ROXANA – It’s a game circled on the calendar for both schools, no matter the sport.

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The Roxana High School boys basketball team hosted their rival East Alton-Wood River Oilers Friday night.

After a back-and-forth battle, the Oilers went on to win the game by a score of 52-48. They improve to 3-9 on the season and snap a three-game losing streak while Roxana falls to 5-6 on the year.

It was the Shells who led 15-14 after the first quarter thanks to some lights-out three-point shooting from Chris Walleck. He made three three-pointers in the opening frame and finished the game with a team-high 18 points.

The Oilers punched back and took a 26-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.

But the teams were still going blow for blow right out of the gate in the second half. Roxana would outscore the Oilers 11-7 in the third quarter to regain the lead at 36-33.

Wood River came right back once again outscoring the Shells 19-12 in the fourth and went on their way to win the game by four points.

It was Seth Slayden who blew up for 31 points, his best performance this season. He made some clutch free throws down the stretch to put the game to bed. He shot 7-9 from the line and finished the night off with four threes. He was the only Oiler that scored in double digits.

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“I don’t know how many accolades a kid can get,” EAWR head coach Kevin Gockel said about Seth after the game. “He’s just got ice in his veins. I think we’re going to see good things from him the rest of the year.”

Rounding out the Oilers’ scoresheet, Devon Green scored seven points, Jakob Gerber had six and Lucas Moore had four. Tyler Robinson and Kiyu Stilts each scored two points.

As for the Shells, Ashton Noble had seven while Sean Maberry, Evan Wells, and Aidan Briggs each scored six. Cade Smay scored three and Jackson Garman had two.

Heading into the matchup coach Gockel knew what to expect.

“We knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle,” he said. “They’ve been playing better; I think we’ve started to play a little bit better. Coming in I think both teams showed their insecurities early. We turned the ball over, they missed some shots they normally don’t miss, and we both just settled into the game.”

“This is our rival game, and this is what the kids wanted,” Gockel added. “They wanted this more than anything.”

This was the first meeting between the two teams this season after not crossing paths n the Roxana Tournament. They will see each other at least one more time this season on Feb. 2 in Wood River.

The Oilers will look to gain some momentum from this win as they head into their next game on Tuesday against another conference opponent. They’ll take on Salem on the road at 7:30 p.m.

The Shells will also play on Tuesday at 7:30. They’ll host the Columbia Eagles and then the Marquette Explorers on Friday.

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