The Belleville West Maroons continue to take ill-advised shots and the decision making process remains questionable at times. But the wins keep coming anyway.
Senior Imani Berry and junior Erika Harvey made 3-point shots to highlight an 8-0 run midway through the third quarter and the Maroons held off a late Belleville East rally for a 53-48 win on Tuesday in a Southwestern Conference game.
With the Lancers (7-10), holding a 27-26 lead following a short jumper by Tamar Mosby, West sophomore Anjanice Jones scored on an offensive putback to give West a one-point lead.
Following a Lancers turnover, first Berry and then Harvey connected on 3-point shots to complete a 34 second span when West (13-4) went from being behind to holding a 34-27 lead with 3 minutes 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
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East would get no closer then three points the rest of the night.
“We had a little run right at the end of the first half and then we had the one in the third quarter. Those were the difference in the game,’’ West coach Clayton Fisher said. “Our shot selection was poor at times and we continue to make bad decisions with the basketball. But still we’re 13-4. You’ve got to be happy with the win. It’s never easy to win on the road in the Southwestern Conference.
The Maroons’ lead reached 10 points early in the fourth quarter following the third of three 3-point baskets by Harvey. But East didn’t quit.
Led by four points from senior Erin Holl and nine fourth quarter points by junior Ellisha Davis, East rallied to cut the lead to three points on three occasions in the final three minutes of the game.
Davis hit a 3-point shot with 14.4 seconds remaining to bring the Lancers to within 51-48. But West senior Shay Fluker made two free throws with under 10 seconds left to clinch the Maroons second win of the season over their cross-town rivals.
West was only 5-of-11 from the foul line in the fourth period.
“We just had a couple of breakdowns when they (West) had one or two scoring runs and it was the difference. I thought we played pretty well and the effort was there all night. We’re getting better,’’ East coach Amanda Kemezys said. “Erin (Holl) gave us a lift with her hustle and desire. That’s the kind of energy she brings to the court every night, and Ellisha (Davis) I thought played very well for us.’’
“We just need to fix a few things and that’s my job. But we’re getting better with each game and the effort continues to be there every night.’’
Davis led East with 15 points, while Holl added 10.
Berry, one of the top scorers in the St. Louis area, had 19 points to lead West, while Fluker added 13. But it was anything but pretty early in the game for West, which was just 3 of 15 from the floor and had seven turnovers in a first period which ended with it holding a 9-8 lead.
It didn’t get much better in the second quarter but when Fluker scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer, West led 23-22 at halftime.