Belleville East proved to be a spoiler Friday night, much to the chagrin of the Alton Redbirds.
The Lancers defeated visiting Alton 59-58 in a Southwestern Conference game at Belleville and knocked the Redbirds out of first place. Alton, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press Class 4A state poll, is 18-3 overall and 7-2 in the conference.
Improving East shot to 15-7 overall and 6-3 in the league. Edwardsville took over sole possession of first place in the SWC with a 58-49 win at East St. Louis. The Tigers are 18-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference.
De’Antae McMurray’s 19 points led the Redbirds. Michael Williams-Bey scored 14 points, as did Darrius Edwards. The Redbirds trailed much of the way but had a chance to win it at the end.
“We missed the last shot,” AHS coach Eric Smith said of Bryan Hudson’s 10-foot attempt in the lane. “So we had a shot at it, but we came up short.”
The Birds resume SWC play Friday at Collinsville and welcome Hazelwood Central next Saturday in a nonconference game.
Southwestern 63, North Greene 55 – The Piasa Birds won for the eighth time in their last nine games and improved to 13-9 with a victory in White Hall.
Andrew Fry poured in 18 points to guide Southwestern. Ethan Gallaher and Tyler Rose both tallied 13 points.
Southwestern welcomed Jacksonville Routt on Saturday in a rescheduled game.
Roxana 57, Lebanon 50 – The Shells went to 14-9 by registering a win at Lebanon in a rescheduled game Thursday night.
Matt Harnett scored 19 points for the winners and Charlie Sheets tossed in 12 points. Roxana is scheduled to play host Nashville at 8 on Saturday night in the Hornets’ Shootout.
The Shells then will be busy next week. They’ll entertain South Central Conference foe Southwestern on Tuesday and play neighborhood rival Marquette Catholic on Friday in the Explorers’ gym.
Marquette is 15-6 and has two games next week, including one on Wednesday.
Jersey 47, Mount Vernon 45 – Kyle Steckel hit a buzzer-beater as the host Panthers shaded Mount Vernon and concluded a successful weekend. They edged Civic Memorial 40-35 on Friday in a Mississippi Valley Conference game at Havens Gym.
Steckel’s 15 points paced the 14-9 Panthers against Mount Vernon. Jersey had to storm back after trailing 27-18 at half in the nonconference affair. Jake Varble, Luke Shively and Kyle Obertino all added 10 points apiece for Jersey.
The Panthers play Tuesday at Carrollton and then welcome Triad on Friday in a Valley game.
Roxana 69, Dupo 35 – A quick start enabled the Shells to drum Dupo in a nonconference game and boost their record to 121-4. Roxana led 34-15 at half and never looked back.
Maddy Sheraka scored 26 points to spur the Shells. Taylor Stratton (19 points), Anna Whitaker (14 points) and Erica Sheets (10 points) added to the cause.
Elsewhere, the finals of the rescheduled 40th annual Carrollton Invitational were set for Saturday.
Granite City met Brussels at 2 p.m. for the consolation championship. Jersey tangled with host Carrollton at 6 p.m. for third place. And top-rated Civic Memorial faces No. 2-seeded Calhoun at 7:30 in the title game.
The Eagles finished second to Quincy Notre Dame last year and also were tourney runners-up in 2008 and 1988. They have never won it. Calhoun finished second at Carrollton in 1984-85 and 2012.
Alton’s game with Marquette for fifth-place honors was reslated and could be played next week – or not at all. Class 1A and 2A regionals are set to start next week.
In the East Alton-Wood River Class 2A Regional, action begins Monday. It’s fourth-seeded Marquette meeting fifth-seeded Roxana at 6. Third-seeded Trenton Wesclin plays the host Oilers at 8.
Top-rated Breese Central and second-seeded Carlyle have drawn byes and will play Monday’s winners on Tuesday. The championship game is set for Thursday.
Southwestern is cast in the Hillsboro Class 2A Regional, where the host Hiltoppers and Litchfield could serve as the Piasa Birds’ main obstacles.
And Calhoun is playing host to a Class 1A regional that includes Carrollton, Mount Olive and Bunker Hill. The Warriors are seeded first and eyeing a spot in the North Greene Sectional. The Metro East Lutheran Regional champ also goes to North Greene.