Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Basketball: Edwardsville Survives, Wins Regional Title as Belleville East's Upset Bid Falls Just Short

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Girls Basketball: Edwardsville Survives, Wins Regional Title as Belleville East's Upset Bid Falls Just Short

Article excerpt

BELLEVILLE * The last instant of the Class 4A Belleville East Regional girls basketball final seemed to linger.

With Edwardsville clinging to a 1-point lead, East senior forward B'Aunce Carter knifed through the Tigers defense for a layup.

After her shot hung on the rim for a good amount of time, the ball fell away and Edwardsville escaped with a 41-40 win.

"I'm going through a lot of different emotions right now, my heart's going about 100 miles per hour," Edwardsville senior forward Kate Martin said. "I was just praying to God that it wouldn't go in."

Edwardsville (27-0, No. 1 in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings) claimed the program's 15th consecutive girls basketball regional title and 24th in school history. By a whisker, it continues on a yearly quest of climbing the postseason ladder.

"Survive and advance, that's what it's all about," Tigers coach Lori Blade said. "This one wasn't pretty, but it is a win."

The Tigers will play Chatham Glenwood at 6 p.m. Monday in a Class 4A Champaign Centennial Sectional semifinal at Centennial.

Rachel Pranger led Edwardsville with 13 points and Martin scored 10 points, eight in the second quarter as Edwardsville surged ahead for a 19-15 halftime lead after trailing 9-7 through one quarter.

From the opening tip Friday against East, it was clear the game would be much tighter than the 30-plus point wins the Tigers had in the regular season.

Lancers coach Amanda Kemezys said her players responded well to a new set of plans for facing the Tigers this time around.

"Holy cow, I could not be more proud of a team and the game plan they executed," Kemezys said. "We threw some new stuff at them in this last week. When we found out Edwardsville was in this regional, we knew we couldn't do what we'd done before."

Perhaps the biggest change was that East sped up the tempo and made the Tigers play a game that, at times, seemed foreign to them. …

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