LaJarvia Brown led the Redbirds with 12 points on Monday night. GODFREY – For a time, it looked like Alton was going to pull off the upset.

The Redbirds held a small lead in the third quarter of their opening game of the Alton Tipoff Classic over Breese Mater Dei.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

Then, just like that, the Knights took over, going on a run that put the game away down the stretch as the Redbirds were defeated 40-28.

It was a game the Redbirds could have, and maybe should have, won, felt Redbird coach Bob Rickman. “There's no reason we go into a game where they return three players from last year that averaged eight (points) a game,” Rickman said. “We've got one player who averaged 15 a game last year, another that averaged 10, and we've got to be better prepared for that. And the biggest difference is how they prepared in the offseason compared to what we have done in the offseason, and that's what's got to change.

“You cannot get better if you don't work in the offseason, and our preparation leading up to this is not where it needs to be. We led a game where we should have had a chance to win, and we've got to learn how to compete at a level to win games like that. I mean, it's unacceptable.”

Article continues after sponsor message

Alton's leading scorer on the night was senior LaJarvia Brown, who capped off a busy day for her – she signed a letter of intent to enroll at Texas A&M in track and field earlier in the day – with a game-high 12 points, while Arionna Clanton had 10 points.

Part of AHS' problems, Rickman thought, was a lack of depth. “We have such a lack of depth and lack such inexperience that we're limited in the things we can do offensively with our post players,” Rickman said. “We're limited in what we can do because when you go and you have only one post player, you're four out on one end and you've got to rely on your guards.

“We've got inexperienced guards; I mean, we've just got a lot of inexperience. We've got to find that 6, 7, 8 girl to come off the bench and be able to play strong for us.”

Besides Brown, Alton has two other seniors – Jewel Wagner and Chayvon Buckingham – but the roster is loaded with six freshmen and three sophomores. “Not many (Class) 4A schools have six freshmen on the roster,” Rickman said. “We'll have to work hard every day to get better. If we can give our best effort every time out, we can get where we want to be.”

The 0-1 Redbirds resume play in the tournament with a 7:30 p.m. Friday clash against Springfield Lanphier, then play Saturday at a time to be determined.

More like this:

Feb 13, 2024 - St. Louis City SC Ramps Up Preparations For Regular Season

Apr 9, 2024 - Sam Elliott-Barnes Wins 200 Meters In Norm Armstrong Invitational, Alton Shows Promise For New Season Ahead  

Jan 3, 2024 - Andrew Walker Is Positive, Team-Oriented Player For Granite City Boys, Is A Stillwater Senior Living Male Athlete Of Month

Mar 15, 2024 - City Set For SoCal Clash Without Main Midfielder

Mar 20, 2024 - Tigers Take First Set, Play Well, Vianney Rallies To Take Final Two Sets, Defeats Edwardsville In Season Opener