Flyers Win Over Edwardsville Prepares Them For Postseason With High Hopes
BELLEVILLE - East St. Louis' 58-37 win over Edwardsville Friday night at Belleville was one of the Flyers' biggest of the season. The Flyers are now 19-6 overall, and more importantly, tied for first place with O'Fallon at 7-3 in a tightly-packed top five in the SWC. East Side responded well in the second half after trailing by three at the interval.
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"I feel pretty good," said East St. Louis head coach Mark Chambers after the game. "The guys, they responded for me in the second half. So, proud of them. Senior Night, as usual, the festivities try to take a toll on you, we came out in the second half the way we want to play."
Dainen Rucker especially had a spectacular basket, floating in from the left side to score to put the Flyers up 28-23 during the third quarter run and it was the spark East Side needed to take total control of the game.
"Dainen has been out," Chambers said, "and so, he's been out for the last month and that was a tremendous hurt for our rotation, our team. And he's been one of our leaders. So we're glad to have him back going into the playoffs and we're just taking it one game at a time, one day at a time, just trying to prepare for our playoff run."
The senior class, led by Macaleab Rich and D'Necco Rucker, has helped turn the Flyers' program around have meant so much to the team.
"Yeah, they mean so much to our program," Chambers said. "They helped build this, they helped me turn this program around and couldn't be more proud of them. Actually, when we were giving out the gifts, I found myself tearing up in the eyes, but I'm just so proud of them and thankful that I have had the opportunity to coach them. We still have some more basketball to play, hopefully."
East Side concludes the regular season starting on Saturday, with another big game, going against St. Louis Vashon Saturday night, then plays a pair of key conference games next week, playing Tuesday at O'Fallon and next Friday at Belleville East with all games starting at 7:30 p.m. The Flyers always aim at the postseason and Head Coach Mark Chambers is very optimistic about their chances in Class 3A.
"Yeah, I mean, that's kind of what we are," Chambers said. "We're getting healthy, everybody's here, everybody's working hard, the guys are really buying in and they're focused. I'm really excited about what's coming."
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