 8-2 run to finish the half down one.
Swygeart led the Kahoks with 20 points in 22 minutes. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. Swygeart and Ballinger both had two steals. Hall led the team with two assists.
Kahok Notes: Monday’s home game against Metro East Lutheran was canceled, but the game has been rescheduled for tomorrow at Fletcher Gym. The JV game will be at 6 pm with the varsity game to follow…The win over O’Fallon Saturday was coach Darin Lee’s 200th as the CHS head coach. He has a record of 200-141 in 12 seasons. He was 426-128 in 18 years at Nashville and 39-15 in two years at Vienna where he began his career in the fall of 1989.