A.J. SmithMETRO-EAST LUTHERAN 71, FATHER MCGIVNEY CATHOLIC 41:

EDWARDSVILLE - Metro East Lutheran's A.J. Smith and Zion Tucker had 28 points and 19 points respectively in a 71-41 Metro-East Lutheran victory Monday night over crosstown Glen Carbon rival Father McGivney Catholic.

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Metro-East led from start to finish in winning their season opener. Smith, a senior, is one of the most highly touted boys basketball players in the region this winter. Smith has been a varsity player since his freshman year. A.J. Smith is the younger brother of Mark Smith, a standout basketball player at the University of Missouri, and Maria Smith, who is a freshman softball player at Southern Mississippi.

The Knights' DaMarkus Bean tallied 11 points, Luke Neath had 9 points, and Derrick Scott and Jeremiah Neal chipped in 2 points apiece for MELHS.

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The Knights led all the way through, holding leads of 19-10, 36-21 and 59-31 at the end of the first three quarters, outscoring the Griffins 12-10 in the final period to win their opener.

Jack Rodgers led McGivney Catholic with 15 points, while Andrew Dupy added seven points, both Jacob Huber and Justin Wenos had six points each, Ashton Mersinger had three points and Jacob Jones and Evan Schrage scored two points each.

Metro-East opens their season 1-0, while the Griffins are now 0-3.

MELHS plays at home against Gibault at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and at home against East Alton-Wood River at 7:30 on Friday.

McGivney returns to action at Gibault at 7:30 p.m. Friday and travels to Roxana for a 7:30 p.m. varsity game on Saturday. On Tuesday, Feb. 16, McGivney hosts East Alton-Wood River at 7:30 p.m.

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