Belleville East got a lift from reserves Jaylen Lacey and Khalil Rainey in the second quarter, and veterans Rico Sylvester and Javon Pickett took over in the second half, as the visiting Lancers defeated Collinsville 67-56 in a Southwestern Conference basketball game Friday.
Belleville East (9-5, 2-4), led 15-12 after one quarter, but when Collinsville senior Ronnie Midgett scored on a 10-foot jumper in the opening minute of the second period, the score was tied at 15.
Two reserves on a deep and talented Lancers bench, Lacey and Rainey then keyed an 11-2 scoring run over the next five minutes, as East took a lead they would never relinquish. The duo combined to score 11 of the Lancers 15 second-quarter points as East took a 30-22 lead at halftime.
“Jaylen and Khalil gave us a huge lift off the bench. They played with a lot of energy and really sparked us,” Lancers coach Abel Schrader said. “That and the way we rebounded, especially on the offensive boards, I felt were two of the keys to the game. We knew we had to really hit the boards hard, and we did tonight.”
The Lancers finished the game with 18 offensive rebounds.
Pickett and Sylvester then took it from there as East held off the Kahoks in the second half. Pickett led East with 18 points, while Sylvester added 15. Collinsville was led by Kenrique Brown, who scored 22 points, while Ronnie Midgett added 17.
Collinsville coach Darin Lee said the one of the keys of the game was the Lancers’ dominance on the backboards.
“That wasn’t the only difference in the game, but it was one of them. They (East) really beat us on the boards, especially on the offensive end,” Lee said. “We were paying a lot of attention to where Javon (Pickett) was on the floor, and when the shot went up, we weren’t doing a very good job of blocking out.”
Collinsville (6-9, 1-5), trailed by as many as 11 points midway in the third quarter, but rallied behind five points each from seniors Kenrique Brown and Ronnie Midgett to cut the Lancers’ lead to 42-36 after three quarters.
But when Kahoks freshman Keydrian Jones was called for a technical foul — the Kahoks’ second of the game — as time expired at the end of the period, it paved the way for Belleville East to break the game open. And with a 7-0 run in the opening 36 seconds of the fourth quarter, the game was put away for good.
After Sylvester made both free throws from the technical foul, Pickett scored on a short jumper and followed with a conventional 3-point play. With 7:24 remaining, the Lancers had a 49-36 lead, and Collinsville would get no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.
While Pickett, a University of Illinois recruit, and Sylvester combined for 33 points, Belleville East also received 12 points from junior Jordan Yates and 11 points from Malachi Smith.