Collinsville High School Athletics


Patient, balanced Collinsville sweeps O'Fallon to stay in the SWC chase


Stl Today | 2/8/2022

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Halfacre

Patience is a virtue that Devin Davis has embraced. Even if it’s not his first thought.

“The first instinct is you want to go, but then you’ve got to think about the time and the score and all of that,” Davis said.

A senior guard for the Collinsville boys basketball team, Davis and his fellow Kahoks were patient as they methodically executed on both sides of the ball in a 58-46 win over O’Fallon in a Southwestern Conference game at the Panther Dome on the campus of O’Fallon Township High.

The No. 7 large school in the most recent rankings, Collinsville (20-5 overall, 7-2 league) has won 12 in a row and swept the Panthers in conference play.

The last team to beat Collinsville?

O’Fallon, which pulled out a 50-49 win over the Kahoks in the semifinals of the Collinsville Holiday Classic on Dec. 28.

“We’re able to sweep O’Fallon in the conference, but they beat us in the tournament,” Collinsville coach Darin Lee said. “They’re a great team. We’ve had some great battles against them and been able to play well against them.”

The first quarter was fast and furious. Collinsville took a 14-13 lead at the end of the period after senior guard Travion Swygeart knocked down a 3-pointer with 16 seconds to go.

The Kahoks wouldn’t trail the rest of the game.

Collinsville led by as many as nine points in the second quarter, but O’Fallon managed to chip away at the lead behind the strong play of sophomore guard Rini Harris, who scored seven of his eight points in the final 1 minute and 48 seconds of the first half. His layup with 21 seconds to play cut the lead to 26-24 and the Panthers thought they had something cooking.

Collinsville answered on the other end when sophomore guard Nick Horras knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing and was fouled by Harris with 0.2 seconds on the clock. Horras missed the free throw, but the Kahoks went into the locker room leading 29-24.

The third quarter was a replay of the second as Collinsville would take a lead only to watch O’Fallon eat away at it.

O’Fallon junior guard Jalen Smith converted two free throws for his only points of the night to cut the lead to 37-34 with 1:13 to play in the third.

But Collinsville scored again with less than a second left as Swygeart scored a layup off a nice pass and was fouled. He buried the free throw to give the Kahoks a 40-34 lead with 0.8 seconds in the quarter.

Swygeart finished with nine points, six rebounds and two steals. He’s a prime example of what makes Collinsville such a tough matchup. The 6-foot-1 Swygeart can play inside or on the perimeter depending on the rest of the lineup. The Kahoks don’t have a true post and Lee said they’ve been rotating who shifts under the basket.

“It helps us because some teams don’t know what guys can do on our team,” Swygeart said. “Everybody can shoot, everybody can post. It messes teams up when we can play different positions.”

Davis led the charge with 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Junior swingman Jake Wilkinson had 12 points and three rebounds. Horras finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Senior forward Matt Clark was as close as Collinsville came to trotting out a true post. The 6-foot-3 Clark was integral as he directed traffic on both ends of the court, moved the ball when it needed to be moved and took the shots he’s supposed to take. He finished with 10 points, three rebounds a bucket of praise from Lee.

“Matt was huge for us. He came in and gave us a big lift,” Lee said. “He made all the shots he needed to make and guarded and rebounded. He always give us energy, energy and leadership. It’s really big for us.”

O’Fallon tried to jump start its offense with its defense, but couldn’t consistently get the Kahoks to turn the ball over. Instead they found the open man and attacked the basket which led to several layups and free throws.

Davis buried one of two free throws to put Collinsville ahead 50-39 with 2:54 to play. It was practically an insurmountable lead the way the Kahoks defended and the way the Panthers executed on offense.

“Our guys didn’t make shots and definitely didn’t finish as well as we needed to,” O’Fallon coach Brian Muniz said. “Right now they are playing really well. A lot of their guys are knocking down shots. They’re running on all cylinders right now. It’s not just two or three guys.”

O’Fallon senior guard Caleb Burton scored nine points, grabbed five rebounds, handed out three assists and made two steals. Lunning scored nine points. No one else scored more than six.

The victory keeps Collinsville in the midst of the race for the Southwestern Conference crown. East St. Louis has taken down all seven of its previous conference foes and is sitting p... Click here to read full article