The defending Class 4A state champion Belleville West Maroons are already a step ahead of what they were a year ago.
EJ Liddell recorded his third double-double in four games with 24 points and 15 rebounds while Keith Randolph added 15 points and a season-high 22 rebounds as West defeated Rayville, La. 84-73 Saturday in the title game at Washington, Il. Tournament of Champions.
West (4-0), which lost to Houston (Texas) Math and Science in the title game a year ago, led for much of the second half. But Rayville, ranked 30th in the nation and the defending Louisiana state champions kept the game within reach until late in the fourth quarter.
While Liddell, who added six blocked shots and five assists, and Randolph led the way, senior point guard Lawrence Brazil III chipped in with 13 points and seven assists. Louisiana all-stater JaMarcus Wilson led the Hornets (3-1) with 20 points and nine rebounds.
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Here is a brief look at other tournaments last week:
Collinsville wins at Herrin
The Collinsville Kahoks played lock-down defense last week in winning the Herrin Tournament title at Herrin High School.
The Kahoks (5-0), held four of their five opponents to 34 points or less as they romped to the tournament title. Collinsville clinched the championship with a 62-32 win over the host Herrin Tigers on Saturday.
On offense, juniors Ray’Sean Taylor (21 ppg.) and Marshall Harrison (14.2 ppg.) led the way for Collinsville.
Highland wins at Effingham St. Anthony
The Highland Bulldogs opened the season last week by winning the Effingham St. Anthony Thanksgiving Tournament. Led by a balanced scoring attack, Highland (4-0) defeated Mattoon 60-49 in the title game.
Central (3-1) placed third in the week-long event. The Cougars (3-1) defeated Effingham St. Anthony 55-49 in the third place contest.
Flyers fall in final at Abe’s Roundball Classic
East St. Louis senior Terrance Hargrove scored 33 points but it wasn’t quite enough as the Flyers fell to Chicago Curie, 88-81, in overtime in the title game at Abe’s Roundball Classic at Lincoln Land College in Springfield.
The Flyers (2-1) also received 15 points from Richard Robinson and 13 from Elijah Rice in the title game.. Expected to be one of the top Class 3A teams in the state, East St. Louis advanced to the title game with wins over Chicago Orr (68-65) and Springfield Lanphier (71-47).
A St. Louis University recruit, Hargrove tallied 20 points in the win over Orr and 14 against Lanphier.
O’Fallon finishes 2-1 at Alton Redbird Tournament
The O’Fallon Panthers got off to a good start of their season, finishing with a 2-1 mark at the Alton Redbirds Tip-Off Classic. The Panthers received 12 points from Shaun Riley II in a 46-42 win over Riverview Gardens. Riley scored 13 points in the Panthers 44-33 win over St. Louis Carnahan earlier in the week.
The Panthers game with Althoff, scheduled for Saturday, was cancelled after a fight broke out in the third quarter of the Alton-Riverview Gardens game on Friday. Tournament officials then decided to cancel all three games on Saturday.
Althoff finished the round robin event with a 1-2 record.
Mater Dei falls in own final
The 275 mile trip south proved to be worthwhile for Chicago Marshall which edged host Mater Dei 56-53 in the title game of the Mater Dei Thanksgiving Tournament
Caleb Zurliene scored 22 points to lead the way for the Knights (2-1) whose comeback attempt from a seven point halftime deficit came up just short. The Knights advanced to the title game with wins over St. Louis Miller Academy (75-60) and Northwest Academy (72-34).
Play in the Kasakaskian Tournament at Carlyle High School continues through Friday with two games per night.
Defending Class 1A state champion Okawville (1-0) opened its season with a 58-45 win over Greenville on Saturday, while Cahokia Conference rivals Freeburg (0-1) and host Carlyle (0-1) both lost in the round-robin event
Wesclin Thanksgiving Tournament
Play in the Wesclin Thanksgiving Tournament continues Tuesday at Wesclin High School.. Mascoutah (1-1) will take on Waterloo (1-1) beginning at 6 p.m. and that game will be followed at 7:30 p.m. when Columbia (0-1) plays Nashville (1-0).
Tournament action in the round-robin event continues on Wednesday and Friday.
The New Athens Yellowjackets defeated Woodlawn 58-57 in the consolation final at the Christopher Tournament. After dropping a 59-43 first-round game to Norris City, New Athens received 21 points from Joe Range in a win 65-27 win over Zeigler-Royalton to move into the consolation final.
Marquette wins at Metro East Lutheran
The Alton Marquette Explorers jumped out to a 16-9 first quarter lead and never trailed as they defeated Metro East Lutheran 50-37 in the title game of the Metro East Lutheran Thanksgiving Tournament..
Senior guard Chris Hartrich led Marquette (4-0) with 16 points. Gibault (2-2) placed sixth, losing to St. Louis College Prep 57-53 in the fifth place game.
Nashville Thanksgiving Tournament
The Nashville Hornettes ended the Collinsville Kahoks’ dreams of a championship with a 44-32 title game win Saturday at Nashville High School. Bria King led Collinsville (3-1) with 14 points..
Okawville (2-2) placed fifth while Wesclin (1-3) finished seventh.
Sophomore Bella LaPorta led a balanced attack with 14 points as the Bulldogs (4-1) put the finishing touch on a solid week with a 59-32 win over Centralia at the Salem Tournament.
Highland, Teutopolis and Carterville finished the round-robin event with 4-1 records. Althoff, which began tournament play with three straight losses, won its last two games to finish the event 2-3.
Southern Illinois Shootout
The Edwardsville Tigers improved to 5-0 with a pair of wins Saturday at the Southern Illinois Shootout. The event, which concludes Saturday is being hosted by O’Fallon and Edwardsville High Schools.
The Tigers defeated defending Class 1A state champion Danville Schlarman 49-42 then edged Normal Community 42-29 later in the day Saturday.
Belleville West (1-2), O’Fallon (1-2) and Belleville East (1-3) are also in the field.