Edwardsville took a major step toward winning the outright championship of the Southwestern Conference on Friday.
Senior Shawn Roundtree scored 25 points, eclipsing 1,000 in his career, and senior Armon Fletcher added 21 as the Tigers defeated Alton 72-57 and claimed at least a share of the SWC title.
Edwardsville, ranked eighth in the Class 4A state poll, avenged an earlier loss to the Redbirds and improved to 23-3 overall and 10-2 in the SWC. Alton, ranked seventh, fell to 20-5 and 8-4 with its second consecutive league loss.
"We played hard and smart and much better than we did against Alton the last time," Edwardsville coach Mike Waldo said. "I thought it was one of our better games of the season. We executed well on offense and did a lot of things right."
Senior Trevor Clay added 15 points for the Tigers, who were 25-for-39 from the field (64 percent) and were charged with a mere seven turnovers, only one in the first half. Edwardsville squandered an 18-point in the first meeting against Alton and lost 59-56.
"They have some quality players and Division I kids," Redbirds coach Eric Smith said. "Fletcher and Roundtree both played well, but that wasn't anything we didn't expect. ... The biggest thing was that they controlled the tempo of the game and we didn't get enough stops. We didn't turn them over enough."
D'Antae McMurray scored 19 points to lead Alton. Bryan Hudson had 15 and Carlos Anderson had 13. Michael Williams-Bey did not play because of a hip injury.
Edwardsville leads Belleville East, O'Fallon and Alton by two games in the SWC standings with two to play.
Belleville East 64, Granite City 35
Senior Austin Cox scored 15 points and senior Cameron Hunter chipped in with 10 as the Lancers won easily on Senior Night.
East, which led 34-16 at halftime, improved to 17-8 overall and 8-4 in the SWC. The Lancers were coming off a 53-51 loss to visiting Althoff on Wednesday.
"It was Senior Night for us and I thought our kids played pretty well," Lancers coach Abel Schrader said. "Our seniors all played a lot and played well.
"We have a big week next week (against Collinsville on Tuesday and Edwardsville on Friday). We'll see what we can do."
The Lancers set the tone early as they took a big lead over the Warriors (0-12, 2-22) in the opening quarters.
"We got after them pretty well on defense," Schrader said. "We made them take some contested shots. If we guarded them, we had a good chance of success. I think we did that. They played zone and we had some guys step up and make shots for us."
The 6-foot-3 Cox was the ringleader.
"Austin has the ability to catch the ball and make shots," Schrader said. "He's extremely athletic. When he goes to the boards and rebounds for us, he can help us out in a lot of ways."