Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tradition: Garcia, Horton Led Strong Crop of Stars in Metro East

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tradition: Garcia, Horton Led Strong Crop of Stars in Metro East

Article excerpt

The Metro East was a hotbed for basketball this season. From Collinsville to Okawville, hoops were exciting to watch.

Cory Garcia was a marquee player for the Collinsville Kahoks. At 6-feet-8, 280 pounds, he was tough to stop. He proved as much in the Carbondale Supersectional, scoring 39 points, including 23 in the fourth quarter against eventual Class AA runnerup Carbondale High.

Jamaal Horton upheld the rich basketball tradition at East St. Louis Lincoln, ringing up triple-doubles from his point-guard position for the Tigers.

Ryan Luechtefeld of Okawville and Matt Fitzsimmons of Althoff were all-staters who proved their basketball mettle against some of the top Class A competition in the state.

Tyrone Caswell withstood a season of off-court controversy to make All-State in Illinois Class AA. He also left a mark as one of the most talented players ever produced in East St. Louis.

Caswell, Luechtefeld, Horton, Fitzsimmons and Garcia highlight the Illinois All-District basketball team:

Cory Garcia, Collinsville: Garcia averaged 16.85 points, but was best inside, where he could beat defenders with his bulk and soft shooting touch.

"He has a chance to be as good as he wants to be," Collinsville coach Bob Bone said.

Inconsistency has plagued Garcia, but against Carbondale he kept Collinsville close with 16 points in the first half. His 23 in the fourth quarter rallied Collinsville, before Carbondale clinched it.

"He moves well and he has pretty good hands for a player his size," Bone said. His bulk is his best weapon, since he's so nimble.

"A lot of people look at his weight as a detriment, but he takes up space. He uses it well. I'd like to see him work on every phase of his game," Bone said.

Tyrone Caswell, Lincoln: After playing in 12 games for East St. Louis Lincoln, where he averaged 24 points and 14 rebounds, Caswell's senior season went into limbo. …

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