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Munson, East St. Louis shrug off miscues, hand Collinsville its first loss

December 8, 2011
By Chris Kusnerick of Collinsville High School

COLLINSVILLE • Darin Lee turned out to be prophetic Tuesday night -- and that wasn't a good thing for the Collinsville basketball team.

Discussing the hot shooting of Collinsville's starting five during the Kahoks' 6-0 start, Lee said it would be tough to keep up that pace. Tuesday, a not-too-surprising cool breeze blew across the Kahoks' hot shooting stats in a 57-46 loss to visiting East St. Louis.

Collinsville (6-1 overall, 1-1 in the Southwestern Conference) needed more than seven minutes to score from the field in the third quarter as a three-point halftime lead turned into a six-point deficit.

"We just didn't execute on offense, and that's the first time this year we've been through a situation like that," Lee said. "We had a few good looks that we missed and there's no doubt that it cost us."

East St. Louis (6-1, 2-0) won despite 28 turnovers, including 16 in the first half.

"I've been coaching a long time, and I don't think I've had a team make many turnovers and beat my team," Lee said.

Deshawn Munson led the Flyers with 22 points. While Munson made his share of mistakes, he also showed flashes of the talent that makes him one of the top juniors in the state.

East St. Louis coach Ray Coleman was disappointed the talented Munson was caught up in the team's ragged play.

"I told him I'm going to show him some tough love and personal responsibility to make sure that I prepare him for the next level," Coleman said.

Munson was playing his second game of the season after missing five games with a knee injury and a dislocated finger.

"I'm still kind of rusty, and I have to put in the work," Munson said. "This wasn't one of my better games, but I got a couple dishes off. If I can't score, I've got to give my teammates the ball."

Jason Kusnerick's jumper at the buzzer put Collinsville ahead 25-22 at halftime, but Brandon Johnson's 3-pointer capped an 11-2 East St. Louis and gave the Flyers a 33-27 lead with 3:03 remaining in the third quarter. Collinsville's first field goal of the quarter, with 49 seconds left, came on a tip-in by J'Vaughn Williams and made the score 33-29.

"Before I got a chance to say anything, when I was coming into the locker room, our key players were saying that we had to settle down and get our composure," Coleman said. "I let them take the lead and just echoed what they said."

Collinsville got within 38-36 on Daryn Foster's trey with 6:06 to play in the fourth quarter, but a layup by Johnny McCray, off an assist from Phillip Lockhart, gave East St. Louis a 45-36 lead with 4:21 remaining.

The Kahoks never got closer than five points the rest of the way. A layup and two free throws by Munson extended the Flyers' lead to 52-42 with 1:31 left.

"We talked about the state and local rankings, and we're paying attention to that stuff because we want respect for our organization," Coleman said. "I shared with the kids that we really wanted this game tonight -- it meant a lot to us."

Munson scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter.

"We knew we were a better team than we showed in the first half, but we didn't have a good practice (Monday) and that can affect your game," Munson said. "We had to work harder in the second half."

Foster led Collinsville with 16 points, while Williams added 11. Jaris Wellmaker, the Kahoks' second-leading scorer, was held to three points.

Dan Williams had 10 points for the Flyers while Johnson and McCray each scored nine.

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