Edwardsville High School junior Kate Martin scored six of her 18 points to help key a 19-5 scoring run in the third quarter and a 67-47 win over Springfield on Monday at the Class 4A Normal Community Sectional.
Springfield (26-5), getting 10 points from guard Ashley Robinson, trailed just 23-16 at halftime and pulled to within 27-23 early in the third quarter following a bassket by Montshianna Pulliam. But following a pair of free throws by Quierra Love, senior guard Makenzie Silvey made a 3-point shot and seconds later, Criste’on Waters scored on a conventional 3-point play.
In four possessions, the Tigers lead had grown from four to 12 points. The Senators would get no closer the rest of the way.
“The first half was ugly and chaotic at times,” Tigers coach Lori Blade said. “But give (Springfield) coach Brad (Scheffler) a lot of credit. He had his kids ready to play. They always come out and battle hard all the way to the end. I have all the respect in the world for him and his program. The difference was that we made some adjustments at halftime and the kids came out and knocked down some shots in the third quarter.”
The win lifts Edwardsville (29-0) into the sectional title game at 7 p.m. Thursday at Normal Community High School. The Tigers will play Rock Island (31-1), which defeated Bradley-Bourbonnais in Monday’s other sectional semifinal.
With Martin and Silvey combining for 14 first halftime points, Edwardsville lead 23-16 at halftime. The undersized Senators had a chance to get closer but missed at least five shots within two feet of the basket.
“Actually for as many layups as we missed, trailing by seven points at halftime, I was feeling pretty good,” Scheffler said. “We just weren’t used to playing a team with the kind of size that Edwardsville has in the post area.”
Edwardsville freshman Quierra Love started the Tigers third quarter game-changing scoring run with a pair of free throws. After Waters deflected a Senators shot, Silvey came down a made a 3-point shot from the right increase the lead to 32-23.
Junior Myriah Noodel-Haywood then deflected a pass that was intercepted by junior Rachel Pranger. On the Tigers ensuing possession, Waters got the ball in post, made a strong move to the basket and was fouled. The 6-foot senior completed the 3-point play and the Tigers lead was 35-23.
Pranger and Haywood scored later in the quarter which ended with Edwardsville leading 46-28.
Silvey added 14 points for Edwardsville while Springfield was led by Robinson’s 15 points.