Girls Varsity Basketball
Game Summaries & Headlines.
PREP GIRLS BASKETBALL: Redbirds battle back, but cannot take down Kahoks
Louie Korac For The Telegraph
COLLINSVILLE — In seasons past, an early double-digits deficit for the Alton Redbirds girls basketball squad meant sure defeat and likely in blowout fashion.
But not this time, not these Redbirds.
Unfortunately in the end, a 10-0 run to start the fourth quarter for the Collinsville Kahoks helped the home side earn a 68-60 win over the Redbirds in Southwestern Conference play at Virgil Fletcher Gymnasium.
In a 49-49 game entering the final eight minutes, Collinsville (6-4, 2-2) was able to utilize their bigs, getting a game-high 23 points from Bria King and Caite Knutson scored 14 of her 15 points in the second half as Collinsville raced out to an early lead before Alton went on a crazy run of it’s own before finally pulling away.
“We got down by (14) and we came back and we actually took the lead,” Alton coach Tammy Talbert said after the Redbirds fell to 3-5 overall, 0-3 in the SWC. “That showed us a lot of character right there. Third quarter I thought we played pretty well and the fourth quarter, they put a little more pressure on. We turned the ball over there a few times and they did go on that run and sometimes it’s hard to stop it.
“I thought our kids did a good job. I really did. I’m proud of them. They’re disappointed, I’m disappointed. You always want to get a win, that’s for sure. The effort definitely was there.”
A chaotic first half saw Collinsville use a 9-0 run in the first quarter to turn a 10-9 deficit into an 18-10 lead, a run that grew to 15-2 that made it a 14-point Kahok lead at 26-12.
Game over, right?
Down 26-12, Alton went on a 15-2 run of it’s own that saw Collinsville coach Lori Billy empty her bench in a clean sweep of removing starters for ineffective play.
And when the Redbirds were down 29-27, they used an 8-0 run, capped by a Ivoree Lacey bucket, to grab their biggest lead at 35-29 with under two minutes remaining in the half.
“We’ve got some fast kids and we’ve got kids that can handle the ball,” Talbert said. “We knew that if we could maybe attack them a little bit more and not sit back, then I wasn’t sure that Collinsville could run with us. It works for a while, but coach (Billy) does a good job making some adjustments. They’ve got some big players inside and we couldn’t control that at times.”
Lacey led Alton with 14 points, but 12 came in the first half. Jayla Fox had 13 points but 11 came in the first half.
“The only thing I knew is that Laila McNeal was getting a box-in-one,” Talbert said. “I know she wasn’t getting a lot of touches on the ball. Ivoree in the second half, there were just a few missed opportunities probably in that situation and Jayla is probably running on fumes at that point. I don’t know if it was something they did or we were just running out of gas.”
Alton was 24 of 69 from the floor for the game, including 7 of 29 in the second half. Collinsville finished 22 of 60, but the Kahoks 20 of 31 from the free throw line.