Collinsville pulls away in win over West

News-DemocratJanuary 18, 2014 

— Collinsville has been seeking consistency for most of the season, and Friday represented progress in that area.

Junior Anfirnee Wilkinson scored a game-high 23 points, junior Brett Langley had 14 points and 6-foot-8 junior Emondre Rickman was a force in the paint as the Kahoks drubbed Belleville West 60-40 in a Southwestern Conference game.

"We've gotten better," Collinsville coach Darin Lee said. "And we've got the big guy in there to guard the rim. That helps clean up some mistakes every once in a while.

"(Offensively) Emondre posting hard opened up some of those shots for our guards. They were helping on Emondre a lot, so you've got to give him credit for that."

Rickman finished with eight points, including two dunks, and also altered or blocked a handful of West shots. Wilkinson and Langley, meanwhile, set the tone as they combined for four of their six 3-pointers in the first half as the Kahoks took control.

Collinsville (6-9 overall, 2-5 SWC) has recorded back-to-back victories for the first time since the first week of the season. The Maroons (3-9, 1-5) have lost four in a row and seven of eight.

Senior Jeff Wicker scored 13 points to lead West, and senior Kyle Sweeney came off the bench and scored eight. The Maroons' leading scorer, junior Eugene Jones, was held without a point.

"We're still searching," West coach Joe Muniz said. "Consistency is the thing we've got to do a better job of. Tonight, obviously, we didn't shoot the ball very well. We had a lot of good looks; the ball just didn't go in."

The Maroons were 15-for-56 from the field (27 percent), including an abysmal 2-for-24 on 3-pointers (8 percent). In its last two games, West is 5-for-43 on 3-pointers (12 percent).

Collinsville was 21-for-40 from the floor (53 percent) and 7-for-12 on 3-pointers (58 percent). That nullified an 11-for-20 showing from the free-throw line (55 percent).

Wilkinson opened the game with a 3-pointer, and his second 3-pointer of the first quarter put the Kahoks ahead 13-6.

Collinsville extended its lead to 23-11 on a jumper by Wilkinson with 6:47 left in the second quarter, but the Maroons trimmed their deficit to 26-19 at the half as Wicker scored in the final minute.

The Kahoks reasserted themselves in a ragged third quarter, however. Rickman's dunk made it 33-23 at the 4:13 mark, and Langley's 3-pointer made it 40-27 with 2:42 to play.

Junior Harrison Wethers' basket put the Kahoks ahead 50-31 early in the fourth quarter. West closed within 54-40, but Collinsville scored the final six points of the game.

"We're going to have to make those shots," Lee said, referring to the 3s by Wilkinson and Langley and the one made by senior Jacob Shaffer. "If they're posting Emondre, we're going to have to knock down some 3s. We did tonight.

"Our offense is slowly getting a little better. But it's a long season. We hope to continue to get better. We got into a (stretch) in December where we ran into some really good teams. That can get your confidence down in a hurry."

Jones entered the game averaging 10.3 points per game for the Maroons, but he was 0-for-5 and missed all four of his 3-pointers. Another starter for West, junior Demond White, also was scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting.

"There's no doubt West doesn't have that first-team all-conference type of player that, when you're on offense, can go get you some baskets," Lee said. "That does make it tough when you have to execute offense every time down. That's hard to do in our conference."

If Jones rebounds and Wicker can provide offensive spark like he did against Collinsville, the Maroons could improve offensively.

"Jeff made some shots for us, and that was good," Muniz said. "It would have been nice if our other guys could have knocked some shots down, too, to lessen the pressure."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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