COLLINSVILLE — Collinsville senior Briley Kellison didn't squander a second opportunity Friday.
Kellison narrowly beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer from the left corner, giving the Kahoks a 46-44 victory over Belleville West in the Southwestern Conference finale for both teams.
The 6-foot-2 Kellison, who finished with 12 points, missed a 3-pointer from the same location with the Maroons leading 44-43 with 10 seconds remaining.
"I had it in my mind that I was going to get that last shot," said Kellison, who was mobbed by teammates and fans after hitting the game-winner. "I missed (the first) one and I was disappointed. I knew if I got the next one, I would make it.
"I knew I had to get it up as soon as I could. I didn't have time to look at the clock or anything. The ball was coming to me. I just shot it up as soon as I could. I knew it was in. It felt great; it felt awesome --especially on senior night."
Senior Falando Wilkinson scored nine points for Collinsville (12-17 overall, 4-10 SWC), while senior Chris Mathes had eight.
The Maroons (17-9, 8-6) trailed 43-40, but senior Markkies Goodwin's rebound basket off a Collinsville turnover trimmed the Kahoks' lead to 43-42 with 51 seconds left.
Freshman Tarkus Ferguson followed with a steal and layup that gave West a 44-43 lead with 44 seconds left.
After Kellison's missed 3-pointer, Ferguson was fouled by Collinsville senior Tanner Houck with 5.9 seconds remaining. Ferguson missed the front end of a one-and-one, and Houck cleared the rebound.
Houck was triple-teamed as he dribbled to midcourt and was unable to find Wilkinson. But he spotted Kellison in the left corner, and Kellison sank the wide-open 3.
"Briley can make shots when he gets his feet set. He just missed the first one and made the second one," said Kahoks coach Darin Lee, also crediting Houck for making the extra pass rather than take a heavily guarded shot he almost certainly would have missed.
"Tanner's a pretty good athlete," Lee added. "That was a great find. He found him and he made the shot. He just had the shot before, so I think he was lined up and he knocked it down."
Senior Nick Van Osdale led all scorers with 20 points for the Maroons, 14 of them coming in the second half. Ferguson finished with seven points in a reserve role.
West coach Joe Muniz bemoaned his team's defense on the final possession of the game.
"The one thing we said, at least five times, was, 'On a make or a miss, do not let anyone get behind you,'" he said. "We let (Kellison) get behind us and no one was on him. He was wide open.
"We had three guys chasing the ballhandler, and you can't have that. Once he secures the rebound, it's man-to-man. We did a good job denying Falando the ball, which is what we wanted to do. But we had to deny the other guys the ball, too, so they couldn't advance it, and let's let Tanner see if he can make a halfcourt shot."
Unfortunately for the Maroons, a different scenario unfolded.
"He's a good shooter," Muniz said of Kellison. "He's had similar shots like that throughout their season --last-second shots. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't. This one, unfortunately for our sake, went in."
Collinsville and West will meet again in the semifinals of the Class 4A O'Fallon Regional at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Kahoks led 12-7 after one quarter and 21-17 at halftime. They extended the lead to 41-34 on sophomore Sean Davis' basket with 3:52 left in the fourth quarter. That's when the Maroons began their 10-2 run that gave them a short-lived one-point lead.
Lee, whose team has dropped four games by four points or fewer, was glad to see a tight game go in the Kahoks' favor.
"We've had some tough losses, and it looked like it was going to be another one," Lee said. "Some things even out, I guess, in the end."
Contact reporter David Wilhelm at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2665.