The Cahokia Comanches’ winless streak in the South Seven Conference is over.
Senior Katelyn Clark scored 19 points, while Meyesha Jones added 14 Thursday, as Cahokia shocked Althoff 54-49 before a sparse turnout at Althoff High School.
The Comanches (2-4), coming off a tough, two-point, home loss to Mount Vernon earlier in the week, used a pair of six-point scoring spurts to take the lead in the fourth quarter, then held off all challenges from the Crusaders, who fall to 3-4 for the season.
Clark, a 6-foot-2 senior center, scored seven of her points in the final period. Freshman Keya Wells connected on 6-of-7 free throws in the final four minutes for Cahokia, which went winless in the 2015-16 season, finishing 0-16.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to Belleville News-Democrat
The win also gave former Althoff coach Todd Hill a win in his first meeting against his former team. Hill resigned from Althoff following the 2014-15 season and was hired as the Comanches coach earlier this year.
But as Hill saw it, the win on Thursday was about his team.
“This is a big win for us because of the fact that we want to contend for the (South Seven) conference title. We lost a tough one the other night to Mount Vernon, and we really couldn’t afford another loss this early in the year,’’ Hill said. “I’m just so proud of these girls. The amount of work they put in the summer to improve was amazing, and now they’re having some success.’’
The game was close throughout. Althoff, getting a lift by the return of senior Maggie Reimer, who had missed the first six games of the season because of an injury, led 19-18 at halftime. But bothered by the quickness and speed of the Comanches, Althoff was never able to get its offense on track for any sustained period of time.
Senior Kyleigh Vaught, who led Althoff with 16 points, cut a seven-point Cahokia lead to 37-35 with just over five minutes remaining. But as they did all night, the Comanches had an answer.
Jones scored on a short jumper, Clark tallied on an offensive rebound and when Tajza Pratcher scored on a 3-point shot, Cahokia had a 44-35 lead with 3:40 left in the game. Althoff would get no closer than four points the remainder of the night.
The Comanches were guilty of 14 traveling violations and were just 3 of 14 from the free throw line through the first three quarters. But with the game on the line, the Comanches responded.
“That’s probably what I most proud of tonight. Every time Althoff made a run on us, we responded,’’ Hill said. “It was a great effort by our girls.’’
Troeckler passes 2,000 point barrier
Civic Memorial senior Allie Troeckler joined some elite company Thursday when she went over the 2,000-point mark for her high school career.
A two-time Class 3A all-state selection and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville recruit, Troeckler entered the game Thursday with 1,980 points. The 5-10 guard-forward scored 21 of her 27 points in the first half, as the Eagles defeated Waterloo 60-37.