COLLINSVILLE - Junior forward/guard Mario Brown is emerging as one of the key players for the boys' basketball team at Granite City High School and on Dec. 13, he hit for 11 points in a 50-35 loss to Collinsville at Vergil Fletcher Gym.

Mario BrownBrown is currently the Warriors' leading scorer, averaging 18 points-per-game, also leading the team in rebounding with 11,3 boards-per-game, also adding 13 assists and 17 steals. He's emerging as one of the key players for the Warriors in their 5-4 start to the 2022-23 season.

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For his efforts both on and off the court, Brown has been named a Stillwater Senior Living male Athlete of the Month for the Warriors.

Brown, who plays for head coach Gerard Moore, agreed that the Warriors played well in the first half, especially in the second end of back-to-back games, having won over McCluer High of Ferguson, Mo., the night before. The Kahoks slowly took control in the second half, going on to an 11-2 run in the third quarter to help clinch the win.

"I'm a little out of it," Brown said in a postgame interview after the Collinsville game, "because I thought we could have won that game. It was a good game, though. In the third quarter, we hit a slump and that was it."

Granite was hitting on their three-point shots in the first half, which helped them stay with Collinsville, The Kahoks slowly took control in the third period as they went on their run to take the game.

"Yeah, you know, we work hard all the time, though," Brown said. "The thing is, we just should have kept playing hard. I don't know. I don't know how to explain it."

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The Warriors have played well to open their campaign going up against good competition, and Brown hopes to keep things going in the right direction for his team.

"Yes, sir," Brown said. "You know, we dropped a couple of games, but it's about progress, though. We'll get it."

Brown described his role of the team as being the team's defensive specialist, going up against the other team's top player, scoring when he can, and helping the Warriors however he can.

"My role is to guard the best player," Brown said, "and then, get surround and get buckets and get my teammates involved."

The Warriors will be playing in the Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic, meeting up with Lincoln on Dec. 28, and Brown feels that Granite will have a good tournament.

"I think we'll do good in the tournament, honestly," Brown said. "I think we're just going to go out and play hard like we always do."

As far as goals for the remainder of the season, Brown has some simplistic, yet ambitious goals, both for himself and the Warriors.

"Like, team-wise, I want to have a winning season. And then, for me, I'd probably say just to get better. Work on my game and get better."

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