EAST ST. LOUIS – Three days ago, Kenny Berry helped the Granite City Warriors pull off a big victory over the Collinsville Kahoks by scoring the game-winning basket with three seconds left.
On Friday against the East St. Louis Flyers, the Granite City senior had to watch his team from the bench in crutches.
Berry injured his right knee with 3 minutes, 35 seconds left in the second quarter in the Warriors’ 75-50 loss to East St. Louis. Granite City coach Steve Roustio said his status is uncertain.
“It’s one of those things where the only way where it’s going to get 95-100 percent back is he probably has to take three weeks off,” he said. “But who knows? We don’t have a break. We used to have a break in the schedule, but we’re in the Triad Tournament. So there’s no break. You never know. We might be without him for a while.”
With the win, East St. Louis snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 7-9 overall and 4-2 in Southwestern Conference play. The Flyers also avenged the 55-49 loss to the Warriors in the Prairie Farms Classic on Dec. 30 at Collinsville.
“Basketball can be anywhere from a finesse game to a physical contact game,” Roustio said. “Tonight was the ladder. Don’t take my word for it. Watch the film. You have to give East St. Louis credit. Eight or 10 days ago, we beat them by six. We were down 13 and we made a comeback. They didn’t respond and they got beat. They responded tonight. I knew it was going to be like this. I convinced my guys that they were going to come out and they were going to be hungry. These kids wanted some revenge and they got some revenge.”
The Warriors dropped to 8-6 overall and 3-3 in league play. Granite City travels to Civic Memorial on Tuesday and plays a home game against Belleville East on Friday.
“The thing about it is it’s just one game,” Roustio said. “As poorly as we played, it’s just one loss. The biggest concern right now is finding out what the extent of Berry’s injury is and also trying to regroup mentally.”
On Tuesday, Berry scored a game-high 27 points, including the game-winning basket, in the Warriors’ 48-46 win over Collinsville at Memorial Gymnasium.
On Friday, Berry was held to just three points before getting injured in the second quarter. One of the East St. Louis players landed on Berry’s knee.
After a five-minute delay, Berry was helped off the court and got a round of applause from the Granite City and East St. Louis fans.
Roustio said it’s not the first time this season Berry, who has 1,124 points in his high school basketball career, had an injury.
“He has a knee problem this year,” he said. “He hyperextended it earlier in the year and we sort of let him play, but we babied him a little bit and gave him some time off.”
The Flyers, who won 20 games last year, never trailed in Friday’s meeting. They stormed to a 20-4 lead in the first quarter. Granite City burned three of its timeouts in the opening period.
Senior Tra’ Allen led the Warriors with 14 points, including a dunk with 6:05 left in the third quarter. He was Granite City’s leading scorer with 24 points in the last meeting with East St. Louis on Dec. 30.
Also for the Warriors, senior Ron Allen scored all nine of his points in the second half, junior Jacob Spears hit a pair of 3-pointers and junior Jaylin Harper finished with seven points.
East St. Louis had 14 players score at least one point. Arthur Carter had 13 points, including nine in the third quarter, and Kenny Roberson finished with 11 points.
The Warriors will play East St. Louis again on Feb. 23 in their final home game of the season at Memorial Gymnasium.