Advantage News | Caleb Motsinger
Senior Darrius Edwards scores on a spinning layup in the second half. Edwards chipped in eight points and five rebounds.
ST. LOUIS – The big stage proved the perfect place for the Alton Redbirds to resume their winning ways Thursday.
They defeated Quincy 57-40 during the Coaches vs. Cancer Prep Basketball Shootout at Scottrade Center. The Redbirds, enjoying their best start in 40 years, then defeated Belleville West 52-43 on Friday. Alton is 12-1 following a 10-0 getaway.
“It was a great experience and good opportunity for us,” said 6-foot-7 junior center Bryan Hudson, who made the most of it against 5-8 Quincy. He scored 13 points and snared 12 rebounds. Teammate Michael Williams-Bey punched in 13 points as the No. 8 state-rated Redbirds started quickly and never looked back. Williams-Bey also snared eight rebounds as the Birds outboarded the Blue Devils 43-25.
The winners led 12-2, 18-6, 27-14 at halftime and once held a 31-14 advantage. Quincy made a run at them in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer than eight points.
“We started picking up the pace and forcing turnovers,” Williams-Bey said. “It’s an amazing court to play on, but it took a while to get used to shooting on it.”
AHS coach Eric Smith added, “It’s great to play here and a very good atmosphere for the kids. I thought we played hard and got after them (Blue Devils) with our defense, but we were a little inconsistent with our offense. We’d attack them, but then we would take a little time off.”
Zach Burry (16 points) and 6-4 Barnell Thomas (15 points) accounted for all but nine of Quincy’s points. The Blue Devils made only 15 of 49 shots, or 31 percent, while the Redbirds hit on 22 of 46 attempts, or 48 percent.
“Alton is really good and their guards really pressure you,” Blue Devils coach Sean Taylor said. “And Hudson did some nice things for them. He’s a very good player.”
The Redbirds resumed Southwestern Conference play by welcoming 10-4 East St. Louis on Tuesday night. They also and play at 12-0 Edwardsville on Friday night. The Redbirds defeated the Flyers, 59-57, on Jan. 6 in East St. Louis. Alton is 5-0 and Edwardsville is 4-0 in SWC play.
The snowy weather and hazardous road conditions last Thursday forced the cancelation of the first two games, including Marquette Catholic’s morning opener with Duchesne of St. Charles, Mo. Duchesne administrators called off school and said the Pioneers couldn’t make the trip to downtown St. Louis.
Washington, Mo. also had to cancel its morning game with Wentzville, Mo. Holt, though those two teams are scheduled to meet tonight in a conference game. The fifth annual event thus featured six games, including two girls contests.
Alton 57, Quincy 40
Quincy 6 8 14 12 – 40
Alton 12 15 12 18 – 57
Quincy (5-8) – Elbe 2, Mellon 3, Thomas 15, Burry 16, Shoot 3, Bland 1. 2FG-10 3FG-5 FT-5 PF-17
Alton (11-1) – Williams-Bey 13, McMurray 9, Wigfall 4, Hobbs 2, Hudson 13, Perry 3, D. Edwards 8, Lovings 3, M. Edwards 2. 2FG-18 3FG-4 FT-9 PF-10