COLLINSVILLE - The Granite City boys basketball team showed flashes of brilliance during the opening game of the 39th Collinsville Prairie Farms Holiday Classic, having four players score in double figures. But turnovers and mistakes plagued the Warriors as they lost to Decatur MacArthur 58-51 to open the tournament Wednesday morning at Vergil Fletcher Gym.

The Warriors had some very good moments and played well at times, but in the end, the Generals were able to come away with the win and advance into the quarterfinals.

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"Obviously, disappointed that we lost the game," said Granite head coach Gerard Moore. "But we did some good things out there, just wasn't good enough to win. You play a team like that, who's got a tradition in this tournament; they've won it twice recently. You have to not make a lot of mistakes, because they're going to capitalize on those mistakes. And they did today, and that was the problem."

MacArthur scored 13 points off Warrior turnovers in the first half, as the Generals were able to take advantage of the Granite mistakes and convert them into points throughout.

"You turn the ball over, that's hard," Moore said. "We've got to find a way to take care of the ball, the guys have got to be disciplined enough to make sound, smart decisions with the ball; it really comes down to it. We can't get sped up, you can't do things you're not capable of doing, keep it simple, and try to get something good out of every possession. Especially, when you play a good team, it comes down to possession. And they obviously got more possession with our turnovers, and they won."

The Warriors kept hanging in and competed, coming close a couple of times, but MacArthur was able to pull away and quell the Warriors' threats.

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"We've got to learn to win," Moore said, "win big games. Right now, we're showing an inability to win big games. We've already played a tough schedule, but we've still have to find ways to win. I have to find a way to win a game within six or seven points. We're going to go back to the drawing board, and we're going to try and figure out what works and what's not working. We're just going to have to keep getting better and better every game. That's the key. As long as we're playing well at the end, that's what I would like to see."

The Generals scored the game's opening five points before Alex Boyer scored the first basket of the game for Granite to make it 5-2. Alvin Valentine later hit on a three to cut the MacArthur lead to 11-7, and later hit on another three to put the Warriors to within 12-11 at the end of the quarter.

A free throw from Milton Dowell and a basket by Andrew Walker gave the Warriors a 14-12 lead at the start of the second quarter, but then, the Generals went on a 10-1 run, led by Stevie Tatum and Sean Lee, to give MacArthur the lead back at 22-15. The teams traded baskets the rest of the way as the Generals took a 30-23 halftime lead.

MacArthur went out to a 36-26 lead to start the second half, which eventually became 43-28 with 1:47 left in the third. The Generals led after three quarters 47-30, but in the fourth quarter, Walker hit back-to-back threes to put Granite to within 47-36, and Evan Brewer scored to make the run 8-0 and put the Warriors to 47-38. The Generals were able to recover and make it 51-41 later in the quarter, but Brewer later led a charge to put Granite to within 51-43, but MacArthur came up with the answers to hold off the Warriors and go on to their 58-51 win.

M.J. Murphy led the way for the Generals with 16 points, with King Dees adding 14 points, Sam Owens had 10 points, Tatum hit for nine points, Lee scored eight points, and Khymir Carson had a single point.

Valentine and Brewer led the Warriors with 11 points each, while both Walker and Mario Brown had 10 points apiece, Trevon Bond hit for seven points and both Dowell and Octavio Huerta scored a single point each.

The Generals are now 10-1 on the season, while Granite is now 4-8 and will play Rockford East, who fell to O'Fallon 67-36 in the day's second game, in the consolation quarterfinals Thursday morning in the Auxiliary gym at 10 a.m., while MacArthur and the Panthers meet in the first quarterfinal, also at 10 a.m. The E-Rabs-Warriors winner moves on to the consolation semifinals at 7:30 p.m., with the consolation final set for Friday at Fletcher Gym at 4:30 p.m.

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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