Kahoks finish regular season with SWC split
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By Mark Jurgena
Collinsville has suffered many close losses this season.
On Senior Night, they made sure that wasn’t going to happen.
The Kahoks led from wire-to-wire as four players tallied double-figures in the scoring column – led by Senior Jake Wilkinson’s 21 points – to bury Alton 83-55 Friday at Fletcher Gym.
CHS raised their record to 20-11 on the season and 7-5 in the SWC while the Redbirds dropped to 6-24 for the year and finished with a winless conference mark.
Collinsville shot 66 percent for the night on 33 for 50 shooting overall and buried nine threes during the win. Wilkinson and Jamorie Wysinger each hit three long-range shots. Wysinger’s tally included a couple of ridiculously deep threes from the wing just in front of the team benches.
“His range is long,” said CHS coach Darin Lee. “It looks like it’s pretty effortless when he shoots it.”
In two games against Alton this season, CHS has combined for 19 threes.
But that doesn’t tell the full story.
Offensively, CHS continued to play the game inside and out, especially with post-player Zach Chambers.
Chambers used his 6-foot-8 frame to carve out 16 points on the night after scoring 25 against the Redbirds during an 86-64 win at Alton on Jan. 10.
“We shot it well both times against Alton,” said Lee. “Definitely we have the size advantage with Zach (Chambers) in there. They either have got to bring help or we’ve been able to let him go one-on-one against Alton. They just haven’t had an answer.”
Adam Rimar – a 6-foot-6 senior – added seven points on the night.
That length also showed up in the rebounding column as CHS had a 37-18 advantage on the boards.
Chambers and Wysinger had seven each while Rimar grabbed five.
“We worked on it pretty hard plus we had the size advantage on them,” said Lee. “We had Rimar back (after missing the Edwardsville game due to injury) and those things made a difference. We really dominated the glass.”
CHS got out to an early 11-1 lead in the opening quarter and had opened up a 37-21 advantage by halftime.
In the second quarter, CHS got a late 10-2 run on threes by Wysinger and Nick Horras, a bucket by Wilkinson, and a buzzer-beating putback bucket by Horras. That play started with a steal by Senior Matt Shelton on the other end of the floor.
Chambers served as a rim protector as well in the quarter swatting away three shots in the lane.
The Kahoks had a bit of a hiccup to start the second half as four turnovers led to an 11-0 Redbird run to cut the lead to 39-32 but a 13-2 run to close out the third put CHS up 52-34 after three.
Collinsville closed out the game going 10 for 12 in the final quarter to seal the win.
Alton’s Prince Clanton-el had a game-high 25 points for the Redbirds..
Wilkinson went 8 for 12 in the contest including 3 of 4 from three and hit a pair of free throws to lead the Kahoks.
In addition to Chambers double-figure point total, Horras had 12 and Wysinger scored 10.
Horras piled up eight assists while Shelton had five.
Shelton just missed double-figures with eight points.
Edwardsville 51 CHS 43
Despite not playing overly well, they had their chances.
CHS tied the game early in the second half and pulled to within three points on three separate occasions in the final quarter but could not get any closer as they fell in an SWC contest at Edwardsville on Feb. 14.
It was the second time this season EHS had beaten Collinsville.
The Tigers held the advantage for most of the first half, but a 10-3 run – highlighted by seven points from Chambers – made it 22-20 EHS at the half.
Adam Rimar hit a bucket to start the third quarter to tie it up at 22-22 but Edwardsville was able to hit four threes and got two big offensive rebounds which led to five points to put the Tigers up 40-31 after three.
“They hit some shots and 21 (Isayah Kloster) seems to make a few against us every game and pulls our big guys away from the bucket,” said Lee of the 6-foot-5 Tiger forward. “They made them and we just didn’t stay close enough to them.”
Collinsville made their fourth quarter runs thanks to the defensive play of Shelton. He came up with a pair of steals and had another deflection. All three plays led to layups a the other end.
“He helped us,” began Lee. “We got ourselves a chance to come back in the game. He definitely made a difference in getting his hands on basketballs. He helped put us right back in there.”
Wysinger got the period started with a bucket and a free throw to cut the lead to six then the Shelton deflection went to Wilkinson who got it to Horras to cut the lead to four.
Later Wilkinson hit a layup thanks to Shelton’s defense to cut it to 43-40 Tigers. After an EHS bucket Chambers again cut it to three thanks to Shelton’s effort.
But EHS would hit a couple of late buckets to seal the SWC victory.
Edwardsville finished the regular season at 20-10 and 7-5 in the conference.
Chambers led the way with 15 points while Horras scored 10 and had six assists.
Horras also led in rebounds with four as the Tigers outrebounded CHS 24-12 during the game.
CHS opened up the postseason Tuesday night at the Class 4A Quincy Regional. Once again they faced Edwardsville however results were unavailable at press time.
If CHS won they return to Western Illinois for the championship game tomorrow night to face the winner of the Quincy/Alton game.