by Mark Jurgena
COLLINSVILLE — The running half-court buzzer beater. It’s a play that can change momentum. The running half-court buzzer beater and one. That definitely will change momentum.
Just ask the Collinsville Kahoks.
Senior Jamorie Wysinger was fouled while shooting a running half-courter at the end of the third quarter. He made both shots and cut the East St. Louis lead to one then sparked a big Kahok run to help beat the Flyers 66-59 at East St. Louis on Dec. 8.
The win kept Collinsville undefeated at 8-0 on the young season and pushed them to a 3-0 SWC mark. The Flyers, who fell to North Kansas City, Mo. the following day sit at 4-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
“If there’s anybody who can make a long shot, it’s him,” said CHS coach Darin Lee about Wysinger. “He shot it like he always does. He’s got that great shot.
“He got fouled, he made it and it was a big momentum switch. It definitely made a difference.”
That momentum swing made it a 47-46 game and effectively neutralized an 8-1 Flyer run late in the third.
Collinsville soon went on their own 9-0 run to take control of the contest.
Kahok Zach Chambers hit a conventional three-point play to tie the game at 49-all to get the scoring spree and the Collinsville defense started.
Tyree Brister knocked a pass away and raced to the other end for a layup to give Collinsville a 51-49 lead.
“You can’t be nonchalant around that guy,” Lee said about Brister. “He just came up from behind it wasn’t even his man. I’ll take it.”
Chambers played a role in the ensuing stop with a blocked shot and while CHS didn’t convert the momentum had clearly changed.
Nick Horras hit a double-clutch layup for a four-point advantage thanks to a defensive rebound and no-look bounce pass from Wysinger.
“One thing we can do is run,” said Lee. “We’ve got five. Our starting five and Brister they can all run. Chambers can run for a big guy. We got two run outs there.”
A Horras steal accounted for the fourth straight stop just before Wysinger stripped away a rebound and jammed it home on yet another run out basket to give CHS a 55-49 lead with 5:29 to play.
“That and the shot,” began Lee. “They were all run outs every shot was a good look. That was an incredible run by our guys coming up with stops, steals and coming up with loose balls.”
But that run was huge because of the contribution of the Kahok bench.
Brister, Solomon Talbott and Evan Wilkinson all provided valuable minutes while Horras and Carnahan struggled through foul trouble.
They combined for 10 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals during their lengthy spans on the floor.
“We had to go with the bench,” began Lee. “I really think we can go eight deep. I just haven’t done it but we will.”
One player who didn’t leave the floor against the Flyers (or against West the previous game) was Chambers.
The 6-9 post man dropped in 22 points with nine of those in the fourth quarter. He made all four of his free throws in the final stanza and was 6-for-7 during the contest.
He also grabbed eight rebounds.
“Think about this, he’s 6-9 and he played (all) 32 minutes,” Lee said. “Anybody can play 32 minutes. But effectively? His conditioning is much better this year than it was last year. He played 64 minutes (last week) you don’t normally see that in a 6-9 guy.
“Then he made those free throws late. Those were pressure free throws. Around the rim, he’s a load. It’s no fun to guard him down there. He wears on you.”
Wysinger had another huge night burying 20 points including three from long range. He was 5-for-5 from the free throw line, had four assists and grabbed three rebounds.
Horras was the third Kahok in double figures with 10 points and added five assists and two steals.
Chase Reynolds also accounted for a pair of steals.
Nick Horras had a monster game.
The Kahok senior scored 32 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out seven assists and for good measure tossed in a steal to lead the Kahoks to a 76-65 win at Belleville West on Dec. 5.
“He really shot it extremely well,” said Lee. “He was on. He was just feeling it that night. He’s really worked to improve his game and hard work pays off.”
But he wasn’t the only one having a great game, Wysinger also dropped 22 points with three assists and two steals.
“There was just a lot of points scored in the game,” said Lee. “We’re playing with a lot of tempo. Jamorie, if he gets a good look at it he’s a dangerous shooter. He’s still shooting 50 percent from the arc after eight games. That’s incredible.”
Not to be outdone was Chambers who put up another double-double on offense and blocked six shots defensively.
Chambers had 11 points and 10 boards on the night.
“He’s just a presence,” said Lee. “Especially on defense on a guys right. At our level guys driving to the basket, you’re not going to keep them out of there the whole game. Having that shot blocker certainly makes a difference.”
Stanley Carnahan also filled up the stat sheet for the Kahoks with four points, three assists, two blocked shots and a steal.
Collinsville played at Granite City Tuesday night however results were unavailable at press time.
They host O’Fallon tomorrow night before playing at Metro East Lutheran on Saturday.