Belleville East stared defeat in the face Wednesday.
But the Lancers came to life late in the fourth quarter of regulation and overtime to topple Decatur Eisenhower 75-69 and win the consolation championship of the 32nd annual Collinsville-Prairie Farms Holiday Classic.
East (9-4), which went 3-1 in the tourney, trailed 57-50 when it began a 9-2 run that pushed the game into overtime. Sophomore Malachi Smith’s 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.
In overtime, the Lancers outscored the Panthers (5-6) 16-10. The drive began when senior Drew Millas hit a 3-pointer out of the right corner to make it 62-59. East never trailed again.
“They showed a lot of fight at the end,” Lancers coach Abel Schrader said. “We did some things down the stretch to allow us to come back. The second half, we played better against their zone. We moved the ball better and we got better looks. We got the ball to Javon (Pickett), and Drew Millas hit a huge shot to get us going in overtime.”
Pickett, a 6-foot-4 junior, had 33 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lancers. Pickett was coming off a 25-point, 18-rebound outburst Tuesday against Riverview Gardens. Pickett finished with 111 points to lead all players in the tournament.
“He played up to the caliber of player that he is,” Schrader said.
Junior Rico Sylvester had 17 points for the Lancers after scoring 18 against Riverview Gardens and 24 against McCluer North. Sylvester finished with 63 points.
“We just had enough fight in us,” Sylvester said. “Coach gave us a good talk at halftime. We didn’t want to go out to eat after this and have bad vibes. We wanted to get the win.
“It’s a big thing to go 3-1. Even though we were on the consolation side of the bracket, it was still good for us. Now we’ve got more confidence coming into the rest of the season. I really think we can make a good run when it comes to playoff time.”
Fifth Place Springfield Southeast 59, Collinsville 49
Southeast (9-3) reeled off 35 points in the third quarter to wipe out the Kahoks’ lead, which had been 34-26 when sophomore Jake Hall swished a 3-pointer at the 4:41 mark.
“A few turnovers – and I think we ran out of gas,” Collinsville coach Darin Lee said. “We got tired and they’re a great team. We did a lot of things right. I wish we could handle the pressure a tad better. They really shot it well in the third quarter, too.”
Collinsville (5-6) was led by junior Ronnie Midgett’s 20 points, six assists and three steals and senior Tommy Maden’s 14 points. Maden also was 4-for-4 from beyond the arc.
Senior D’Angelo Hughes scored 23 points for the Spartans. Junior Isaiah Walton had 15.
Midgett had 67 points in the tournament to lead Collinsville.
“Ronnie got a little tired,” Lee said. “We were asking him to do a lot of things.
“I think we got better and we had some guys off the bench that got to play a little bit and got some minutes. We got to play a lot of people, which is nice.”
Seventh Place Granite City 55, East St. Louis 49
The Warriors posted their first victory over the Flyers since 2001 in East St. Louis when they won 42-37 behind 19 points from Ted Wallace.
Granite City, which lost to Collinsville 66-64 in overtime late Tuesday, outscored the Flyers 18-4 in the third quarter to wipe out a 30-22 halftime deficit.
“I know we’ve beaten them at the lower levels since I’ve been at Granite, but not very often,” eighth-year Warriors coach Steve Roustio said. “Last year was the closest we came to beating them. They were 14-0 (in the Southwestern Conference) and we got beat 77-75 on the road.
“Our second-half defense today was outstanding. To hold them to 19 points in the second half and to take care of business at the free-throw line (17-for-22) ... I feel pretty good about where we are, because I’m pretty sure we can score.”
Senior Tra’Ron Allen had 24 points and eight rebounds and Kenny Berry added 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Warriors (7-5). Senior Ron Allen had 11 points.
Defensively, junior Torrey Deal held East St. Louis senior Kenny Roberson to seven points. Roberson scored 60 points in the Flyers’ first three games.
Tra’Ron Allen’s layup put the Warriors ahead 51-49 with 1:28 to play. East St. Louis senior Michael Parks then missed a free throw with 11 seconds left. Parks made his second shot, but officials called a lane violation on junior Arthur Carter, which negated the point.
Junior Jake Roustio sank two free throws to put Granite City ahead 53-49 with nine seconds remaining. The Flyers followed with a turnover, and Berry sealed the win with two free throws.
Berry finished with 83 points in four games.
“It was tough to bounce back from the late night and try to compete with East Side, because they have a really good team,” Berry said. “I’m proud of my team; it was a team win. Everybody stepped up and played their role. It’s a big deal for us. We’re very excited to beat East Side.”
East St. Louis (6-7) defeated Riverview Gardens 75-55 in its first game of the tournament Monday, extending its winning streak to five. But the Flyers dropped their final three games against Lincoln, Springfield Southeast and Granite City.