By Mark Jurgena
When your opponent uses three timeouts in the opening half, things are going well.
When your team is 18-for-27 in the opening half including 7-for-11 from three, things are going ridiculously well.
Collinsville opened up a 41-25 lead at the half on their way to an 82-55 win at Alton on Jan. 10.
“We shot the ball from the arc extremely well,” said an understated Collinsville coach Darin Lee.
Collinsville went 10-for-17 from three for the game and made 61.4 percent of all their field goals on the evening.
Remarkably, that was not their season high shooting percentage. CHS went 29-for-36 from the floor – an 80.6 percent clip – during a 72–58 win over Ladue, Mo. on Dec. 10 at the Edwardsville Shootout.
Collinsville was hot from the very start of this contest as Jake Wilkinson netted a three to start the opening quarter and the Kahoks finished it with a three from the volleyball line by Jamorie Wysinger.
In between Wysinger had two more threes and Wilkinson added one.
Collinsville led 27-17 after the opening quarter.
While Wysinger buried two more threes in the second stanza, Kahok post man Zach Chambers was establishing himself down low.
Chambers had five points – including a conventional three point play – in the opening eight minutes. But in the second quarter, he hit four buckets inside and added a free throw for nine points to open up their 16 point lead at the half.
Collinsville went on to carry a lead of more than 20 points for the entire second half.
The Kahoks had four players in double figures led by Wysinger and Chambers who both recorded career highs. Wysinger went 11-for-16 from the floor including 6-of-9 from three to tally 27 points.
Chambers went 11-for-12 from the field and connected on three free throws to score 25 points.
Wilkinson finished with 15 points while Nick Horras scored 10 points.
Horras had a game high nine assists, while Chambers led the Kahoks with eight rebounds and three blocks.
Belleville East 54 Collinsville 46
The 2-3 zone has been good to Collinsville this year.
They have used it with success to compete against East St. Louis and Rockford (East) earlier this season.
Due to the athleticism of the Lancers, they pulled out the zone again with Chambers and Adam Rimar serving as the rim protectors in the middle.
The zone worked as East seemed hesitant and somewhat slower for much of the game but in the end, they walked away with a 54-46 victory at Fletcher Gym on Jan. 13.
Belleville East was 17-3 overall after the weekend and 5-2 in the SWC. CHS dropped to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in the SWC.
“The zone wasn’t bad when we got five-on-five but we gave up a few transition buckets,” said Lee. “We just couldn’t hit any shots. They are a good basketball team and they disrupted our offense.”
Jordan Pickett had 21 points – including 17 in the second half – to lead East while Antwine Wilson knocked down 16 points for the Lancers.
Pickett had several points on layups in transition and went 8-for-11 from the line.
Collinsville fell behind from the very start of the game and trailed 10-2 midway through the opening quarter.
The Kahoks cut the lead to 15-13 on a three by Wilkinson to begin the second stanza but that is as close as they would come as the Lancers expanded their lead to as many as 12 points before another Wilkinson triple and two free throws by Adam Rimar cut the lead to 31-24 at the half.
Throughout the third East steadily pulled away to lead by a 43-32 score after three.
CHS kept fighting back with Horras hitting a three in the waning seconds for the final margin.
Collinsville was led in scoring by Wilkinson’s 16 points while Wysinger filled up the stat sheet with nine points, six rebounds, four assists, and a steal.
Chambers also had six boards and added four blocks.
Collinsville began pay in the Belleville East Chick-fil-A Classic this week. They played St. Louis (Lift for Life) last night however results were unavailable at press time.
If they won they play tomorrow night in the semifinals. If they lost they play tonight in the consolation bracket.
The tourney concludes Saturday.