East St. Louis sophomore Terrence Hargrove scored seven of his 20 points in the fourth quarter to help the Flyers hold off a Collinsville comeback for a 63-56 win in a Southwestern Conference game at Collinsville High School.
East St. Louis (17-8) looked as if it would make quick work of the Kahoks on Senior Night as it took a 12-0 lead with just more than five minutes left in the first quarter.
But Collinsville, playing its best basketball of the season in the past week, wouldn’t go away. Led by freshman Ray-Sean Taylor and Kenrique Brown, the Kahoks chipped away all night — finally taking a 41-40 lead on a jumper by Taylor with 57 seconds left in the third quarter.
Flyers senior Reyondous Estes followed Taylor’s basket with a 3-point jumper to end the third quarter as East St. Louis took the lead for good.
“I thought we came out the gate and played well in the first three minutes of the game. Then ... I don’t know if I would say we relaxed or what it was,” Flyers coach Phillip Gilbert said. “We need to learn to play hard for 32 minutes. Terrence (Hargrove) had a big second half for us. He’s got such a tremendous upside. He’s still had a lot to learn, but he’s the type of kid who listens to what you tell him and then works to make himself better.”
With Hargrove and University of Illinois recruit Jeremiah Tilmon controlling the the post area, the Flyers led 18-11 after one quarter and 31-22 at halftime.
But Collinsville (10-18) picked up its game in the second half. With Brown scoring nine of his 20 points and Taylor and Austin Knight adding four points, the Kahoks rallied, taking the lead when Taylor hit a layup with 57 seconds left in the third quarter.
“Except for the first three minutes when they got up on us 12-0, I thought we played well. But we’ve played our best basketball these last three games, taking Belleville West to overtime, beating (Belleville) East and then tonight when we played well against East St. Louis,” Kahoks coach Darin Lee said. “We’ve gotten a little healthier, we’re shooting the ball better and some kids have stepped up.
“They (East St. Louis) beat us by seven points tonight. But it was closer than that.”
The Flyers opened the lead to start the fourth quarter. Kerion Chairs scored on a layup, Estes followed with a short jumper and when Hargrove score inside, the Flyers were up 49-41 with six minutes left.
Collinsville would get no closer then three points the rest of the game.
Tilmon added 16 points for the Flyers, while Chairs and Arthur Carter added 10 points each.
Brown led Collinsville with 20 points, and Taylor added 17.