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Collinsville kicks offense back into gear with win over Metro-East Lutheran

Collinsville kicks offense back into gear with win over Metro-East Lutheran

COLLINSVILLE — Tray Swygeart needed a spark.

So did his teammates on the Collinsville High basketball team.

The Kahoks turned to a motivational tool to bring their sputtering offense out of its malaise. 

"We got this banner in the locker room that says, 'Play like a champ today,'" Swygeart said. "That was the first time slapping the sign today."

The motivational tool worked to perfection.

Swygeart poured in a game-high 19 points to help the Kahoks roll to a 71-48 win over Metro-East Lutheran on Friday at Collinsville High School.

Collinsville (3-3) was coming off a dismal offensive performance in a 48-26 loss to Edwardsville on Thursday.

"Give Edwardsville a lot of credit last night," Collinsville coach Darin Lee said. "I was happy we were able to knock some shots down because we were in a little bit of a slump."

Swygeart, a junior guard, hit on 8-for-13 shots. He pulled down seven rebounds and dished out three assists.

The Kahoks' 71-point effort was a season-high and the most they have scored since a 77-57 victory over Trinity on Jan. 25, 2020. 

Collinsville shot 29-for-57 from the field and dished out 16 assists. 

"We came out with more intensity than we normally come out with," Swygeart said. "We made good drives and good decisions."

Senior forward Nate Hall chipped in 15 points and pulled down six rebounds to go along with two assists for the winners. 

Hall, who stands 6-foot-7, says a recently installed full-court diamond press helped wake up the offense.

"Today the defense was a lot move (active)," Hall said. "We were trying to get fast breaks. We drove right past them and took that opportunity."

Senior Kyle Moore added 12 points off the bench as Lee kept a fresh rotation of bodies to throw at the Knights.

"Tonight, we thought we could wear them down a bit," Lee said. "We were able to sub more and use some depth and I felt that it helped a lot."

Metro-East Lutheran (4-1) cut the deficit to 38-30 midway through the third quarter, but a 9-0 run by the Kahoks put the game out of reach.

"We never could turn it over the top and get ourselves going," Metro-East Lutheran coach Anthony Smith said. "It's a good lesson learned. They're a good ball club that executes well - they hit their cuts and made plays."

Smith was disappointed with the offensive showing after scoring 80 points on Thursday against Bunker Hill. 

"When the ball went in (to the post), everyone else stood around taking photos and spectating," Smith said. "We never ran an offensive set and against any good team, it's not going to happen."

Junior forward Demarcus Bean led the Knights with 16 points. Senior forward AJ Smith chipped in with 15 points. Smith pulled down nine rebounds; Bean grabbed eight boards. 

Smith had originally scheduled a game against each team in Southwestern Conference before the season was halted in November. When the season was restarted, Collinsville was the lone SWC team that remained on the schedule. 

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