Southern Illinois Tigers take title at national tourney

News-DemocratJuly 21, 2013 

— The Southern Illinois Tigers 16U boys basketball team recently placed second in the NIKE Stampede Super 100 National Championship in Atlanta, Ga.

The Tigers went 3-1 in the tourney, falling to the Dekalb Heat 73-62 in the championship game.

The Tigers had beaten the Heat 59-52 earlier in pool play.

"We had a lead, they came back and took the lead, we came back on them,'' said Eugene Jones Sr., who coached the Tigers. "It was back and forth, back and forth.''

The Tigers are made up entirely of metro-east players, including 6-foot-3 Keenen Young from Althoff High School, 6-foot Anthony Johnson from East St. Louis High School and 6-foot-4 Eugene Jones Jr. from Belleville West High School.

"Those are three standout guys who really did well,'' said Eugene Jones Sr., a probation officer in St. Clair County.

The Tigers also had Malikee Brown, Darion Easley, Donavan Hill, Travon Craggier, Javon Wealthers, Rashaun Clark and Tyrone Riley.

Jones said the Tigers played the tourney without center Terry Beckner from East St. Louis High because he was on a recruiting trip.

The Tigers currently boast a record of 29-3.

Contact reporter Steve Korte at or 239-2522.

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