By Mark Jurgena
Collinsville traveled to the Quad Cities in Western Illinois for a season opening tournament and returned to the Metro East with two victories in three games. They beat Chicago (Brooks) and Canton on day two of the tourney after falling to a powerful host school Rock Island in the tourney opener.
“We were happy to get a couple of wins, get our feet wet with some guys who haven’t played varsity basketball,” said Collinsville coach Darin Lee. “We knew Rock Island was very good and they were they shot it well. I thought Saturday, we were hard to score on; we didn’t give up much defensively. We really contained those teams and they couldn’t find anywhere to get baskets.”
Collinsville 67 Canton 26
The Kahoks took a 40-18 advantage to the locker room at the half then went on a 20-1 spree in the third quarter to end any remaining suspense and bury the Little Giants in the final game of the Rock Island tourney.
“They couldn’t score on us,” said Lee. “Our defense was pretty good Saturday. Canton, it was their third game in 24 hours. We got them down and we were able to let everybody get some minutes on the court so it was nice. Actually, we got to play the non-starters more than the starters.”
Three Kahoks were in double figures for the game. Swygeart had 18 points in 15 minutes of play. He added five rebounds, four steals and two assists.
Jake Wilkinson scored 11 and Nick Horras had 11 points as well.
Zach Chambers led CHS in rebounds with seven.
Collinsville 54 Chicago (Brooks) 31
Collinsville used a stifling second half defense to blow open a four-point game at the half and end up with a 23-point victory for their initial win of the season on November 27th.
The Eagles hit three field goals the entire half and scored a total of 14 points in those 16 minutes of play.
“At halftime we got a few things straightened out defensively that we wanted to do,” said Lee. “They had one field goal in the third quarter. I thought we really cut down their penetration and made them shoot it over the top. They didn’t make shots like Rock Island did. We gave them no easy baskets so they really struggled to score and we didn’t give them second shots.”
For the game, the Eagles shot only 22% from the floor on 10-of-46 shooting including four of 20 from beyond the arc.
The opening half saw the schools see-saw back and forth during a half that also saw six the scored tied six times.
But the CHS defense spurred on the offense as the Kahoks outscored Brooks 33-14 in the half.
Jerrick Moore of Brooks got the scoring started in the second half with a pair of free throws to cut the CHS halftime advantage to 21-19.
However, a three from Dayton Horras and a layup by Swygeart increased the Kahok lead to 26-21 with 4:05 to play in the third.
After Brooks hit their only field goal of the third Matt Clark and Devin Davis closed it out with a 4-0 run to put the Kahoks up 30-23 at the quarter break.
The run continued in the fourth as Davis and Swygeart hit three straight buckets to increase the lead to eleven.
Brooks cut the lead to ten with just under five minutes to play but Collinsville closed out on an 18-4 run to finish the game. During the run, Swygeart had five points while Chambers and N. Horras each had four. Deante Franklin added a three as well.
For the game, CHS was 24-for-53 from the floor for 45% but was only 3-for-13 from three. The Kahoks had a huge advantage on the boards as they outrebounded the Eagles 45-25.
Individually, Davis led in scoring with 13 points.
“Devin’s a strong guy,” began Lee. “He’s just a big strong guard going to the basket. He’s just physical. He is definitely a key player for us. He and Tray are big strong guards for us.”
Swygeart contributed 12 while N. Horras added six.
Adam Rimar had nine boards including four on offense, while Swygaert had seven rebounds and five assists.
Rock Island 75 Collinsville 63
A Nick Horras three closed out a 10-2 run and got the Kahoks within one with 2:19 to play in the fourth quarter, but Rock Island closed out the game on a 13-2 run to take the opener of their own Thanksgiving Tournament on November 26th.
“We knew coming in the (Amarion) Nimmers kid was a Division I type player and he was,” said Lee. “I thought Devin Davis did a pretty good job of slowing him down. He just made some tough shots.
