by Mark Jurgena
Three starters return for the Collinsville boys basketball team after posting a 21-12 season a year ago.
Two-year starter Nick Horras, Zach Chambers and Jamorie Wysinger all return to the starting five for veteran Kahok Coach Darren Lee as they make their way to their opener at Herrin Tuesday night.
“They are definitely our leaders and everything we will do will be run through them,” Lee said. “Jamorie and Nick really shot well last summer and Jamorie shot well last year. He almost broke our three-point record falling two short and led the conference in three-point makes.
“Nick’s role will change a little bit. We played him at the point last year this year he’s at wing hopefully in a little more of a scoring role,” He continued, “We’ve got some younger guys that can hopefully handle the point guard.”
Lee was also looking forward to seeing the play of Chambers in the paint.
“Zach will hopefully be a load in the post for us both offensively and defensively,” Lee said.
Other Kahok hopefuls include Stanley Carnahan, Chase Reynolds and Tyree Brister. Evan Wilkinson and Solomon Talbott are also looking to be in the mix.
“We’re going to run the same system as we have before except for Horras in a little different role,” said Lee who is entering his 35th season as a head coach at the varsity level among three different schools. “Jamorie and Zach are in the same roles they were last year. Nick hopefully can get out on the break and be the recipient of some passing and be in a scoring role.”
In the SWC Lee sees the race as tough as always.
“It’s hard to say because of O’Fallon, East St. Louis and Belleville West. West has had a lot of guys starting for three years now they have a lot of talent,” Lee said. “Edwardsville returns two or three starters and Belleville East is a lot better than people realize. They just lot a lot of guys but they are reloading. Alton is better too. So it’s better top to bottom than it even was last year and it was pretty good last year.”
Collinsville’s schedule remains mostly the same with a couple of changes. The Kahoks will host a Thanksgiving tournament this year. They are splitting the hosting duties every other year with Mascoutah. Each team will have three games at the event. They will participate in a shootout at Belleville Althoff against Kirkwood, Mo. (Vianney). At the Prairie Farms Holiday Classic two schools have moved elsewhere. Alton and longtime entrant Madison have left for other tournaments. Decatur (Eisenhower) and Carbondale take their place.
The Terriers come after their longstanding event at the SIU Arena fell through a couple of years ago. They have been hosting a tourney with Marion but it has gone defunct as well.
“It’s a bad deal,” Lee said about the Southern Illinois tournament departure. “I hate to see it.”
After traveling to Herrin, they will host their Thanksgiving tournament on the Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.
They will play St. Louis (Miller Career Academy) on Friday at 7 p.m. and square off with Riverview Gardens, Mo. and Mascoutah at noon and 7 p.m. on Saturday.