Brussels-East Alton-Wood River collide in game at Brussels
Having a two-pronged attack with Blake Marks and Mike Stimac is a big asset, and East Alton-Wood River Oilers head coach Kyle Duncan has just that. The Oilers defeated the Brussels Raiders 65-49 on Wednesday night in Brussels. Wood River improve to 3-5 while Brussels remains winless at 0-8.
“Marks has been a heck of a player for us this year,” Duncan said. “He’s a pretty special player.”
Marks finished with 25 points and Stimac, who missed the first five games of the season with an injury, was close behind with 23.
“He [Stimac] was an all-stater last year and he got hurt in the first game,” Duncan said. “He’s back almost to full strength now and played pretty well.”
Both teams started out slowly as the Oilers shot poorly and Brussels committed ten turnovers. Wood River had a slim lead at 10-9 going into the second quarter, mainly thanks to Stimac who scored 9 of the 10 points. The game then picked up very quickly.
Wood River would go on a 9-0 run, but it was almost cancelled out with a 6-0 run by Brussels. That is when Marks made his mark. He scored 13 points in the quarter, tallying 11 straight, including three 3-pointers, during the Oilers’ 14-2 spurt.
The Oilers had a 32-18 lead at halftime, but the Raiders would not be pushed around the rest of the way. Freshman Scott Kiel sank two 3-pointers and fellow freshman Tony Rose worked his way in the paint for 9 points in the third quarter. He would finish with 13 for the game. 6-foot-4 forward Brady Ellis chipped in 11 points for the Raiders.
“I think our big guys played a good game tonight for a change,” Brussels head coach Mark Hillen said. “We get a lot of 3-pointers, but they weren’t falling tonight so we went inside and thought we could draw some fouls.”
Brussels did outscore Wood River 19-17 in the third quarter and cut the lead to nine early in the fourth, but that was as close as it would get. The Raiders struggled with turnovers all game, including a stretch of three in one minute, and eventually the Oilers capitalized to put the game to bed.
Brussels (0-8) will take on their rivals, the Calhoun Warriors, on Friday in Hardin at 7:30 p.m. and then participate in the Carrollton Holiday Tournament.
“It’s tough, but I expect good competition and that’s what we need to get better,” Hillen said.
Wood River (3-5) is now looking forward to the Carlinville Holiday Tournament that starts on Dec. 26th.
“I think we got a pretty good shot to compete and maybe even play for a championship,” Duncan said. “I feel like our record could be flipped if Stimac was healthy, but we are battling through it and I think we got a good shot.”
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