Flyers dominate second half, end Edwardsville's 7-game streak

News-DemocratFebruary 12, 2014 

— Streaking Edwardsville ran into a second-half buzzsaw Wednesday night.

The Tigers were outscored by East St. Louis 37-18 in the third and fourth quarters and fell to the Flyers 63-47 in a Southwestern Conference game that had twice been postponed because of weather conditions.

"We had a long talk about just buying in. Just buying in, believing in the system and believing in what we do " East St. Louis coach Tony Young said. "The reality is, you play this whole season to get to March. Right now, we've got to continue to get better and better and better so we're playing our best basketball in March."

The Flyers (13-7 overall, 5-4 SWC) ended their three-game losing skid while snapping Edwardsville's seven-game winning streak.

Senior Darrion Beane was the key for East St. Louis as he scored a game-high 20 points on 8-for-13 shooting that included a pair of 3-pointers. Sophomore Karon Randolph had 12 points and two 3s.

Senior Shawn Roundtree led the Tigers (20-2, 7-2) with 18 points. Senior Armon Fletcher had 15.

The Tigers (20-2, 7-2) led 29-26 at halftime, but lost control when East Side went on a 17-2 run in a 6 1/2 minute span that gave it a 43-35 lead with 7:06 left in the game. The Flyers kept pushing, extending their advantage to 17 in the final two minutes.

"They made a lot of shots tonight, and actually, they made a lot of shots that we were giving them," Edwardsville coach Mike Waldo said. "Any time you play defense, it's a series of calculated gambles. You've got to give some things up and you've got to take some things away.

"(Beane) hasn't been making a lot of 3-point shots, and he made some shots in that stretch that really hurt us. They just had a lot of guys make a lot of shots. Those were the shots we were giving them, and they made them."

Young said the Flyers had to get back on the winning track with a physical style of defense. It worked as Edwardsville was 13-for-44 from the field (30 percent).

"That set the whole tempo," Young said. "That's how you want to play the game. You get five fouls. You want to use at least three of them, maybe four of them --and five if you have to. You've got to get after people and attack them."

Edwardsville built a 33-26 lead on Fletcher's basket with 5:56 to play in the third quarter. But junior Anthony Johnson and Beane followed with 3s, and Beane's layup went high off the glass and fell through, putting the Flyers ahead 34-33 with 3:02 left in the period.

The Tigers took their final lead at 35-34 on Roundtree's drive through the lane. East Side went ahead for good at 36-35 on junior Tyrone Riley's basket with 1:43 left in the third period. Six minutes later, Edwardsville faced a double-digit deficit.

"Things can happen fast," Waldo said. "They've got a lot of things they do well. They're physical. They're good rebounders. Their defense was very physical, and that helped them."

Waldo said the fact that the Tigers played Tuesday night at DeSmet couldn't be used as an excuse.

"Our guys like to play basketball," he said. "They were glad to have the opportunity to play. We had a good practice before we came over today and our guys were ready to go. East St. Louis just played awfully well."

Jeremiah Tilmon, the Flyers' 6-foot-9 freshman, missed his fourth consecutive game for undisclosed reasons. Tilmon was on the bench in street clothes.

"We've got to work on (Belleville) West on Friday," Young said. "Jeremiah, whether he's back or not, he's here. It would be great if (he played). If not, he's going to sit there and cheer us on like he's been doing.

"You've got to learn sometimes. It's a hard lesson. I hate having to do it, but sometimes you've got to learn."

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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