No. 1-seeded Edwardsville outscored eighth-seeded East St. Louis 33-2 during an 11-minute stretch from late in the first quarter until early in the third quarter Tuesday and dismantled the Flyerettes 66-19 in the semifinals of the Class 4A Collinsville Regional.
Edwardsville (27-0) shot 48 percent from the field (27-for-56) and advanced to the championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday against fourth-seeded Belleville East (20-9).
“I don’t know what it was, but we just got a light sparked in us, and we went on a run,” said Tigers junior Rachel Pranger, who had eight points and 11 rebounds. “I think we came out a little bit slow, and then we just kicked it in gear. You could really tell.”
Junior Myriah Noodel-Haywood and senior Makenzie Silvey led Edwardsville with 13 points apiece. Freshman Quierra Love had eight points, and junior Kate Martin added seven.
“We’ve got five kids on the floor the majority of the time that can score,” Edwardsville coach Lori Blade said. “It’s our job to put them in position to be able to do that successfully.”
East St. Louis (18-12) was led by sophomore Shawnta Johnson’s four points. The Flyerettes were charged with 18 turnovers and shot 17 percent (8-for-47).
Flyerettes junior Kaysie Newson scored with 2:19 to play in the first quarter to cut Edwardsville’s lead to 9-7. The Tigers scored the next 20 points to lead 29-7, as Haywood scored six points, and Silvey hit back-to-back 3-pointers.
After Johnson scored for East Side to make it 29-9, the Tigers closed the second quarter by scoring eight straight points to lead 37-9. Edwardsville then scored the first five points of the third quarter to balloon its advantage to 42-9.
“We started off a little slow; we didn’t guard very well,” Blade said. “But our defense adjusted, and then I thought we did a really good job. ... Overall, I was pleased, especially with our defensive effort.”