COLLINSVILLE — After looking lethargic and lost in the first half Friday, Granite City used halftime to recharge its battery.
The Warriors went on an emotional 13-0 run in the first 2 minutes, 15 seconds of the third quarter and outscored the Collinsville Kahoks 24-5 in the period to earn a 66-62 victory in a Southwestern Conference game.
Granite City (6-4 overall, 2-3 SWC), which trailed 31-21 at halftime, overcame a career-best 33-point performance by Collinsville senior Falando Wilkinson, who sank five of the Kahoks' 11 3-pointers.
"This is a great win for us on a lot of different levels," Warriors coach Steve Roustio said. "First of all, this is my fifth year here, and as embarrassing as it is to share we've only won one (conference) game a year --except for one year when we didn't win any --this is the first time we've won two.
"And not only two, but we've won two before Christmas. ... This is a big win for us here. This is a big-time program-booster for us."
Senior Perry Grimes scored 20 points, senior Devin Narvaez had 19, senior Troy Garcia had 10 and sophomore Darrell Miller had 10 to lead the Warriors, who handed the Kahoks (4-5, 1-4) their fifth loss in six games.
Narvaez scored Granite City's first seven points of the third quarter in the opening 53 seconds to get the Warriors within 32-28. Consecutive turnovers by Collinsville led to a pair of easy baskets, including a layup by Garcia that put Granite City ahead 32-31.
Grimes, who had 14 points in the second half, wrapped up the run with a basket that made it 34-31 with 5:45 left in the quarter.
Collinsville tied the game at 34 on freshman Zeke Moore's 3-pointer out of the left corner, but the Warriors went ahead to stay on Garcia's 3-pointer that was followed by another 3 by Grimes, part of a 9-0 run that gave Granite City a 43-34 lead with 46 seconds left.
"We had to come out of the locker room with something because we were dead in the first half," said the 6-foot-1 Grimes. "We knew what we were capable of doing, but we weren't doing it.
"So in the locker room, we had a couple of teammates fire us up and Coach basically told us ... He didn't beat around the bush with us. He told us straight-up what we needed to do to win the game and we came out and did it."
Granite City made 15 of 26 shots in the second half after being just 6-for-24 at halftime. The Warriors were charged with one second-half turnover after committing six in the first half.
Moore had 14 points for Collinsville to join Wilkinson in double figures. But the Kahoks committed 19 turnovers, including 10 against Granite City's aggressive 3-2 zone in the second half, and they received scoring from just two other players: senior Chris Mathes (nine) and sophomore Emondre Rickman (six).
"They did a nice job," Collinsville coach Darin Lee said of the Warriors. "We just coughed it up too much. Until we get to where we don't turn the basketball over, we're not going to beat these teams. ... They're more athletic than we are. They're a good basketball team --a lot of seniors.
"(But) that was one we needed to win. A conference win is going to be tough for us. Just winning another one is going to be hard for us."
Collinsville had more turnovers (seven) than points in the telling third quarter, which ended on Miller's tip-in at the buzzer off a missed jumper by Narvaez.
A fourth-quarter rally drew the Kahoks within 63-59 with 25 seconds left, but the Warriors sealed the deal on senior Omar Walker's free throw and Narvaez's two free throws.
Roustio marveled at Wilkinson's huge game. The 6-2 guard made his first four 3-pointers and finished 12-for-20 from the field. He scored 19 points in the first half, 14 in the second half.
"He's good. He's real good, and he's got range," Roustio said. "And he looks for his offense. When he's hot, he knows it and he's even looking more for the next shot.
"How many times do you give a kid 33 points and win?"
Grimes said the Warriors, whose other conference win was against O'Fallon, can't get satisfied.
"We need to build on this and keep our confidence up," he said. "If we play like this, we can beat almost anybody."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.