ALTON - The resurgence of Alton High School boys basketball under coach Dylan Dudley has been something for fans to enjoy and show Redbird pride to date in the 2023-2024 season. On Friday night, the Redbirds travel to Edwardsville High School for a contest with the arch-rival Tigers. The Redbirds stand 4-1 overall prior to the Friday Southwestern Conference matchup.

Alton fell 55-54 in a game down to the wire on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, at Jacksonville. Dudley is anxious to take on the Tigers in an important conference game. He said he is proud of his boys and their families for the turnaround of Alton's "great program."

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"Everyone has worked hard to be part of the change," he said. "The culture our coaching staff has created in a short period of time takes a lot of work by a lot of people and it is something we fight for every day. The boys and families know our expectations on and off the floor, it takes a village to win at this level."

Dudley continued and said: "We are off to a good start this season, but we have a long way to go. We did not play and compete to our standard Tuesday night in Jacksonville and we learned a hard lesson. Learning how to handle success can be harder than handling failure and that was the case Tuesday night."

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Coach Dudley said playing Edwardsville's boys' team is always a challenge and that Coach Dustin Battas and his staff do a great job.

"They will be prepared and we will have to adjust at some point to counter what they throw at us," explained Coach Dudley. "It has not been much of a rivalry of late, as they have won more than lost, they have been the better team and program, credit goes to them.

"We are going to do what we do, press for 32 minutes, attack the basket and shoot open 3s, there are no secrets in this game. We will know all they do and they will know all we do.

"If we want to change the recent outcomes we need to be the toughest team. The team who commits the fewest mistakes Friday night will win their conference opener."