Bryan Hudson drives to the net for Alton in the Centralia Tourney semifinal game.

Alton made the finals of the Centralia Tourney and lost, but coach Eric Smith said the team showed progress in the tournament and he is excited about what is left for the rest of the season.

Centralia defeated Alton 45-33 in the championship game at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve.

“We knew it was tough one, but I was a little disappointed in our approach,” Redbirds coach Eric Smith said. “We just felt like we competed a little better in the previous three games. It didn’t carry on.”

Darris Edwards led Alton with 11 points; Carlos Anderson and Byran Hudson had eight points in the title game.

Smith said he hopes as the Southwestern Conference season unfolds the team can perform like it did the first three games of the tourney.

“All in all, it was a successful tournament,” Smith said. “There were quality teams in our half of the bracket. We came out against O’Fallon and asserted ourselves with our transition game that suits us.”

Alton has a 12-2 record going into games this week. Tuesday, Alton plays at Belleville East and Friday the Redbirds host Belleville West.

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