GRANITE CITY — For the second time in a week, the Granite City Warriors played the Collinsville Kahoks.
This time, the Warriors weren’t going to lose to the Kahoks again.
Granite City snapped a seven-game losing streak to Collinsville with a 48-46 win in a Southwestern Conference contest on Tuesday at Memorial Gymnasium.
It’s the Warriors’ first win over the Kahoks since Dec. 21, 2012, when Granite City won 66-62 on the road.
“It was a revenge game,” Granite City senior Kenny Berry said. “I was happy that we had the opportunity to come back.”
It’s also the first time Berry and brothers Tra’ and Ron Allen celebrated a victory over the Kahoks in their high school basketball careers. They have been playing varsity since they were sophomores.
“Coach (Steve Roustio) told the seniors that this is the last time you’re playing Collinsville on your court,” Tra’ Allen said. “He said, ‘What you guys are going to do about it?’”
The Warriors improved to 8-5 overall and 3-2 in Southwestern Conference play.
Granite City will travel to East St. Louis on Friday to play the Flyers for the second time in a week. Last week, the Warriors beat the Flyers 55-49 in the Prairie Farms Classic.
“We need to continue to stay focused, practice hard and always come together as a team,” Berry said.
Collinsville dropped to 5-7 overall and 1-4 in league play. A year ago, the Kahoks won 20 games — including three wins over Granite City — and captured a regional championship.
On Dec. 29, the Warriors lost to the Kahoks 66-64 in overtime in the consolation semifinals of the Prairie Farms Classic at Vergil Fletcher Gymnasium.
“It was a real big loss,” Berry said. “I’m just happy that we stepped up today and we came together as a team.”
On Tuesday, Granite City came back from a nine-point, third-quarter deficit to beat the Kahoks.
“It’s a pleasure to come out here and playing against a team that beat us in overtime,” Tra’ Allen said. “It’s a heart check, to be honest.”
After the game, Granite City fans stormed onto the court to celebrate.
“We’re playing for them,” Tra’ Allen said. “They give us life. The crowd is what we play for. They were with us when we were 2-26 (two seasons ago). It’s nice to show up for them.”
Berry finished with 27 points, including the game-winning basket with three seconds left. He scored 14 points in the first half.
“I can’t say enough about him,” Granite City coach Steve Roustio said. “He put his team on his back the whole night.”
Tra’ Allen scored all of his 11 points in the second half, including the game-tying basket with 1:19 left in the fourth quarter.
“He had an incredible second half,” Roustio said. “As incredible as that was, his first half was non-existent. I had to take him out of the game. I haven’t done that with him in a very long time. He’s been our 5 guy for three years now and I can’t remember the last time I felt the need to sit him down because he wasn’t getting anything done. In the second half, you have to give him credit. He woke up in the nick of time and started getting some big rebounds and he started getting to the basket.”
Ron Allen finished with just two points. Still, Roustio was pleased with his defensive effort.
“Even though he didn’t produce offensively, if he’s not out there defensively, I know we don’t win because he’s good defensively,” Roustio said.
The Kahoks, who finished with 20 wins and captured a regional championship last year, had a balanced scoring attack in the losing cause. Sophomore Jake Hall had 13 points, junior Sam Webb finished with 10, junior Ronnie Midgett had nine and senior Zach Flora had eight.
Collinsville came back from a 5-0 deficit to take a 14-9 lead after the first quarter. The Kahoks led 24-19 at halftime.
Sam Webb hit a 3-pointer with 3:42 left in the third quarter to give the Kahoks a 34-25 lead. Collinsville led 35-29 after the third quarter.
But the Warriors rallied to tie the game at 46-46 after Tra’ Allen scored a basket with 1:19 left in the game.
With six seconds left, junior Jake Roustio missed a 3-point shot. Berry grabbed the rebound and scored the basket to give the Warriors a 48-46 lead.
Berry finished with 11 field goals.
“That’s incredible for a high school player to have 11 baskets,” Roustio said. “I told my staff that I can’t remember the last time we had a player who had 11 field goals.”
Berry said he was determined to help his team beat Collinsville for the first time in four years.
“It’s my senior year,” Berry said. “I had to make the most of it.”
The Warriors and Kahoks will square off again on Feb. 5 at Collinsville.