BELLEVILLE — Superstitions aside, the No. 13 proved to be anything but unlucky for Edwardsville senior Kortney Dunbar and the Tigers on Tuesday at Belleville East High School.
Proudly wearing the No. 13, Dunbar became the 13th player in Edwardsville High School girls basketball history to reach 1,000 points for her career as she led the Tigers past Belleville East 59-30 in a Southwestern Conference game.
Entering the game with 998 points, Dunbar cracked the milestone with just over 6 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first quarter when she came off a screen and scored on a layup.
Following the basket, the game was stopped and Dunbar, a 6-foot-3 all-state forward, was recognized for her achievement.
"I don't know if I was pressing about it. But it was nice to get it done,'' Dunbar said following the win. "Actually it was kind of nice to get it against them (East), a team I've played against for the last four years. We were actually talking about that -- wearing No. 13 and becoming the 13th player to get 1,000 points. That's kind of cool. Obviously, I couldn't have done it without my teammates. There have been a lot of great players here and so to join that group is a great honor.
For Dunbar, a University of Tennessee recruit, it was just beginning as she combined with teammate Aaliyah Covington for 43 points as the Tigers rolled to their 69th straight SWC victory. Rebounding from their first loss of the season on Friday at Columbia, (Mo.) Rock Bridge, Edwardsville improved to 18-1 for the season and 8-0 in the SWC.
The Tigers will face perhaps their last major obstacle in the path of a fifth straight undefeated SWC season on Thursday when they host Belleville West as West was the last team to beat Edwardsville in the SWC. That was during the 2008-09 season.
Belleville East (10-9, 6-5) managed to stay close to the Tigers for the first 1 1/2 quarters. Led by senior Montira Mosby, East trailed just 13-10 after one quarter and was down by just six points midway in the second quarter.
But when the 5-11 Mosby picked up her second and third fouls less then 20 seconds apart, it proved to be a critical blow for the Lancers. Covington, who scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half -- made four straight free throws -- the lead was 10 points.
Edwardsville led 24-15 at halftime.
"That was a big part of the first half because she (Mosby) is a big strong player inside. I thought we did a good job of going at her after she picked up the second foul,'' Tigers coach Lori Blade said. "I thought we played very good defense in the second, third and fourth quarters."
While Covington scored nine of the Tigers 11 second quarter points, Dunbar took over in the third quarter as she scored 10 of Edwardsville's 14 points.
East meanwhile went cold.
"I'm very proud of my basketball team for how hard it played tonight. The girls followed the game plan and did exactly what we asked of them,'' Lancers coach Andrea Seipp said. "We just missed some shots and Dunbar and Covington are two great players.''
Montira Mosby and Erin Holl had nine points each for Belleville East.
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or email@example.com