CARBONDALE -- It may have taken 24 minutes longer than expected, but Carbondale woke up at the start of the fourth quarter and picked up a come-from-behind victory over Cahokia, 52-43, Friday in South Seven Conference boys basketball.
The Terriers (14-2, 4-1) trailed most of the game, and Cahokia still held a 30-29 edge after three quarters of play. However, Carbondale turned up the defensive intensity and received a spark from Moe Jackson as well in the final eight minutes.
Jackson scored Carbondale’s first nine points of the fourth quarter on his way to an 18-point performance. The senior played aggressive defense and forced a pair of five-second calls on the Comanches as well.
“I think Moe started buying in to what we were telling him, which is to be aggressive,” said Carbondale coach Jim Miller. “He was aggressive to the basket and making his teammates better. Defensively, he was pretty good in the second half. I thought we were saved by Khouri (Powell) and Unree (Westley). They stepped in during the second half off the bench and saved us.”
Powell knocked down three crucial 3-pointers to keep the Terriers within striking distance.
After Jackson hit a triple, Allen Billinger sank two free throws to cap off an 11-2 run for Carbondale. The Terriers grabbed a 40-32 advantage at the 4:45 mark of the fourth quarter and never lost the lead again.
Cahokia’s size gave the Terriers fits at times. DeVonte Williams, a 6-10 center, and Jeremy Franklin, a 6-7 forward, combined for 17 points. Nearly all of them were right under the basket.
The Comanches held Carbondale without a point for a five-minute span in the second quarter. Cahokia ripped off eight straight points during that time.
Powell ended the drought with a 3-pointer just before the half to pull the Terriers within five at the intermission.
“It was a great team effort for us tonight,” Miller said. “Our posts were frustrated with their length. But when one part of your game isn’t working you look to other parts. I thought our kids controlled the tempo for the most part in the second half.”
Billinger finished with 16 points, and Powell added nine for the fourth-ranked Terriers.
Carbondale hosts Cape Central at 4:30 p.m. today.