Kahok girls beat Jerseyville on senior night
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By Mark Jurgena
Emma Hrabusicky, Megan Janson, and Jenna Scheller made the most of their Senior Night.
The Kahok trio combined for 40 of the Kahoks 55 points along with 16 rebounds and six assists to help lead Collinsville to a 55-48 win over Jerseyville on Feb. 6.
“Finally to see the seniors having fun and smiling means everything to me and our team,” said CHS coach Colin Moore. “They will be missed and I am extremely proud of them.”
Janson had a big night scoring in her final home game. The three-year starter had 25 points on the evening to lead the way including 13 in the opening half including a pair of threes.
In each of the first three quarters, Janson hit both the first and last buckets for the Kahoks.
“Megan is incredible,” said Moore. “I can’t even explain how much she means to our team. The ultimate competitor and leader.”
The early part of the contest saw nine lead changes and four ties until Collinsville went on a 13-2 run late in the second quarter.
Janson had seven points during the spree – including a 3-pointer – while Ella Guerrero buried a pair of 3-point shots.
But the Panthers got a putback bucket at the buzzer by Meredith Gray to make the CHS lead 30-22 at the half.
Gray ended up with a double-double on the night for Jersey. She scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Those totals were 12 points and four rebounds ahead of her season averages.
Her big night was necessary due to the efforts of two top-notch Kahok defenders.
Hrabusicky and Lily Carlisle were charged with shutting down Jerseyville’s top scorer Tessa Crawford who was averaging over 16 points per game.
Against Collinsville, Crawford could only manage eight points.
“Hrabusicky and Carlisle did a great job of frustrating her all night,” said Moore. “They really stepped up and it was fun to watch the non-stop effort.”
Collinsville led by as many as 13 points early in the third quarter but the Panthers cut it to three late in the third when a fast 3-0 run gave the Kahoks breathing room.
That cushion was due to a fantastic play on both ends by several Kahoks.
With time running down in the half, Carlisle and Janson were double teaming the Panthers. Because of the defensive pressure and errant pass was picked off by Guerrero who got the ball to Hrabusicky. As she dribbled into the lane she was picked up by a defender. She reverse-pivoted and tossed a great bounce pass to Janson for the buzzer-beating layup.
But again Jerseyville refused to give in and went on a 6-0 run to start the fourth and tie the game at 44-44.
From there, Talesha Gilmore’s presence took over the game. She grabbed three key offensive rebounds to keep possessions going, forced a bad pass on defense that led to a Janson layup and even tossed in a putback bucket.
A basket by Scheller and two free throws by Guerrero and one from Janson sealed the game.
Jerseyville stood at 18-14 after last week’s contests.
Scheller filled up the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and one steal.
Gilmore led CHS with 12 rebounds. She also collected three assists and two blocked shots.
O’Fallon 56 Collinsville 20
The Panthers had the Kahoks number in this one by bolting out to a 13-1 lead after the first quarter and cruising to a 56-20 victory on Feb. 7 in O’Fallon.
Shannon Dowell – an Illinois State commit – had another big night with 21 points, six rebounds, three steals, and two assists. She also became the leading scorer in O’Fallon girls basketball history at the 1:30 mark of the third quarter.
Leading 25-11 at the half the Panthers opened the game up in the third with a 22-0 run to invoke the running clock for the final eight minutes.
For Collinsville, Janson and Scheller had five points each while Gilmore had four. Hrabusicky and Deairra Spears had three each.
Gilmore had five rebounds while Janson and Carlisle had two assists apiece.
O’Fallon beat the Kahoks twice this season.
The Panthers finished the regular season at 27-4 and 11-1 in the SWC to tie Alton for first place. They were ranked #6 in the Illinois Class 4A poll by the Associated Press and sat at #10 in the SBLive Power 25 rankings for all teams in the state as well.
Alton 68 Collinsville 38
Collinsville fought hard during a back-and-forth first half that included nine lead changes and three ties but a quick 6-0 run by the Redbirds put the Kahoks behind 27-22 at the half.
Alton ripped off a 28-10 advantage in the third quarter to propel themselves to a 30-point victory.
It was the second victory for the Redbirds over the Kahoks this season.
The Kahoks even took a 17-10 advantage early in the second quarter thanks to an 11-3 run. Janson had five points while Scheller had four. Gilmore tossed in two during the run.
But Alton went on a 9-0 to reclaim the lead.
The two squads traded leads until late in the period when Collinsville took their final lead of the game on a spectacular play by Janson.
With Alton up 21-19 and threatening to score again, Janson came up with a steal near the baseline in traffic. Twice she dribbled behind her back before reaching the timeline and eventually hit a runner as she got fouled.
Her made free throw gave CHS a 22-21 lead before the Redbirds began their extended run.
Alton was led in scoring by Laila Blakeny who poured in a career-high 30 points.
Collinsville finished their schedule at 14-17 and 4-8 in the SWC.
The Redbirds finished the regular season at 29-1 and 11-1 in the SWC to tie O’Fallon for first place. It was their first SWC crown since 1992.
They are ranked #3 in Class 4A by the AP and ranked #7 in the SBLive Power 25 rankings.
Gilmore totaled a double-double on the night with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Janson scored eight points and Scheller had six rebounds.
Collinsville opened up their post season Tuesday night against Quincy at the Class 4A Alton Regional however results were unavailable at press time. If the Kahoks won they play tonight in the regional title game against the winner of top-seeded Alton and Granite City at 7 p.m.