Overtime has not been kind to the Collinsville Kahoks in Southwestern Conference play during recent seasons.
Maybe that changed Friday night.
Ray’Sean Taylor scored the opening four points of the second overtime to give Collinsville (9-6, 2-5) the lead for good in a 59-58 victory over the Belleville East Lancers.
“I think we’ve lost four or five overtime games in the conference over the past three years,” said Collinsville coach Darin Lee. “We just have not had a lot of luck in them.
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“It’s tough to win road games in this conference, so it’s nice to come away with this one.”
Coming off an all-tournament showing at last week’s 34th annual Collinsville-Prairie Farms Holiday Classic, it was not the best of nights for Taylor.
The sophomore, who came in averaging 19.5 points per game, finished with 16 points but seemed to have his touches limited — he had just 11 shots — by some tough East defense.
But he came up big when he had to.
“I just didn’t have a very good game,” said Taylor. “I’m just glad I was able to get those points when we needed them.”
Taylor opened the scoring in the second overtime when he drained a pair of free throws 56 seconds in.
Taylor, who came into the game shooting over 80 percent from the line, including a 29-for-29 performance in a win over Decatur MacArthur at the Collinsville Tournament, had missed two free throws in the fourth quarter.
Remaining aggressive, Taylor then made it 57-53 by slicing through the East defense on a layup.
The Lancers’ Isaiah May then knocked down a 10-footer drawing East to within 57-55 with 1:45 to go.
However, sophomore Keydrian Jones cashed in off an offensive rebound to put the Kahoks up by four.
A Jaylen Lacey 3 drew East back to within 59-58 with 38 seconds left.
The Lancers would get one final shot, but May’s 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off.
East had the final shot at the end of regulation and both overtimes, and didn’t convert any of them.
“I thought we got a good look the first and third time,” said first-year East coach Jeff Creek. “The second time we just dribbled in looking to get fouled, and you are not going to get any fouls called there.
“We just didn’t finish at the end.”
Kienen Waller did everything he could to help East (7-8, 1-5) snatch the win by draining his first seven 3-point attempts of the game.
His first miss of any kind came on the Lancers’ first possession of the opening overtime.
Waller would finish with 23 points but missed his final three long-range attempts.
“I think we did a little better job of not letting him get his feet set and making him shoot off the dribble,” said Lee of his team’s defense on Waller late in the game. “Looking at the stats, I don’t think I’ve seen where he’s had a game anywhere close to that.”
Creek, however, was not surprised.
“He’s capable of doing that,” said Creek. “He had a couple of nice game up at the Centralia Tournament. But he did a great job tonight of getting his feet set and knocking them down.”
East opened a 53-50 lead in the first overtime, only to see Collinsville’s Braeden Lemp hit three of four free throws in the final 1:25 to force the second extra period.
Lacey scored seven first-quarter points as East grabbed an early 11-6 lead.
Waller made three of his 3s in the second quarter for the Lancers, but the Kahoks still outscored East 18-13 to send it into halftime tied at 24.
Taylor did not get his first points of the game until a little more than three minutes in the second period. He finished the half with four points.
Collinsville led 34-32 after three quarters. A pair of Taylor free throws with 24 seconds left in regulation sent it to overtime tied at 48.
Jones, a sophomore, was 7 of 8 for Collinsville on his way to 17 points. He led both teams with nine rebounds.
“He is just relentless,” said Lee. “He’s out there grabbing loose balls, rebounds, and he is just great at finding ways of getting to the basket.
“He has such a high motor. I think he is only going to get better.”
Lemp also had 16 points for the Kahoks, all but five coming in the second half and overtime.
Lacey finished with 12 points for East and tied Yates for the team lead in rebounds with five.
East is off until Friday, when it travels to Granite City for another SWC game. Collinsville is at Triad on Tuesday for a nonconference test.