Carlos Anderson of Alton glides in for a slam in a recent game.

The Alton Redbirds boys basketball team has won 17 of 21 games overall and coach Eric Smith is excited about what is to come in both the Southwestern Conference play and post-season.

“I am pleased overall but I feel like we have let a couple games kind of slide by,” he said. “We would like to have a few of those games back. We have some things to still work on.”

Alton faces Quincy Saturday at Quincy. Smith expects a good game between the two teams.

“They are a little undersized and have a couple kids who can shoot the ball decent,” Smith said. “We will probably see some more zone (defense).  We are going to have to handle the basketball and make our free throws.”

The Redbirds played recently in the Washington Tourney and went 3-1 overall.

Alton defeated East Peoria easily in the tourney and also topped Grayslake North and Mahomet by 63-57 and 51-47 margins, respectively. Carlos Anderson had 22 points against Grayslake and Brian Hudson had 22 points. Anderson had 12 against Washington. Alton’s lone loss was 45-44 to Washington.

“We had some stretches where we did some pretty good things,” Smith said. “We had difficulty playing five games, one before the tourney. We asked a lot of the kids, but told them one of the things we were looking to play in a tournament with competition. I think the intensity and focus and adversity will help us out in the end.”

After the Quincy game, Alton is idle until Friday, Jan. 30, at Granite City, then hosts Belleville East on Friday, Feb. 6.

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