“The one that really hurt us was the center, (Baker) Beal, who stepped out on our big guys and hit four threes, four out of four. That’s hard to do just by yourself in a gym, hit four in a row. We adjusted things as the game went along to get guys closer to him but it’s still tough on your big guys to get 23 feet from the basket.”
Nimmers, a Class 3A IBCA all-stater from last season, closed out the game with 20 points while Beal had 17.
The fourth quarter started with Collinsville down 47-42, but Swygeart hit a three from the right corner to close the gap to two points with 7:46 to play. After a conventional three-point play by Marieon Anderson put Rocky up 50-45, Clark hit a turn around jumper to get CHS within three. However, Rock Island went on a 10-2 run to put the Rocks up 60-49.
Out of a time out, N. Horras hit a field goal and followed it with a conventional three-pointer at the 3:42 mark to cut the lead to six.
A putback bucket by Nimmers got the Rocks up eight, but a layup by Wilkinson and another by Swygeart cut the lead to four with 2:52 to play. Then N. Horras nailed his three from the right wing to make it 62-61 Rocks, but Rock Island pulled away for a double-digit win.
“We cut it to one but that was the big play,” said Lee. “They set a back screen and we had two of our kids go with the cutter and it left Beal wide open and he hit another three. If we could’ve gotten that stop we’d have had a chance to win the game.
“We actually did a pretty nice job of giving ourselves a chance to win that game against a really good team on their home court. They’re a state title contender in 3A there’s no question about that.”
Rocky drained 12 threes on the night compared to three for the Kahoks.
“Twelve threes against a man-to-man defense…it wasn’t like we were playing a zone,” said Lee. “A couple of those they drained with guys in their face. They really shot it well. I don’t remember the last time we had 12 threes made against us, that’s a lot.”
Collinsville never had the lead during the game as Rock Island drained four threes to start the game and gain a 12-3 advantage. They kept that lead at the quarter 19-11 and got it to a 12-point advantage with 1:54 remaining in the half.
The Kahoks went on a 6-2 run to end the half down 36-28. Both Swygeart and Devin Davis had three points during that spree.
To begin the second half, Cameron Atkinson buried a three to put Rocky back up by 11. Then CHS went on a 10-1 run to cut it to two when Kahok Adam Rimar hit a putback basket to make it 40-38 with 4:25 left in the third.
After a putback by Nimmers increased the lead to four, Collinsville had three straight possessions to cut the lead back down but could not. Atkinson then went on a personal 5-0 run to put Rock Island up nine and led after three 47-42.
Swygeart led the Kahoks with 20 points, while Davis and N. Horras scored 12 each.
Dayton Horras led CHS with nine rebounds.
Swygeart filled up the stat sheet with six boards, four assists, and three steals. D. Horras added three assists while Wilkinson had two steals.
As a team, the Kahoks shot a respectable 46.4% on 26-for-46 shooting but only went 3-for-15 from beyond the arc; a 20% clip. The Rocks went 24-for-52 from the floor or 46.2%. The major difference was from three as they went 12-for-27 behind the arc or 44.4%. Six Rocks made threes on the night with Baker Beal going 4-for-4.
Collinsville was 8-of-14 from the line while Rocky was 15-for-23.
The Kahoks won the battle on the boards with a 34-32 advantage. Rock Island won the turnover battle forcing 14 against CHS while committing only 11 themselves. The turnover difference came through sacrifice as the Rocks took four charges on the evening while only Clark recorded one for Collinsville.
Kahok Notes: -Collinsville’s Swygeart and Davis were named all-tourney at Rock Island.
-Rock Island won the tourney with a 3-0 mark. They blew out Canton 80-35 and Chicago (Brooks) 101-55 on Saturday.
-Rock Island’s Baker Beal is the brother of Brea Beal. Beal was a three-time Ms. Basketball in Illinois and is now a three-year starter at South Carolina.