REDBIRDS REBOUND WITH WIN — A return to Southwestern Conference play buoyed the Alton Redbirds on Tuesday.
Aton, which lost to Centralia on Jan. 3 in the championship game of the Orphans’ Boys Basketball Tournament, zipped by host Belleville East, 77-30 in SWC play.
The Redbirds, ranked No. 9 in the latest Associated Press Class 4A state poll, improved to 12-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference. The Lancers dropped to 4-9 and 0-5.
East St. Louis sits alone at 5-0 atop the league standings. The Flyers defeated host Edwardsville, 57-40, on Tuesday to hand the Tigers their first conference defeat. AHS welcomes Belleville West on Friday in SWC action, then goes to East St. Louis (Jan. 13) before welcoming Edwardsville (Jan. 16). West lost to O’Fallon, 66-54, on Tuesday.
Center Bryan Hudson paced the Birds against the Lancers. The 6-foot-7 senior scored a game-best 21 points and set the tone for the lopsided victory. Carlos Anderson pitched in with 12 points for Alton, which led 18-6 after the first quarter and 31-10 at halftime. Darrius Edwards had 11 points.
No fewer than 10 players scored for the Redbirds, who shot ahead 41-16 midway through the third quarter. Javon Pickett, a 6-4 sophomore, led East with 13 points.
SHELLS SCORE VICTORY – Roxana made it look easy as the Shells overwhelmed Lebanon, 74-43, in a nonconference game Tuesday at home.
The Shells, lifting their record to 8-7, entertain Greenville on Friday in a key South Central Conference game. The 14-1 Comets defeated Southwestern, 51-38, on Tuesday to run their SCC record to 3-0. The Piasa Birds are 12-4 and 3-1.
Randy Skiff, Zach Golenor and Trace Gentry all scored 13 points for Roxana.
OILERS BOW AT HOME – East Alton-Wood River suffered a 74-53 nonconference loss to Calhoun at Memorial Gym.
Blake Marks tallied 19 points, while Mike Stimac collected 16 points and 12 rebounds for the 5-9 Oilers.
EA-WR plays host to Vandalia on Friday in another nonconference game.
EXPLORERS FALL – Marquette Catholic lost at Carrollton, 51-34, in a nonconference game.
Amber Robinson scored 11 points for the Explorers, who finished fourth in the recent Lebanon Holiday Tournament. Marquette, now 4-9, has dropped four in a row.
REDBIRDS SWEEP TIGERS – Alton’s boys defeated Edwardsville by a score of 2,616 to 2,359 and the girls prevailed 2,304 to 1,397.
Lucas Pejakovic shot a 638 series to lead the AHS boys at the Edison’s Entertainment Complex in Edwardsville. He had a pair of 232 games in the process. Eryka Graham (581) and Ashley Heistand (529) spurred the girls. Graham had a 205 game in her series. Megan Wallace (379) led Edwardsville.