BELLEVILLE — Belleville East's five seniors went out with a win in their final game on their home court.
Darreon Reddick scored 16 points and Malcolm Hill added 14 points as the Lancers beat the Collinsville Kahoks 55-42 Tuesday to clinch at least a share of the Southwestern Conference championship.
"I'll be honest to you, these seniors mean a whole lot to me,'' first-year East coach Abel Schrader said of his seniors -- James White, Patrick Smith, Tarrance Atkins, James Cotton and Hill. "They've made my transition to head coach at Belleville East as smooth as it could be. We've got not only five good basketball players who benefit our program, but five good kids.''
Hill, the Lancers' all-time leading scorer, said Senior Night hasn't hit home for him yet.
"It's not really emotional,'' Hill said. "It hasn't hit me yet to be honest. It's great that we won our last home game here.''
The Lancers (22-3, 11-1) have won 10 of their last 11 games. They'll close out the regular season and their SWC schedule at Granite City on Friday.
Hill said the Lancers would like to win the SWC title outright, but they're really focused on the postseason.
"We're not as worried about the conference because at the end of the day, if we lose in the first round (of the playoffs), it won't mean anything,'' Hill said. "It would be a good achievement, but we're focused on the playoffs right now.''
The Lancers also got 11 points from Cameron Hunter and seven points from White.
The Kahoks (11-17, 3-10) lost to the Lancers for the third time this season. They dropped a 52-33 decision on Dec. 29 and a 52-51 overtime decision on Jan. 4.
The Kahoks were led by sophomore Sean Davis with 12 points and Chris Mathes with 10 points, all in the second half.
"We just couldn't generate enough offense,'' Collinsville coach Darin Lee said. "The defense wasn't bad. They had had Malcolm on Falando (Wilkinson), and that makes it tough for him to score. We could establish Davis in the post a little bit, but he's not ready to get 20 a game for us. We finally found Mathes in the second half, and that helped us. We played pretty good in the second half. If we could have found Mathes a little more in the first half, it would have helped us.''
Wilkinson, who entered the game averaging a team-high 17.9 points per game, was held to six points by Hill.
"Malcolm did a nice job on him,'' Schrader said. "We gave him that challenge. I think without a doubt Falando is a first team all-conference kid, which says a lot. I thought Malcolm did a good job of having high hands and making him take tougher shots.''
Reddick scored off two layups and the Kahoks committed turnovers on their first four possessions as the Lancers grabbed a 4-0 lead.
"We wanted to play good defense from the jump, and that's what we did,'' Hill said.
Hill had a steal and breakaway dunk and Patrick Smith drilled a 3-pointer as the Lancers went up 11-3.
"It's hard to score when you don't get a shot at the rim,'' Lee said of his team's early turnovers. "We didn't get a lot of good shots either. They are pretty athletic.''
The Kahoks cut their deficit to 13-12 on a 3-pointer by Wilkinson with 30 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Lancers used an 18-6 run in the second quarter to go up 31-18. A 3-pointer by James White capped the run with 52 seconds left in the second quarter.
Davis sank two free throws with 37 seconds left in the second quarter to trim the Lancers' advantage to 31-20 at halftime.
The Kahoks got two 3-pointers from Mathes and a 3-pointer from Briley Kellison as they closed to gap to 37-29.
The Kahoks drew within 37-31 on a putback bucket by Sean Davis with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by Reddick keyed a surge by the Lancers late in the third quarter gave them a 44-33 lead going into the fourth quarter.
A reverse breakway dunk by Hill put the Lancers up 48-35 with 6:52 remaining in the game.
The Lancers' lead grew to 53-36 on two free throws by Reddick with about four minutes to go, and they maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the way.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at email@example.com or 239-2522.