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JERSEYVILLE – Jaylon Tuggle led the way with 16 points, while Brennan Weller added on 13 and Malik Robinson 10 as Edwardsville went on to defeat Cahokia 58-46 to take fifth place in the Jersey Mid-Winter Classic early Friday evening at Havens Gym.

The Tigers led 39-37 at three-quarter time but outscored the Comanches 19-9 in the final term to clinch the win.

“It was a great effort from the kids,” said Edwardsville coach Dustin Battas. “They really practiced well in preparation for the game, and they played together and played with confidence.”

The Tigers’ experience in having so many close games in the first half of the season is starting to pay dividends for them, as Edwardsville has now won three in a row, including a 2-0 forfeit win over Pittsfield, and a 65-52 win over the host Panthers on Thursday.

“We’ve been in real close in a lot of games,” Battas said, “and now we’re starting to win them.”

And it was also a good team win for Edwardsville, with unselfish play and doing the work needed to get things done.

“We had five different guys make threes, and they were all assisted,” Battas said. “We’ve done a good job of passing it to the open man, and we’re also screening well to get them open. The kids are very unselfish, and they do what’s best for the team.”

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The Tigers started the final quarter with an 11-2 run, climaxed by a Tuggle layin with 3:21 left to make it 50-41. Cahokia rallied with five unanswered points before Edwardsville ended the game on an 8-0 run to make the 58-46 final.

Cortez Brown led the Comanches, who fell to 2-14 on the season, with 19 points, 14 of them in the first quarter, but was held to five the rest of the way.

And after a tough first half of the season, Edwardsville is starting to turn the season around, and Battas is excited for the second half of the year.

“I definitely think we’ve shown some improvement,” Battas said, “and the guys are really excited about the second half of the season.”

And that also means a return to Southwestern Conference play, where every game is a battle.

“The guys are confident, and they’re enthusiastic about starting conference play again,” Battas said. “Playing in our conference has helped us in winning these non-conference games.”

The Tigers, who are now 6-12, return to SWC play on Tuesday night, where they’ll travel to Alton in a make-up of a game postponed Jan. 11, due to Winter Storm Gia. Edwardsville also travels to IHSA Class 4A champion Belleville West for a game next Friday, with both games tipping off at 7:30 p.m.

And the Tigers will be working hard to prepare for both of these key games.

“Our guys really value practice,” Battas said, “and they know that practice is the key to success.”

More like this:

Jun 25, 2023 - Edwardsville Plays Well, But Late 11-0 Run by Webster Groves Helps Give Statesmen 51-45 Win In Tigers NCAA Live Showcase Event  

Aug 26, 2023 - DeMare Catches Five-Yard TD Pass From Curry With 33.5 Seconds Left, Tigers Win Pickering’s Debut Over Jackson 30-21  

6 days ago - Tigers Explode For Six-Goal First Half, Shutout Redbirds For Second Time This Season

Sep 1, 2023 - Redbirds Shutout In Consecutive Games, Fall To Edwardsville 3-0

Sep 2, 2023 - Edwardsville Dominates 47-6 With Several Great Performances Over Talented Cahokia Football Team


Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

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