GODFREY – The Alton High School girl’s basketball team improved to 16-0 on the season after a 66-24 win over the Belleville West Maroons. The Redbirds improve to 4-0 in the Southwestern Conference.
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Four players scored in double-digits for Alton with sophomore Alyssa Lewis having the highlight night. She scored a team-high 18 points. She scored five straight three-pointers in the second quarter including an impressive buzzer-beater before halftime.
“I mean, it was just practice,” Lewis said postgame. She said she’s been practicing buzzer-beaters a lot lately for those kinds of moments.
“It was just a good night for me, but you’re not going to be on like that all the time,” she said. She was all smiles though after helping her team grab another win.
Sophomore Jarius Powers scored 13 points while sophomore Kiyoko Proctor and senior Laila Blakeney each scored 11. Sophomore Talia Norman had eight and freshman Kaylea Lacey had five.
Alton came out a little slow for their standards but still led 11-7 over Belleville West after the first quarter. Lewis went off in the second and just like that Alton led 36-15 at the half.
“We needed those,” Alton head coach Deserea Howard said about Lewis’ clutch threes. “She’s capable of doing that too so it wasn’t really a surprise, but we definitely needed to blow that game open because Belleville West came out really hard. So, you have to give them a lot of credit for how hard they came at us, but it’s good to see us respond.”
Lewis scored her final three right away in the third quarter and then her team took it from there. The Redbirds led 56-19 and went on to win the game 66-24.
While Howard and the team love being undefeated and hope to stay that way, she mentioned that they are beginning to turn their attention toward the bigger goal, winning state.
“We wanted to go for the record,” Howard said regarding the best start to a season in Alton girl’s basketball program history. “Obviously we want to keep that going and set a new record,” she added.
This year’s team beat the previous record of 14-0 set back in 1977 when they improved to 15-0 after beating O’Fallon last week to win the Mascoutah Holiday Tournament.
Alton’s next test will be against Hersey on Saturday. They’ll make the long road trip to Naperville to participate in the 2023 Grow The Game Shoot-Out. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. at North Central College.
The Redbirds will be back at home on Jan. 12 when they take on the Edwardsville Tigers at 7:30 p.m.