COLLINSVILLE - Senaj Stampley led Alton with 19 points, as the Redbirds gave Collinsville everything they wanted, and even led 43-37 in the fourth quarter. The Kahoks rallied in the final minutes to take a 57-51 win over Alton in a Southwestern Conference boys basketball game Tuesday night at Vergil Fletcher Gym.

Collinsville rallied from the 43-37 deficit, and also a 48-44 deficit, to take the lead with 2:04 left on a three by Jamorie Wysinger, then quickly outscored the Redbirds down the stretch 6-3 to clinch the win.

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The Redbirds played a strong, solid game throughout, and in the end, Alton head coach Dylan Dudley couldn't be any prouder of his players.

"I"m proud of those guys, and I'll tell you exactly what I told them in the locker room," Dudley said. "I'll take those guys wearing red jerseys, and we'll play anybody. You may beat us, we may beat you. But when you get done playing us, those kids in the locker room, they've got character, they've got guts. They've learned how to be tough. I'm damn proud of them. We don't have moral victories in this program. We either win or lose, and they beat us. They made two or three more plays that we did down the stretch. I didn't do a very good job of helping our guys the last three minutes. That's exactly what I told them.

"But it hurts, it hurts," Dudley continued. "We have a hurt locker room, because in this league, you've got to invest every single thing you have every game. And those kids did it. And when you don't get it, you know, it hurts. But that's sports, right? You've got to invest every single ounce of energy, effort, enthusiasm, attention to detail that you have, and you may not get what you want. But I know this much: Tomorrow at four o'clock, or 3:30, when all the Redbirds go to practice in our gym. we're going to have the best practice of our year, I know that much."

Collinsville bounced back very nicely from losing their first game of the season at Edwardsville and won a tough game against a very good opponent in the Redbirds.

"Yeah, it was a big win," said Collinsville head coach Darin Lee. "We needed to get back into the winning column, and we were able to get it done, so, protect our home court. We're undefeated at home this year, and hopefully, we can finish it off and be tough and finish it off this year."

The Redbirds kept coming after the Kahoks all throughout and had their chances, but in the end, Collinsville made the plays and won.

The two sides will play again on the last game of the regular season, Feb. 16 at the Redbirds Nest, and Alton will be ready to play against the Kahoks again.

"We always tell our boys, we're playing against the game," Dudley said. "The game's our biggest enemy and we're gonna do everything we can to respect it. We'll get back to work. There are no off nights in this league, anybody can beat anybody in this league. On their court, on your court, you don't come ready to play, you're going to get beat. We'll be ready, we'll be ready. We'll have, like I said, two days of good practice, Edwardsville comes to the gym on Friday, and we'll give it our best. But we'll worry about tomorrow. I'm worried about those 14 guys in that locker room that are hurting right now, because we gave it everything we had to it."

The Kahoks scored the game's first six points, as Zach Chambers, Wysinger and Stanley Carnahan all hit to give Collinsville an early 6-0 lead. After Ka'Nye Lacey hit on a three to halve the lead, the Kahoks got a basket from Chambers and a three from Wysinger to take an 11-3 lead, forcing an Alton time-out.

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Afterward, Stampley hit on a three, and Lacey hit a driving layup, but the Kahoks ended up taking an 18-8 lead after the first quarter.

Stampley hit back-to-back threes to open the second quarter, cutting the Kahok advantage to 18-14, and triggering an 11-2 Redbird run, where Stampley hit a third three to cut the lead to 20-17, then scored to cut the lead further to 20-19. Wysinger scored the half's last four points to give the Kahoks a 24-19 lead at the interval.

The teams traded baskets to start the second half, and the Kahoks led 31-26 later on. Free throws and a three from Kobe Taylor then gave the Redbirds a 31-31 tie, with Collinsville scoring six of the third quarter's last eight points to forge a 37-33 lead at three-quarter time.

The Redbirds took their first lead at the start of the fourth quarter, getting a three from Trai'Sean Sims and a basket from Taylor to go ahead 38-37. Another three from Stampley and a basket from Sims gave Alton a 43-37 lead, but a pair of Wysinger free throws and a big three from Chase Reynolds cut the Alton lead to 43-42.

A three-point play by Stampley increased the lead to 46-42, but Collinsville kept coming. Alex Macias scored to give the Redbirds a 48-44 lead, but a basket from Chambers, a pair of Nick Horras free throws and a clutch three by Wysinger gave Collinsville the lead back at 51-48 with 2:02 to go.

After another pair of Horras free throws, a three from Taylor cut the Kahok lead to 53-51, but it would be as close as Alton would get, as Collinsville closed out the win 57-51.

Stampley led the Redbirds with 19 points, while Taylor added 10 points, Sims had eight points, Lacey chipped in with seven points, Macias had four points and Kameron Burnett scored three points.

Wysinger led the Kahoks with 16 points, while both Reynolds and Chambers each scored 11 points, Horras came up with nine points, Tyree Brister had eight points and Carnahan had two points.

The Kahoks are now 18-1 on the year and play at Belleville East Friday night and St. John Vianney Catholic in a shootout at Belleville Althoff Catholic Saturday night, both games starting at 7:30 p.m., before competing in the Belleville East Winter Classic, sponsored by SSM Health, the week of Jan 15-21.

The Redbirds go to 9-7 and face Edwardsville at home on Friday night at 7:30 p.m., then meet Waterloo in the Althoff shootout at noon on Saturday. Alton then plays in the Jersey Mid-Winter Classic the week of Jan. 15-21, going against Jacksonville. Granite City and the host Panthers in the round-robin tournament.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

More like this:

Feb 17, 2024 - Redbirds Can't Hang On In Fourth Quarter, Lose To State-Ranked Collinsville

Jan 11, 2024 - Alton Snaps Nine-Game Losing Streak To Edwardsville – Elliot’s Late Game Heroics Sees Redbirds Win In OT

Feb 24, 2024 - Maroons Hit Three Straight Buzzer Beaters - Belleville West Stuns Collinsville in Double OT Regional Final Thriller

Jan 27, 2024 - East St. Louis Overwhelms Redbirds In Second Half - Alton Suffers First Home Loss

Jan 30, 2024 - Alton “Out Toughed” By O’Fallon Down The Stretch

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Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

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