Sarajlic’s hot hand leads Tigers past Springfield Southeast

The Tigers game against Springfield Southeast (Dec. 26) started with Ervin Sarajlic (12) driving to the bucket and finishing with a lay-up while getting fouled. He went to the line and knocked down his free throw and the Tigers led 3-0. Sarajlic nor the Tigers looked back from there.

In a game of runs and ups and downs, the Tigers were able to weather the storm and defeat the Springfield Southeast Spartans 64-54, in the opening round of the always competitive Collinsville Holiday Tournament.

The star of the game was clear as day, Sarajlic had a career day scoring half of the Tigers total points finishing with 32 points, and recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds. Sarajlic did this all while senior teammate Austin Gillmann had to sit most of the second and third quarters due to foul trouble.

The Tigers came out of the gates soaring high jumping out to an 18-3 lead with two minutes left in the first quarter. The Spartans spent much of the first half playing catch up, and that is just what they did. With a strong second quarter, the Spartans shrank the 15 point deficit down to four and the Tigers went into the locker room up 31-27.

The second half was a lot of the same, the Tigers would punch, take a counter punch from the Spartans, and punch right back. The game got within three with four minutes to go, but the Tigers pulled away scoring a majority of the points in the final minutes to take the victory.

The game was very similar to the Tigers first round victory over Lincoln in last years Holiday tournament, again with Sarajlic having a magnificent performance. The Tigers followed up the big victory by losing their next two games. Hopefully the outcome will be different this year, but the task will not be easy as they take on Illinois powerhouse Belleville East tomorrow (Dec. 27) at 1pm at Collinsville.