Once again, E.J. Liddell and Tyler Dancy were too much for the Collinsville Kahoks.
Liddell, a 6-foot-6 freshman, and Dancy, a 6-7 junior, combined for 40 points as Belleville West subdued Collinsville 58-48 on Friday in a Southwestern Conference game.
Liddell scored 22 points and made three 3-pointers, while the 270-pound Dancy muscled his way to 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. In West’s first meeting against the Kahoks, a 64-46 victory for the Maroons, Liddell had 27 and Dancy had 22.
We played them a little better. But (Liddell) hit some 3s against our zone. That’s something we’ve probably got to live with. It’s hard for us to match up with both of them.
Collinsville coach Darin Lee on defending E.J. Liddell and Tyler Dancy
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“E.J. is starting to develop and all-around game,” Maroons coach Joe Muniz said. “He had three big 3s tonight. Those were huge, just to kind of spread them out a little bit. Tyler got a little off-balanced a few times ... but once he gets the ball in the areas he got the ball tonight, he’s pretty hard to stop. You’re either going to foul him or he’s going to score.”
Kahoks coach Darin Lee said Liddell’s versatility and Dancy’s strength were too much for Collinsville to handle.
“We played them a little better,” Lee said. “But (Liddell) hit some 3s against our zone. That’s something we’ve probably got to live with. It’s hard for us to match up with both of them. (Zach) Flora did a great job for his size, but he’s very undersized against those guys. He’s giving up a lot of pounds, a lot of body, a lot of strength.”
West, which shot 48 percent from the field (20-for-42), improved to 11-13 overall and 5-7 in the SWC. Collinsville shot 33 percent (17-for-52) and fell to 9-17 and 1-11.
Junior Ronnie Midgett scored 21 points to lead the Kahoks, but he was 7-for-19 from the field and 5-for-10 from the free-throw line. Senior Tommy Maden had 15 points on five 3s.
The Maroons led 15-11 after one quarter and 29-21 at halftime. But the Kahoks were within 43-37 after three quarters and got within 47-43 on a 3-pointer by Maden with 5:18 to play.
But Liddell and Dancy put the Maroons back on solid footing. A free throw by Liddell was followed by a basket by Dancy that made it 50-43, and another free throw by Liddell extended the lead to eight.
After Midgett scored to make it 51-45, Dancy scored in the lane and junior DeAndre Jackson drained a free throw, putting the Maroons on top 54-45 with 1:41 to play.
Collinsville managed only a long 3-pointer by Midgett in the final 1:13.
“It was a good game,” Liddell said. “It was physical. We all played hard last game (against Collinsville), too. We just tried to get the ‘W’ at the end.”
Dancy said the rematch against the Kahoks seemed “more intense”
“They came out with more enthusiasm than they did las time, looking for vengenance,” Dancy said. “We had to come back at them and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
By the numbers
Muniz was satisfied with the Maroons’ defensive performance against Collinsville. Forcing Midgett to miss 12 of his 19 shots was a key for West.
“He’s a tough guy for us to guard,” Muniz said. “He’s so quick, he’s long and he makes such crazy shots - shots you have no idea how they go in. There’s guys that have a knack for that. I remember Roosevelt Jones when he was at O’Fallon. He had a knack for that. Now you see him on TV (with Butler) and he’s still doing the same thing he did at O’Fallon.”
A negative for West was the loss of senior Andy Behrmann, who made the start but left the game with an ankle injury with 7:26 to play in the first quarter. He did not return.
“It’s a shame because this week in practice, he really played well,” Muniz said. “I feel for him. I’m hoping Andy can play (next) Friday night. He’s a tough kid. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a kid get hurt that quickly.”
Senior Tommy Evans, meanwhile, didn’t even dress because of an injured shoulder.
West finished with 10 turnovers, one more than Collinsville.