Scouting the State: Flyers standout continues to soar

Posted: Jan. 10, 2013 3:34 am Updated: Jan. 31, 2013 4:15 am

The Quincy High School boys basketball team kept DeShawn Munson grounded for the most part.

Not many others have done that.

The East St. Louis senior guard put on a high-flying show last weekend, collecting 12 dunks in victories over Granite City and Madison (Wis.) Memorial. Yet, the dunks were hardly the story.

Munson's complete game against Memorial in the marquee game of the 22nd annual Highland Optimist-Scott Credit Union Basketball Shootout drew rave reviews. The 6-foot-4 Munson recorded a triple-double in the 80-61 victory, finishing with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

"That was impressive,'' Memorial coach Steve Collins told the Belleville News-Democrat.

The Flyers have won six straight games, including beating the Blue Devils 60-52 in the championship game of the 29th annual Collinsville Schnucks Holiday Classic. Munson, an all-tournament selection, averaged 13.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists at Collinsville.

He took it up another notch last weekend. Munson also had a triple-double against Granite City, picking up 23 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.

"It's just a matter of playing my game and helping the team improve and be successful,'' Munson told the News-Democrat.

That's why he had no reservations playing point guard, something first-year Flyers coach Antonio Young learned Munson could do after taking the job.

"I didn't know until I played against him (Munson) this summer,'' Young told the News-Democrat. "DeShawn does a great job of seeing the floor and he's a great passer."

Final one goes down: Jacksonville was the lone remaining unbeaten team in the Central State Eight Conference.

Springfield Southeast changed that.

The Spartans made 20 of 24 free throws in the fourth quarter and overcame a lethargic offensive effort the first three quarters to beat the Crimsons 82-72 last Saturday at Scheffler Gym. The victory came in the wake of a 74-69 overtime loss at Peoria Central last Friday.

"I told our kids I thought they showed amazing character coming back from a tough defeat last night, getting in late after a long bus trip," Southeast coach Lawrence Thomas told the Springfield State Journal-Register "I thought the kids showed tremendous will and character tonight in beating a team formidable like Jacksonville."

Jagger Anderson, who led Southeast with 24 points, made 10 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter as the Spartans improved on their xx-xx effort at the line against Peoria Central.

"On Thursday, we spent a whole day just on free throws," Anderson told the State Journal-Register. "(Saturday morning) we came in and worked on free throws."

Because of it, four teams are tied for the CS8 lead.

Playing shorthanded: The loss of three starters left Peoria Richwoods in a lerch against Normal West.

A week after beating the Wildcats by seven points in the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament, the Knights suffered a 46-26 loss last Saturday. Three Richwoods starters -- Preston Wells, Jeremye Johnson and Xavier Newson -- were sidelined after being involved in a traffic accident. There is a chance they could return this week.

"We played great defense, but offensively, we were just timid," Richwoods coach William Smith told the Peoria Journal Star. "We had guys who just didn't want to force the issue and you have to be able to be confident to force the issue against the zone and we just couldn't find a combination of guys to do that."

Meanwhile, Normal West outscored Richwoods 32-16 in the second half.

"I feel bad for them. You wish their guys were here," Normal West coach Brian Cupples told the Journal Star. "It was a good game at Pekin and our guys were looking forward to playing them. I'm just glad they're alive. From the way it sounds, it could have been a lot worse than it was."

Getting a feel for it: Hoping to be playing in the Class 4A Bolingbrook Sectional in March, Neuqua Valley got a sneak peek at what to expect by traveling to Bolingbrook Tuesday night.

The Wildcats like what they saw.

Led by 17 points from Western Illinois University-bound point guard Jabari Sandifer, Neuqua Valley won 58-48 by stretching its lead to as many as 25 points in the third quarter.

"Just like a few of the teams we've played recently, (the Raiders) are a running team," Sandifer told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We just had to slow the pace down to our pace, control the pace and then just get good shots and knock them down. That's what we did."




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