EDWARDSVILLE - Junior forward Jake Curry has made many positive contributions to the Edwardsville boys basketball season this year, as the Tigers have come back from a slow start to win 14 of its last 17 games and eight of their previous nine contests. The latest wins came over the weekend, with Edwardsville pulling off a 33-32 win over Belleville East at home on Feb. 3, then going on the road to defeat Waterloo 44-28 on Feb. 4.

Jake CurryFor Curry's part, he's been averaging 3.3 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, racking up 58 assists, 18 steals and two blocked shots along the way. As far as the Tigers' current streak, which reached four with the win over the Bulldogs, he's feeling very optimistic. Curry is an iCAN Clinic Male Athlete of the Month for the Tigers.

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"I feel good," Curry said in an interview that followed the big win over the Lancers. "We worked really hard this week in practice. We thought we were going to have a game on Monday (against East St. Louis SIUE Charter, which was postponed because of the ice storm that invaded the St. Louis area on Jan. 29-30), but it didn't end up happening. So we had a week to prepare for them. I feel like we really worked hard this week in practice and that's what showed in the game."

It was much like another big win the week before, when Edwardsville took a 41-39 win at O'Fallon that helped turn the Southwestern Conference race upside down. When the Tigers have plenty of time to prepare for an opponent, that's when Edwardsville's at its best.

"Yeah, it really helps," Curry said, "and Isayah (Kloster) is a big leader, Kris (Crosby) plays pretty good, Johnnie (Robinson) really plays good on defense. It's like it's just guys that know their role and everyone plays well when we, like, do our role."

The Tigers are playing exceptionally well and at the right time, as the IHSA Class 4A playoffs are coming soon and it's a time when everyone wants to be playing at their best. And while Edwardsville is playing very well, Curry knows that the Tigers have to stay focused.

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"We have to stay humble," Curry said. "We can't get too high and that'll turn out bad. But we need to keep practicing hard, working hard and we should be fine."

The Tigers have four games remaining and three are in the Southwestern Conference. There is still much that can still happen in the season's final weeks. But Edwardsville is turning into a team that no one will want to play against when the regionals start.

"We just have to play like a team and we'll be fine," Curry said.

Curry also likes his team's chances in the postseason and team chemistry will be very important.

"I feel like we're all playing well," Curry said. "We're all healthy right now which is really good. We're all working hard and we're not fighting. Most teams don't really last the whole season, but we haven't argued with each other not once."

Being a close-knit team had been an Edwardsville trademark for the last few years and the friendships both on and off the court are very important to the team.

"Yeah, we're all really close," Curry said. "Me and Malik (Allen), we've been playing basketball since we were young. A.J. (Tillman), we've been playing basketball since our freshman year, and then Alec (Marchetto). I mean, we've all been playing together for a really long time."

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