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Kahok Boys Push SWC Leader East To The Limit

By Mark Jurgena

Belleville East 45 Collinsville 38

“In our conference taking charges is very important,” Collinsville coach Darin Lee said two weeks ago after his team took two during a 61-40 win at Alton.

This past Saturday at Belleville East the Lancers turned the trick on consecutive possessions in the 4th quarter while they were clinging to a slim lead.

Collinsville’s Tray Swygeart hit a three with 6:09 to play to cut the East lead to two and the Kahoks had a chance to tie the game but a miss on a contested layup and a runout that was converted by East leading scorer Ethyn Brown pushed their lead to four.

From there CHS couldn’t get a shot up for a while as they turned the ball over four consecutive possessions including the two charges.

Meanwhile, the Lancers were on a 10-0 run that put them up 42-30.

CHS didn’t give up though as Swygeart had a steal and a layup with 51 seconds left, then Nate Hall deflected and stole the inbounds pass under the basket and was fouled. He hit the first of his free throws to cut the lead to nine.

After a Lancer free throw, Swygeart was fouled on his three-point attempt. The ball went in and he converted the charity toss to cut it to a six-point game with :38.3 to play, but East would increase their lead and eventually take the seven-point win.

Collinsville didn’t help themselves by committing 10 turnovers in the 2nd half.

Defensive pressure was key throughout this game and Collinsville used it to surge in the 2nd quarter.

With East leading 12-9, Swygeart hit the back end of two free throws and CHS slapped on a press off the make. Dayton Horras deflected the inbounds pass into the hands of Swygeart who layed it up for two to tie the game.

Later, with East up one, Josh Chambers hit two free throws, and once again the press paid dividends as Devin Davis came up with a steal and Hall delivered a putback basket to give CHS a 17-14 lead into the locker room.

“I thought we guarded really well,” said Lee. “We really guarded the whole game. Our defense is much better than I realized. We’ve been able to press some teams. I think this not being able to practice has teams not very organized. We were able to create some turnovers and got some easy buckets.”

For the game, Swygeart led CHS with 21 points while Hall had nine.

Brown led East with 18 points. The Lancers are atop the SWC with a 5-0 mark. Collinsville is at 3-4 through two weeks of the five-week season.

Collinsville 71 Metro East Lutheran 48

Midrange jumpers? One. That’s just how basketball is evolving.

Last Friday’s game at Fletcher Gym was a great case in point.

Collinsville hit 21 layups and seven threes to beat previously undefeated Metro East Lutheran.

“We didn’t plan it that way, it’s just the way it was,” said Lee. “We’re always looking for layups, but threes, they hadn’t been going down for us until that game.”

CHS also employed a stifling full-court press that paid dividends early in the quarter.

After Hall worked his way for a layup in traffic for a 7-4 lead, Jackson Lee and Swygeart combined to force a turnover on the inbounds pass. Hall was the beneficiary as he pump-faked a 10-footer and drove for a layup.

Swygeart got another steal on the press which forced Metro to call a timeout to stem the tide, but Kyle Moore would drain a three to complete a 10-0 run.

“First half it made a big difference for us,” Lee said. “We were trying to get some turnovers and fatigue them a little bit.”

Dayton Horras hit the only CHS “midrange” jumper, just inside the arc, late in the first quarter, but it did spark a 6-2 run to give the Kahoks a nine-point lead after one.

After four quick points by MEL cut the lead to six, Collinsville went on an 8-0 run.

Hall began the festivities with a layup to break an 0-for-6 shooting string by the Kahoks. Horras then found Hall on an inbound pass for two.

On the next possession, the CHS offense worked a ball reversal to Horras who found a wide-open Matt Clark underneath to go up by 12.

The run finished on a steal by Moore who got it to Swygeart for the coast-to-coast layup.

CHS took a 34-22 advantage into the half. They went 14-for-27 shooting with 12 layups.

Defensively the Kahoks kept Metro’s leading scorer, A.J. Smith, to four points in the half. He came into the game averaging 22.5 points per game.

The 3rd quarter saw the Kahoks continue their onslaught.

After three early layups, CHS got hot late including threes from Swygeart and Moore to close the period on a 10-2 run.

Sprinkled in that run was more great Collinsville defense as Josh Chambers drew a charge on DeMarcus Bean.

The final stanza saw four layups and four threes for the Kahoks. Moore and Nick Graf each hit a pair of threes, while Hall, Chambers, Swygeart, and Alex Lorsbach had layups.

All 11 Kahoks scored in the game. Swygeart led with 19 points, while Hall had 15. Moore’s four threes left him with 12 points.

For MEL, Bean led the way with 16 points and eight boards. Smith added 15 and seven.

Edwardsville 48 Collinsville 26

Edwardsville got hot in the 2nd half and Collinsville didn’t.

Whether that was due to good defense or poor shooting or a combination of the two it all added up to a 22-point Edwardsville win at Fletcher Gym on February 18th.

Edwardsville went 11-for-18 after the break while CHS went 6-for-17 with six turnovers.

In the 3rd quarter, EHS put together a 7-2 run prior to the mask break to push their 14-10 halftime lead to nine.

Hall kept the Kahoks in it with all five of his team’s points in the quarter, but EHS drained three triples late including two contested makes by Brennan Weller and one from Caleb Valentine. Those were part of an 11-1 run to put the Tigers up 17 points at the quarter break.

Edwardsville pushed their run to 18-3 at the start of the 4th quarter then put the game on ice as the Tigers extended their offense to run the clock and force the Kahoks to foul.

The highlight of the period was a steal and three-point play by Swygeart. After the steal, he navigated his way to the other end with a crossover dribble on one Tiger, a behind-the-back dribble on another, then once again double-clutched a layup to draw the foul.

The play was begun by a pair of deflections from Graf and Lee.

Both teams had 1st half shooting woes courtesy of some strong defense from both sides.

The Tigers had raced out to a 4-0 lead on buckets by Weller and Jalil Roundtree, then, except for free throws, everybody went cold. The two squads combined to go 1-for-8 from the floor the rest of the quarter.

CHS didn’t hit a field goal until late in the quarter when Lee hit a contested 16-footer at the buzzer to cut the Tiger lead to 8-4 at the break.

Collinsville tied the game 8-8 early in the 2nd quarter on two layups by Swygeart including a double-clutch scoop shot in traffic, however, CHS only managed to go 3-for-12 for the quarter.

For their part, the Kahok defense held EHS to 3-for-11 shooting in the stanza.

CHS cut the lead to two points with just under 20 seconds to go on Swygeart’s putback. Prior to that, Lee had grabbed his third offensive board to keep the CHS possession alive.

However, Hayden Moore drove uncontested for a layup at the buzzer to give EHS a four-point lead at the half.

“I thought we played great defense, took away many of their set plays,” said coach Lee. “Obviously their defensive effort was very good as well.”

Swygeart led CHS with 13 points while Hall had seven. Weller had 17 for the Tigers, while Roundtree added 11 tallies.

The Tigers moved to 3-1 on the year.

Kahok Notes: The JV Kahoks are 7-0 on the season. In the last week, they beat Belleville East 60-44, Metro East Lutheran 59-15, and Edwardsville 55-50.

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