High School Sports

Belleville West has to rally against Alton for Centralia Tournament repeat

Belleville West junior guard Lawrence Brazil III (no. 10) was 6 for 6 from the field including three 3-point baskets to help the Maroons to a win over Collierville at the Centralia Holiday Tournament last years. Brazil and the Maroons go the tournament repeat this week.
Belleville West junior guard Lawrence Brazil III (no. 10) was 6 for 6 from the field including three 3-point baskets to help the Maroons to a win over Collierville at the Centralia Holiday Tournament last years. Brazil and the Maroons go the tournament repeat this week. teschman@bnd.com

Senior guard Lawrence Brazil III scored a career-best 30 points to help the Belleville West Maroons overcome a halftime deficit against Alton and repeat as champions of the Centralia Holiday Tournament.

The Maroons trailed by five at the intermission, but scored 19 points in the third quarter to overcome the Southwestern Conference rival Redbirds and win the late game 62-57.

Belleville West previously won the tournament title in 1962, 1981, 2003 and 2017. It’s the first time in the tournament’s 76 years that the Maroons have been repeat champions.

Brazil, a senior and starting guard on last season’s 4A state championship team, was red-hot, shooting 10 of 16 from the field including 4 of 6 from three-point range. He boosted another wise chilly night for the unbeaten Maroons, who shot just 30 percent from the field without Brazil.

Senior EJ Liddell, who scored 32 points in a second-round win over Centennial-Tennessee Friday, scored 16 points and matched a game-high 10 rebounds. Jaylin Mosby and Will Shumpert each scored seven points for West.

Brazil, who scored 70 points in wins over Cahokia, Centennial, Champaign Central and Alton, was named to the all-tournament first team. Liddell, who had 77 points, 32 rebounds, and 10 blocked shots was named the tournament MVP for the second year in a row.

Senior Keith Randolph, who signed a national letter of intent to play football at the University of Illinois on Dec. 19, missed his sixth straight game since scoring seven in a win over East St. Louis five days earlier.

Ranked No. 1 in Illinois class 4A, West will play host to Alton for a rematch on Jan. 4. The next day, the Maroons face their showdown with Missouri power Vashon at the Highland Shootout.

Alton (9-5-1) put three players in double figures against the Maroons. Malik Smith led the way with 16 points, Moory Woods scored 15, and Donovan Clay completed the double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Belleville West junior Lawrence Brazil III stole the ball and laid it in to give the Maroons their first state basketball championship.

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