Cahokia senior guard Jakorey Davis scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half, and the Comanches went on for a 72-49 win over Freeburg on Tuesday in a semifinal game at the Class 3A Mater Dei Regional.
With senior Thomas Bell scoring eight points, Cahokia led by as many as 12 points midway in the first half over the cold-shooting Midgets, who made just one of their first 12 shots and had three turnovers in their first 15 possessions.
The Midgets cut the Comanches lead to 22-16 late in the first half on a pair of 3-point baskets by junior Zach Muir, but could get no closer than four points the rest of the night. With Davis finding his shooting touch and sophomore Richard Robinson adding 12 points, Cahokia broke the game open with a 50-point second half.
“We were a little tentative early. There were a few 50-50 balls that I thought we didn’t get because we weren’t as aggressive as I would like us to be. But we’re playing a few young kids. I’m sure there were some nerves,” Cahokia coach Darian Nash said. “But one thing we talked about was rebounding, and we did a good job on both ends tonight.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do from now until Friday. But I thought we shared the ball well.”
Cahokia (19-10) advances to the regional title game at 7 p.m. Friday, where it will take on the winner of the Wednesday semifinal game between Mater Dei and Highland.
Freeburg ends its season at 17-14.
Despite the slow start, Freeburg fought back. Down by six points at halftime, the Midgets cut Cahokia’s lead to 22-18 in the opening minute of the second half on a basket by Quinn Haug.
But the Comanches responded with a flurry. Davis scored on an offensive rebound and a conventional 3-point play. Sophomore Elijah Rice tallied twice, and senior Malik Johnson came off the bench to score six points as Cahokia outscored Freeburg 24-17 in the third quarter.
The Comanches led 46-33 heading into the fourth.
“When we had to press is when they (Cahokia) broke the game open. But I thought we were able to stay right with them for most of the night,” Freeburg coach Matt Laur said. “The slow start hurt us, but the thing about that was that we were getting open looks at the basket. We just didn’t knock them down.
“I’m proud of these kids. To win 17 games, it was a great year.”
Robinson added 16 points for Cahokia, while Bell added 12.
Parker Weiss led Freeburg with 14 points.