COLLINSVILLE - Jordan Pickett led Belleville East with 14 points, one of three players in double figures, as the Lancers won over Edwardsville 56-41 in the consolation quarterfinals of the Prairie Farms Collinsville Holiday Classic Tuesday morning at the Vergil Fletcher auxiliary gym. The Tigers competed well against the Lancers, but some lapses hurt Edwardsville.

"I told our guys I liked our competitiveness," said Tiger head coach Dustin Battas. "I really do think we tried hard, we just had a few defensive lapses for a couple of minutes In the first quarter. And then, you get behind, but they're good. That's what happens when you play good teams, but our guys were battling. We executed some things, and hit some tough threes in the first half to keep us in it. And then I'm the second half, I think we did a much better job on (Pickett). And then, they had some other guys step up, (Byron Jones)akes three threes, and they got the outbacks.

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"The room for error's real small when we play good teams, and our guys know that. I'm not down on our guys; we did a lot of things well. I just think that's a really tough bracket, but we just got to do our best and get ready for the five p.m. game." The upper part of the bracket is indeed tough, with many nine-win teams in it. "Yeah, that's a tough draw," Battas said.

"The consolation bracket, you draw a team that's 10-2 and tanked in the state. Credit to Belleville East; they had trouble making shots yesterday, they made a lot more baskets today and they played real well."

After an exchange of baskets to open the proceedings, Alex Jackson hit a pair of baskets to give East a 6-2 lead, with Isayah Kloster and Bryce Spiller hitting threes to make the score 10-8 for the Lancers. Pickett and Alan Mason then hit consecutive threes to make the score 16-8, with another Spiller three cutting the Lancer lead to 16-11 after the first quarter. East opened the second quarter with a 8-0 run before Spiller hit a three to make it 24-14. The Lancers, led by Pickett and T'Jae Montgomery, went on 6-5 run to end the quarter to give the Lancers a 30-19 halftime lead.

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Alec Marchetto hit a three to start the second half for the Tigers, and a basket from Jordan Bush cut the East lead to 31-24. But big threes from Jones helped the Lancers to a 39-30 lead after three quarters. East solidified its lead in the fourth quarter, mainly at the free-throw line as the Lancers went on to their 56-41 win. The Tigers faced Alton, who lost to Belleville Althoff Catholic in the second quarterfinal, in a later game in the consolation bracket, but Edwardsville knew that whomever the opponent was, they would be ready to play. "They're familiar opponents," Battas said. "Obviously, we've played them both early in the season. Our guys look forward to the opportunity to compete, and we'll come in with a quick game plan to give us the best chance to win."


EDWARDSVILLE 39, ALTON 38: Bryce Spiller's jumper with 15 seconds left in regulation gave Edwardsville their second close win over Alton of the season.

The Tigers held a 14-11 lead after the first quarter, with the Redbirds rallying to take a 24-22 halftime lead, with Edwardsville coming right back to take a 33-27 lead after the third quarter. Alton outscored the Tigers in the fourth 11-6, but Spiller's game-winner giving Edwardsville the win.

Spiller led the Tigers with 16 points, with Jordan Bush, Isayah Kloster and Hersch Greene all scoring four points apiece, A.J. Tillman, Shaun Pacatte and Alec Marchetto all having three points each and Lucas Greer hitting for two points.

Byron Stampley, Jr. led the Redbirds with 15 points, with Alex Macias hitting for eight points, both Adrian Elliott and Blake Hall each hit for five points, Ihzel Brown and Jeremiah Van Zandt both scored two points and Roger Elliott scored a single point.

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Feb 4, 2023 - Tillman Hits Game-Tying Three, Key Free Throws To Help Tigers Win Over Belleville East 33-32, Holds Jordan Pickett To 10 Points

Jan 7, 2023 - Kloster Scores Eight Points In Overtime, 20 For Game, Allen Has 21 As Edwardsville Takes SWC Thriller At Collinsville 58-52

Feb 12, 2023 - Tigers Lead 18-15 At Halftime, But Flyers Take Control In Third Quarter With 13-5 Run, Defeats Edwardsville

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Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

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