Sammy Green has been a sharpshooter for the Edwardsville TIgers both from the three-point range and the free-throw line so far this season.

EDWARDSVILLE - Mark Smith, A.J. Epenesa and Oliver Stephen each did their part for the Tigers on offense and defense Friday night, contributing 14 points apiece in a 61-37 blowout of Collinsville at Edwardsville.

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Behind the three were Chrys Colley, Caleb Strohmeier and Sammy Green who provided defensive weapons and Green was sensational with his three-point shooting.

Oliver Stephen was dead on with his three-point shots, swishing multiple shots through and also his passes to Epenesa inside and Smith in the front court.

Smith, Epenesa and Stephen bring a different component of the game that helps the Tigers each outing.

“We have been working on plays getting the ball to A.J. inside and back out when that doesn’t work,” Stephen said. “We didn’t start real well in a couple games in the tournament and we are working hard to come out stronger. We worked all week with the scout team on our defense. We wanted to make sure every shot Collinsville took was contested.”

Epenesa is making a solid conversion from the football field to the basketball court and starting to show finesse on the court he has possessed over the past year.

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“A.J. is a good athlete and whatever sport he plays, he works at it,” Edwardsville coach Mike Waldo said. “He has only been practicing basketball a couple of weeks and he is getting better. He works hard, is a good guy and will only continue to get improve.”

Waldo said when a team has a good post player it becomes difficult to defend everybody else.

“I thought Mark Smith did a good job getting the ball in the right place and also did a good job playing help defense for us,” Waldo said.

Epenesa, always the team player, said he had to give a lot of credit for the scout people who worked with the team this week.

“They did a lot of ball handling this week and we did a good job denying some of their key people the ball,” he said. “I am trying to make the transition from football to basketball. I feel I am in the basketball mode. My body is still adjusting to basketball. It is a completely different sport running and jumping.”

Epenesa has nothing but respect for the detail that Coach Waldo puts into each game plan.

“Coach Waldo tries to make what we do well, perfect,” he said. “I feel we are a pretty good team and we have to work hard in practice. We want to be successful and use our strengths.”

A.J. Epenesa dishes the ball off.

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