Girls Basketball

Edwardsville girls advance to state final

In 40 years since Illinois high school girls were given the chance to compete for a state basketball champion, just eight large-school teams have finished off their titles with a perfect record.

Edwardsville is just one win away from being the ninth.

The Tigers (32-0) overcame a 12-point first-half deficit to defeat Lombard Montini Catholic, 37-35, in the Class 4A semifinals on the campus of Illinois State University Friday.

They'll go for their unblemished state championship — their first in program history — at Redbird Arena Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

Senior Makenzie Silvey scored the game-winning shot from the baseline with 22 seconds left.

Montini twice built 12-point leads, first opening the game on a 14-2 run, then taking a 18-6 lead on a behind-the-back dribble-drive by senior Claudia Kunzer that faked Edwardsville freshman Quierra Love out of position.

But a 13-2 Tigers' run, highlighted by Makenzie Silvey's 3-pointer and another long jump-shot, tied the game at 20-apiece. Kunzer gave the Lady Broncos a 22-20 halftime lead with a pair of free throws with 1.8 seconds left.

Edwarsdville overcame a 2-for-14 performance from the field in the first quarter to shoot 50 percent in the second. Montini didn't help itself with nine turnovers in the half.

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