By Mark Jurgena
Collinsville squared off with three Missouri schools during the Chick-fil-A Classic at Belleville East High School last week.
After dropping their opener to St. Louis (Lift for Life) they beat Hazelwood (Central) in the Consolation semifinals before burying McCluer Senior for the Consolation title Saturday afternoon.
CHS is 15-8 after the tourney as they head into their final stretch of the season.
CHS 60 McCluer 24
Defense wins games, so do offensive runs.
Collinsville forced McCluer into a 9-for-52 field goal performance – 16.7 percent – and Kahoks went on a gigantic 48-9 run over the final three quarters to win the Consy crown.
“We switched between our man-to-man defense and played some zone early and they just couldn’t score,” said CHS coach Darin Lee. “We stayed between them and the basket and they just could not score. Then we put some offense together and we were able to get away from them. It ended up being a pretty easy victory.”
While the final three quarters went well, the initial quarter was anything but easy as the Kahoks trailed the entire way except for a Zach Chambers bucket that tied the game at 2-2 at the 6:47 mark.
By the end of the quarter, the Kahoks had closed the gap to 15-12 thanks to seven points from Chambers and five from Jamorie Wysinger.
After that, CHS went 19-for-38 from the floor the rest of the way while McCluer went 4-for-38 shooting over the final three quarters.
The Kahoks went on an 18-4 run in the second stanza to open up a 30-19 lead at the half.
With Wysinger on the bench due to foul trouble for much of the third period, the Kahoks began to really pound it inside to Chambers who had been carving out position deep in the lane near the basketball game.
The 6-foot-8-inch junior – who had a game high 20 points – continued to establish position near the bucket to score 11 of Collinsville’s 13 points in the third.
“We’ve been trying to focus at certain times where we could get it to Zach deep in the paint,” said Lee. “He caught it right there and he turned and put it in the basket. We were able to offensively establish Zach the whole game.”
In the final frame, six Kahoks entered the scoring column to help invoke the running clock started by an early three from Jake Wilkinson. Stanley Carnahan and Evan Wilkinson had four points each while Chambers, Matt Shelton and Adam Rimar had two.
In addition to his huge offensive game, Chambers also had seven rebounds and five assists. Wysinger had 11 points and two steals. Carnahan and Rimar had six rebounds as well.
Nick Horras had a team high seven assists.
CHS 62 Hazelwood Central 35
This year no late comeback was necessary.
In the first round of the Chick-fil-A tourney one year ago Collinsville needed an extraordinary last quarter comeback to reverse a 14-point deficit into a 55-50 win.
Not so this time as Collinsville went on a 12-5 run late in the second quarter and outscored the Hawks 19-8 in the third to pull away from Central on Jan. 19 in the Consolation bracket semifinals.
“They made some shots in the first quarter, they made four threes and we didn’t think they could continue it and they didn’t,” said Lee. “They scored 20 points in the last three quarters. They couldn’t get anything going offensively and we put them away in the second half.”
Until the late first half run there had been eight lead changes and a pair of ties between the two clubs.
But the Kahoks changed all that.
Wysinger hit a pair of threes and added a layup to spark the run while Adam Rimar contributed four points around the bucket to end the back-and-forth portion of the contest by taking a 28-22 lead at the half.
Collinsville started the third with a 7-3 run thanks to five points by Chambers and a bucket by J. Wilkinson to make it 35-25 Kahoks.
After a pair of free throws by the Hawks, the Kahoks finished the stanza with a 12-3 run spurred on by 10 points – including a pair of threes – from Wysinger and a bucket by Horras.
Collinsville finished the game outscoring Central 15-5 in the fourth.
Wysinger had a huge game on offense scoring 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting including four threes and a pair of free throws. He also led the club with two steals.
“He shot it well,” said Lee. “He shot it much better. He got some pretty good looks at the basket.”
Horras filled up the stat sheet with team-highs in rebounds (8) and assists (6). J. Wilkinson also had six assists during the game.
Carnahan and Rimar had seven rebounds each. Chambers had three blocks.
Lift for Life 52 CHS 47
Free throws win games.
Unfortunately for Collinsville, LFL went 10-for-11 in the fourth quarter including 9-for-10 in the final two minutes to put the Kahoks away in the opening round of the Chick-fil-A Classic on Jan. 18.
Wilkinson and Rimar each tied the game midway through the fourth quarter however LFL’s Odis Grissom hit a bucket to give the Hawks the lead for good at 43-41.
CHS could not answer and LFL began burying free throws with two minutes left as Dennis Olds went 7-for-8 during that time while Grissom hit both of his to give the Hawks the win.
The Hawks seemed to always have the answer to any Kahok offensive sprees.
CHS began the game on a 5-0 run thanks to a three by J. Wilkinson and a layup by Chambers but the Hawks finished on a 15-2 run over the final three minutes of the opening quarter to take a 21-11 lead into the second stanza.
Trailing 27-22 at the half, the Kahoks shot out of the locker room with a 7-0 run to take a 29-27 lead and begin a back-and-forth quarter before LFL took a 36-32 lead after three.
“They went 5-for-10 from the arc,” began Lee. “They made those and we just did not shoot it well. They made shots and we had some pretty good looks at it and we just did not shoot well.
“Our big guys shot a pretty high percentage we just couldn’t give them enough touches down in the paint. We just didn’t shoot it well from the outside.”
Wilkinson led the way with 13 points, four assists, and two steals while Wysinger had nine points and three assists. Horras also totaled three assists.
Rimar had a big game on the boards pulling down 10 while Chambers had eight.
Chick-fil-A Tourney Notes
Belleville East got 37 points from SIUE commit Jordan Pickett to beat Belleville West in the championship game by a 57-52 count while Lift for Life beat Alton 55-49 for third.
Jamorie Wysinger was named to the all-tournament team.