Redbirds, Kahoks Collide in Rubber Game for Regional Championship, Trip to Sectional
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COLLINSVILLE – Alton and Collinsville will play each other for the third time this season on Friday night, and there’s much at stake.
The game will be televised live on Riverbender.com. The Redbirds (21-9) and Kahoks (27-5) meet in the IHSA Class 4A regional final at Collinsville’s Vergil Fletcher Gym in a 7 p.m. tip, with both teams having won on their own floor in their two Southwestern Conference games this season.
Alton defeated Collinsville on Dec. 14 at the Redbirds Nest 59-57 on a basket at the buzzer by Donovan Clay, but the Kahoks returned the favor on Feb. 8 at Fletcher Gym, winning 75-61 as Ray’Sean Taylor scored 25 points to lead Collinsville.
Clay, a 6’ 7” senior, leads the Redbirds in scoring with a 19.6 points-per-game average, which is among the leaders in the St. Louis area, while Malik Smith averages 13.9 points-per-game. Moory Woods has chipped in 9.8 points-per-game, while Josh Rivers has averaged 8.9 points and Andrew Jones 6.1 points. All can score anywhere on the floor.
Ky’lun Rivers and Charles Miller gives Alton a spark off the bench, with Rivers averaging 4.4 points-per-game, while Miller averages 3.3 points.
Taylor is also among the leading scorers in the St. Louis area, according to statistics from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Taylor averages 21.8 points-per-game, and also can hit from anywhere. Taylor gets help from Marshall Harrison, who averages 12.8 points-per-game, Cawhan Smith, who’s average is 9.1 points, Keydrian Jones, with a 7.9 average, and Zane Baker, with an average of 4.4 points.
Aaron Molton is also a key contributor, with an average of 4.9 points, while Lorent Dzelandini helps with a 2.7 average.
Awaiting the winner is a semifinal game in the East Moline United sectional on Tuesday night again the Belleville West regional winner, either Chatham Glenwood or the host Maroons. That game will be played at Edwardsville’s Lucco-Jackson Gym in a 7 p.m. tip-off, with the winner moving on to the final next Friday, Mar. 8, against the winner of the other semifinal in East Moline. That semifinal will pit the Champaign Centennial winner, Danville or Bloomington, against the Pekin winner, either the host Dragons or Rock Island.
The East Moline sectional champions plays the winner of the Aurora East sectional winner in the super-sectional Mar. 12 at Illinois State University’s Redbird Arena. The state finals are set for Mar. 15-16 at Carver Arena in Peoria.
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