GRANITE CITY - Collinsville's Zack Chambers led all scorers with 19 points, as the Kahoks built up as much as a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter. Granite City put on a very spirited and thrilling fourth-quarter rally, but it came up short as the Kahoks took a 67-60 win over the Warriors in a boys basketball game played Tuesday night at Granite City Memorial Gym.

The Warriors triggered their comeback with a fast 7-0 run that got them to within five points late in the game, but good free throw shooting helped the Kahoks pull away. Nevertheless, it was a very good effort throughout the game for Granite.

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"We feel good," said Warriors head coach Gerard Moore. "A little disappointed, obviously, when you lose. I feel bad for the kids, because they put out so much, and I've just got to find a way to help our guys win close games. Make no mistake, Collinsville is one of the best teams in the area for a reason. Those guys are 9-0, they weathered the storm, they were able to have a really good third quarter to push the lead to up 10 or so. We fought back at the end, in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough."

Mario Brown and Milton Dowell had a pair of good games for the Warriors, Dowell scoring 14 points and Brown adding 12 on the night, and were key in the Granite comeback attempt.

"They did," Moore said. "Milton showed up; we wanted to kind of get him going early. We knew we needed him tonight. The firepower Collinsville has, you've got to have more than two or three guys playing well. It was important that he had a really good night tonight, so we tried to get him going early, so he could help propel us to possibly win the game. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough."

It was still a very good effort for the Warriors, especially coming off a big win the night before at McCluer High in Ferguson, Mo. Although their record doesn't indicate it, Granite has played well against a tough early season schedule.

"You know, though? My guys are playing well," Moore said. "Our record right now, we're 3-7, and the record looks pretty bad. But we've played some really good teams, and when you play good teams, you've got to be really good. And it just so happens that we've played well against most of these good teams, with the exception of O'Fallon and Chaminade. We just didn't play well enough to win. If we continue to keep getting better, keep plugging away, keep gelling, keep fixing all the little mistakes, at the end, when it matters, we'll be playing the way we need to play to get out of our region, and that's the main goal."

Collinsville remained undefeated at 9-0, with a good third and start of the fourth quarter being the difference.

"Well, we had a good third quarter and start of the fourth quarter," said Kahoks head coach Darin Lee. "We just can't have all those turnovers so late in the game. We've won three road games in a row here, so that's pretty good."

Both Chambers and Nick Horras played well in the game, but turnovers were nearly costly to Collinsville.

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"We just turned the basketball over too much," Lee said, "and Nick and Jamorie (Wysinger) didn't shoot well in the first half.

"But we found Zack, and Zack had some nice buckets for us. He did a nice job."

The Kahoks scored the game's first five points, on a basket by Chambers and a three from Stanley Carnahan, but the Warriors came back to go on an 11-2 run, led by Brown, to go ahead 11-7. The teams exchanged baskets at the end to allow Granite to have a 15-11 lead after the first.

The Kahoks opened the second quarter with baskets from Nick Horras and Jace Wilkinson to tie the game at 15-15, and from there, it was a tight quarter the rest of the way as neither team was able to gain an advantage, as the first half ended with the score tied 20-20.

At the start of the second half, the lead exchanged hands several times before Collinsville went on an 8-0 run near the end of the third period, getting vital baskets from Chambers and Wysinger and free throws from Horras to go up 36-29 after three quarters.

The fourth quarter started out with a 9-3 run for Collinsville to go ahead 45-32 in the opening two minutes. thanks mainly to the efforts of Tyree Brister, who scored four points during the run. Baskets from Wysinger and Brister helped increase the lead to 48-35, which eventually became 56-38 in the final minutes, which is where Granite started its comeback.

Five free throws by both Dowell and Alvin Valentine, a three by Andrew Walker, a basket by Dowell and a three-point play from Valentine brought Granite to within 56-49, but Collinsville fought back and hit key free throws down the stretch to take the 67-60 win.

Chambers was one of four Kahok players in double figures with his 19 points, while Wysinger hit for 15 points and both Brister and Horras had 11 points each. Carnahan had seven points and both Wilkinson and Chase Reynolds had two points each.

Dowell did lead the Warriors with 14 points, while Trevon Bond hit for 13 point. Brown had 12 points, Walker and Valentine scored eight points apiece and Evan Brewer had five points.

The Kahoks remain undefeated at 9-0, and return home to Vergil Fletcher Gym Friday night for an important Southwestern Conference game against O'Fallon at 7:30 p.m.

The Warriors are now 3-7 and host East St. Louis Friday night in a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.

Both teams will be competing in the 39th Annual Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic Dec. 27-29. The Warriors play Decatur MacArthur in the opening game Dec. 27 at 10 a.m., while the Kahoks meet Decatur Eisenhower in the fifth game of the opening round later that evening at 6 p.m.Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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