The Collinsville Kahoks spent much of the 2016-17 girls basketball season hovering around the .500 mark. They were after a win to boost their confidence in time for the Class 4A girls basketball post season.
They got it Jan. 12 when Collinsville won a 58-55 thriller in overtime against Belleville West. The Kahoks have been on a roll ever since.
Playing in the title game of the first Collinsville Kiwanis Mid-Winter Classic, Kaitlyn Fischer was one of four Kahoks in double figures with 20 points as Collinsville clinched a 58-45 win over Cahokia on Saturday at Collinsville High School.
Andrea Frerker added 13 points, while Claire Schuessler and Antionette Buehne added 10 points for Collinsville (10-8), which also defeated Riverview Gardens (Mo.) 66-34 and Desoto (Mo.) 59-32 in the round-robin tournament.
The four-game winning streak is the longest of the season for Collinsville.
“Beating Belleville West was a huge confidence booster for us. I’ve told the girls that this is a great time to make a run and that they need to believe in what we all know they are capable of doing,” Kahoks coach Lori Billy said. “Offensively we can be very dangerous. We have kids that can shoot from the outside and then slash to the basket and finish for us.
“Defensively we have been working really hard on several options that we need to have available depending on the opponent. These kids are just really good kids, and they all get along really well. They are a great group to coach, and I really love being around them. Sometimes I think they forget just how good they can be.”
The tournament title is the first for Collinsville since winning the season-opening Nashville Thanksgiving Tournament in 2014.
Fischer was named tournament MVP, and Frerker was chosen for the all-tournament team.
“Throughout the tournament we had some kids play really solid as they have done all year. Andrea (Frerker) and Antoinette Buehne continue to go out each night and play hard defensively and really strong on the offensive end. There are nights when Buehne will hit three or four 3s before you can blink, and teams have to make quick adjustments because of her,” Billy said. “Danielle Knutson is a stopper on defense. We usually give her the hardest defensive assignment each night, and she always answers with hard, consistent play.”
Milestone for Augustine
Waterloo senior Taylor Augustine passed the 1,000-point mark for her career as the Bulldogs defeated Valmeyer 39-30 Saturday.
Standing at 985 points before the game, Augustine tallied 17 points against the Pirates.
Augustine has been the model of consistency for Waterloo coach Matt Lucash during her four years as a Bulldogs starter.
“One of her best assets is her ability to make free throws. She shoots 70 to 80 percent and gets to the line a lot,” Lucash said. “She has been a player that is consistent in her game. As a coach, I can count on her for production.”
Lucash said Augustine is just the second player in Waterloo girls basketball history to go over the 1,000-point mark. Jennifer Conway scored 1,731 points in her career. Augustine was honored Monday and received the game ball from her milestone game.
Class 1A Lebanon and Class 3A Civic Memorial remained on course for a showdown later this week with early-round wins at the Carrollton Lady Hawk Invitational Tournament.
The Greyhounds, behind sisters Krista and Kendra Bass, defeated Alton Marquette 63-31, while Civic Memorial defeated host Carollton 63-31. Both teams could face major challenges in the semifinals Thursday with Civic Memorial taking on defending Class 1A state champion Hardin-Calhoun. Lebanon (22-0) defeated Greenfield/Northwestern 71-38 Wednesday and will face West Central in the semifinals Thursday. West Central is 24-0 and ranked second in the state. The Cougars defeated Brussels 59-33 Wednesday to set up the matchup with Lebanon.
The title game at Carrollton is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Highland All-Tournament team
Voted MVP of the Scott Credit Union Highland Tournament, Highland senior Madison Wellen highlighted the all-tournament squad in the 16-team event, which concluded Saturday at Highland High School. Other first-team selections were Alex LaPorta, of Highland; Chamya Darough and Sydney Thurwalker, of Belleville West; and Marta Durk, of O’Fallon.
Second-team selections included Sammi Matoush, of Hillsboro; Logan Bruandmeier, of Mater Dei; Faye Meissner, of Central; and Jamie Sandschafer and Shelby Thompson, of Teutopolis.
Class 1A-2A seeds to be announced
The undefeated and top-ranked Lebanon Greyhounds and Nashville Hornettes could be in line for No. 1 seeds when the Class 1A and Class 2A seeds for the upcoming regional-sectional complexes are announced by the Illinois High School Association on Thursday.
Lebanon (21-0) should be the top-seed in its Class 1A Regional-Sectional Complex, while Nashville (18-5) may get the nod over both Mater Dei (14-8) and Althoff (16-9). in the Class 2A.
The Class 1A and Class 2A postseason begins Feb 6. The Class 1A and Class 2A State Tournament is set for Feb. 24-25 at Redbird Arena in Normal.
BND Girls Basketball Rankings
Rankings for metro-east teams; voting by area coaches and News-Democrat staff. First-place votes are in parentheses; records through Jan. 23
Large school rankings (Class 3A-4A)
Also receiving votes: Belleville East (14-7); Collinsville (10-7), Columbia (15-8)), East St. Louis (8-8), Central (12-12), Jerseyville (13-7), Triad (10-8), Waterloo (10-9)
Small school rankings (Class 1A-2A)
Also receiving votes: New Athens (13-8), Gibault (10-11),, Marquette (11-11), Madison (11-6) , Red Bud (13-9)