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Second-half rally lifts Granite City past league rival Collinsville

December 26, 2012
Collinsville High School

By Scott Marion |  STLhighschoolsports.comstltoday.com                                       Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 9:33 pm

COLLINSVILLE • Considering the struggles of the Granite  City boys basketball team in the Southwestern Conference in recent years, coming  back from a 10-point halftime deficit Friday night at Collinsville should have  represented a climb of Mount Everest-like proportions.

But the Warriors not only made the climb, they did it before the host Kahoks  could score a single point in the second half.

Granite City scored the first 13 points of the third quarter on the way to a  66-62 victory. The Warriors improved to 6-4 overall and 2-3 in the SWC.

"This is a great win for us on a lot of different levels," Granite City coach  Steve Roustio said. "This is my fifth year here, and embarrassing as this is to  share, we've only won one (conference) game a year except for one year where we  didn't win any. This is the first time we've won two, and we've done it before  Christmas.

"I coached here for 17 years, and I know how tough it is to win here. This is  a big-time program booster for us."

The loss dropped Collinsville to 4-5 and 1-4.

"We had too many turnovers (19), and we just can't cough it up that much,"  Kahoks coach Darin Lee said. "Until we get to where we don't turn the basketball  over, we're not going to beat these teams."

It was Collinsville that dominated play early, as Falando Wilkinson's third  3-pointer of the game put the Kahoks ahead 12-4 with 3:32 remaining in the first  quarter. Wilkinson had 15 points in the quarter, including four treys, as  Collinsville took an 18-9 lead.

A rebound basket by Emondre Rickman made the score 24-12 with 5:04 to play in  the second quarter. Granite City got within 24-18 on a rebound basket by Devin  Narvaez with 3:52 left in the quarter, but a layup by Rickman boosted  Collinsville's lead to 31-21 at halftime.

Narvaez got things rolling for Granite City in the third quarter, scoring  seven of his 19 points in the first minute. A jumper by Perry Grimes capped the  13-0 run and put the Warriors ahead 34-31 with 5:46 to play in the quarter.

"We had to come out of the locker room with something, because we were dead  in the first half," said Grimes, who had a team-high 20 points. "Coach Roustio  doesn't beat around the bush -- he told us what we needed to do to win the game,  and we came out and did it."

Granite City scored 24 points in the quarter to take a 45-36 lead.  Collinsville, meanwhile, had more turnovers (7) than points (5).

"In the second half, our defensive intensity was much greater," Roustio said.  "We started taking the ball to the basket with more aggressiveness. To have a  13-0 run against a conference team is another bonus."

A 3-point play by Grimes gave Granite City its biggest lead, 50-39, with 6:30  remaining in the fourth quarter. Three times in the final minute of play,  Collinsville got within four points, but it was too little, too late for the  Kahoks.

Troy Garcia and Darrell Miller added 10 points apiece for Granite City.

"In the second half, everybody was shooting the ball how we know we can shoot  it," Grimes said. "We had guys on the offensive boards tipping the ball in, and  that's the Granite City that I know."

Wilkinson had 33 points in a losing cause for Collinsville, while Zeke Moore  had 14. Collinsville had 11 treys.

"We didn't get it done," Lee said. "They're a little more athletic than we  are, and they have a lot of seniors."

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