JERSEYVILLE - Sophomore Evan Brewer led the way with 17 points, as he and freshman Andrew Walker hit key free throws down the stretch as Granite City defeated Alton 49-46 in the group stage of the Jersey Mid-Winter Classic Tuesday night at Havens Gym in Jerseyville.

The win was the Warriors' seventh straight since the Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic, where Granite won the consolation championship, and was a hard-fought game against the Redbirds, which wasn't decided until the final seconds.

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"We beat a really good Alton team," said Warriors' head coach Gerard Moore. "They've won some big games, and in my opinion, have one of the better coaches in the area in Dylan (Dudley). So, it's kind of hard to prepare for them. Fortunately, our guys made some plays at the end of the game, got some rebounds, hit some shots, and those shots determined the outcome of the game."

Moore gave shoutouts to both Walker and Brewer for stepping up to hit the big free throws that helped Granite take the win.

"Two guys really stepped up and made some big free throws, freshman Andrew Walker and sophomore Evan Brewer," Moore said. "It could be a monumental moment for their development as their high school careers move on."

Overall it was a great team win for Granite City, with things possibly starting to fall into place for the Warriors.

"It's a very good team win," Moore said. "We've got guys getting better, and everything fell into place for us."

Moore also had very high praise for Dudley, who, in two seasons, has helped turn the Redbird program around, and who put everything into his game every night on the sidelines.

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"Games like this, where both teams are battling, somebody has to win, and somebody has to lose," Moore said. "Sometimes, you have feelings for the guys who come up short, especially guys like Dylan, who put their heart and soul into everything for the kids. The fans in Alton should be proud of him and the job he's doing for the Redbirds."

Granite started out well, and held a 12-5 lead after the first quarter, with the Redbirds rallying back in the second quarter to take a 21-17 halftime lead. Alton then expanded the lead to 37-29 after the third quarter, but the Warriors rallied in the fourth to outscore the Redbirds 20-9 to take the 49-46 win.

In addition to Brewer's game-leading 17 for Granite, Mario Brown hit for 11 points, Walker scored nine points, Milton Dowell hit for five points, Alvin Valentine scored four points, and Octavio Huerta had three points.

Sanaj Stampley led the Redbirds with 14 points, while Trai'Sean Sims had 10 points, Kobe Taylor and Hassani Elliott both had seven points each, Sean Tyus hit for six points, and Alex Macias had two points.

Both the Warriors and Alton are now 11-8 each, with the Warriors playing Jacksonville at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening, with a chance to move into Friday's final against Edwardsville, a 70-45 winner over Cahokia in the first game of the evening.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

More like this:

Jan 20, 2024 - Warriors Win Ninth Straight - Defeat Edwardsville Again In Jersey Mid-Winter Classic Championship

Dec 28, 2023 - Warriors Have Four Players Score In Double Figures, But Lose To MacArthur In Collinsville Tourney Opener

Dec 13, 2023 - Chambers Scores 19 For Kahoks, Warriors Stage Spirited Fourth Quarter Rally In Loss

Dec 1, 2023 - Dowell Leads With 13 Points As Ten Different Granite City Players Score, Warriors Defeat Metro-East Lutheran 59-34 In Knights' Opener  

May 1, 2024 - Tuesday, April 30, 2024, Baseball Round-Up: Redbirds Edge Kahoks 1-0, Explorers Win, Heafner Tosses No-Hitter


Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

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