COLLINSVILLE — East St. Louis is unseeded in the Collinsville-Schnucks Holiday Classic, but that doesn't make the Flyers any less of a threat to win the championship.
Seniors Travon McCray, Deshawn Munson, Johnny McCray and Daniel Williams reached double figures Thursday as the Flyers romped past Urbana 65-39 in the opening round, perhaps sending a message that they mean business.
"I don't even think about it that way because at the end of the day, anybody can beat anybody," first-year East St. Louis coach Tony Young said. "Any team can step in and win a game. That's the reality of it."
Can the Flyers win the tournament?
"Yeah. Of course," Young said. "If I didn't (believe that), I wouldn't have come here. You've got to have confidence in your team. I've got a lot of confidence in what my team can do. A rebound here, a dive on the floor there and we're four games up."
The Flyers (5-6), who will play Oakville (5-1) in the quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday, have lost three one-point games, one two-point game and one three-point game.
Young said it's time for East Side to seize some momentum, and it might have done that Thursday in the easy victory over Urbana (4-7) as 13 players participated and 10 of them scored.
The Flyers shot 50 percent (29-for-58), outrebounded Urbana 44-26 and outscored the Tigers 46-14 in the paint. Travon McCray and Johnny McCray had eight rebounds apiece for East Side, seeking its first title at Collinsville since 2006.
"We've got to keep getting better. Bottom line," Young said. "We talk about it and I look at it like we're moving into a new season now. We had that first round of 10 games. We've got this next round of eight or 10 games. We've got to make this the best run.
"It's like building a brick wall. We've got the bottom layer of bricks. Now it's time to start building up. It's not going to happen overnight. You're not going to look up overnight and we're in a house. But the next thing you know, you're going to look up and there's a wall that somebody has to jump over to beat us."
Decatur MacArthur 57, Althoff 44
Freshman Keenen Young scored a game-high 22 points, but no other Althoff player reached double figures as the Crusaders (7-3) committed 18 turnovers in a first-round loss.
"They're a good ballclub," Althoff coach Greg Leib said of the Generals. "(MacArthur coach Felipe Phillips) does a great job with them. They had balanced scoring, they shoot their free throws, they don't hurt themselves.
"Now I know what Grandma felt like when that reindeer hit her. It wasn't pretty, and I didn't drink any eggnog. We've got to work to get through this. We definitely didn't play up to our potential."
Freshman Brendon Gooch scored nine points for the Crusaders, who will play Riverview Gardens at 9 a.m. Friday.
Althoff trailed 19-8 after one quarter, but outscored MacArthur 16-7 in the second quarter to climb within 26-24 at the break. The Generals, however, re-established themselves early in the second half and assumed control down the stretch.
Reggie Anderson scored 13 points for MacArthur (6-5) and teammates Marcus Bartley and Chris Stone produced 12 apiece. The Generals outscored Althoff in the paint 32-14.
"It's hard to keep them in front of you and also they force your offense to go where it doesn't want to go," Leib said. "That's how we like to play. Unfortunately, that didn't happen."
Oakville 56, Lincoln 49, OT
Fourth-seeded Lincoln led by seven points midway with two minutes to play in regulation, but Oakville tied the game at 47, then outscored the Railsplitters 9-2 in overtime to advance to the quarterfinals.
Junior Ervin Sarajlic scored 20 points and 6-10 junior Austin Gillmann had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Tigers.
Springfield Southeast 71, Granite City 54
The second-seeded Spartans (7-2) steadily pulled away in the second half to advance to the quarterfinals.
Senior Herman Senor had 24 points to lead a quartet of players in double figures for the Spartans. Senior Omar Walker had 17 points for Granite City (6-5), which was charged with 25 turnovers.
Collinsville 52, Triad 36
The host Kahoks (5-5) handed Triad its seventh consecutive loss as senior Falando Wilkinson scored 13 points and senior Travis Dunnette had 11. Senior Jordan Felax led the Knights (2-9) with 12.
Collinsville played without freshman point guard Zeke Moore, who has quit the team after starting the Kahoks' first nine games.
Quincy 52, Dunlap 43
Cole Abbey had 16 points and Martin Kvitle had 14 as the Blue Devils ran their record to 9-1.
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.