Behind Kerion Chairs and Jeremiah Tilmon, the East St. Louis Flyers defeated Southwestern Conference rival Belleville East 101-73 on Friday.
On top of the SWC with an 8-1 record, the Flyers (14-6) got their transition game going early against a Belleville East squad that was playing without two starters.
With Tilmon and Terrence Hargrove dominating the offensive glass and Chairs knocking down three pointers, East St. Louis jumped out to a 28-12 lead in the first quarter. The Lancers (11-9, 2-6) would get no closer than 10 points the rest of the night.
“We like to get out and run, and tonight, the way we were shooting and hitting the offensive boards, we were able to do that,” Flyers coach Phillip Gilbert said. “Chairs helped get us out to a good start, and I thought Arthur (Carter) really gave us a nice lift. He plays his role well.”
Missing starters E.J. Aldridge and Jordan Yates, Belleville East led just once — in the opening 15 seconds on a 3-point jumper by Javon Pickett. Pickett would lead all scorers with 38 points.
Tilmon then scored on his first dunk shot and added a free throw. Chairs hit 3-pointers from both baselines and Hargrove added six points to lead a 17-2 surge.
Many of the Flyers’ first-quarter points came on second- and third-chance opportunities against an out-muscled Lancers team.
“They are just a very good basketball team, and we didn’t do a good job of rebounding,” Lancers coach Abel Schrader said.
East St. Louis led 52-29 at halftime.
Tilmon, using his strength and mobility to get inside the lane for six dunks, led the Flyers with 27 points, while Carter added 20. Chairs added 18 points for East St. Louis, while Hargrove, playing less than three quarters, added 17. Jaylen Lacey chipped in with 17 points for Belleville East, and Rico Sylvester had 14.