The host Tigers, the defending Class 4A runners-up, improved to 5-0 Thursday with a 59-10 victory over Collinsville in the Southwestern Conference opener for both teams. Edwardsville has outscored its opponents 313-85.
"The girls were excited to be at home and I was excited for them," said Blade, whose squad overcame 20 turnovers and some erratic shooting. "People come out to see and celebrate that (state tournament appearance) with you and we needed to settle in a little quicker.
"Most people would be thrilled with a 49-point win and I am, don't get wrong. But we've got to get better at some things."
Collinsville dropped to 2-3. The Kahoks had 35 turnovers, including 20 in the first half.
"It was beyond ugly," Collinsville coach Lori Billy said. "To hold them to 16 points in the first 12 minutes of the game, I was pretty pleased with that. We kind of lost our brain in last four minutes (of the second quarter).
"In the second half, we had a game plan. We wanted to attack and go inside, but we had a hard time getting the ball down the floor against their pressure."
A rebound basket by Kortney Dunbar gave Edwardsville a 12-5 lead after one quarter. Aaliyah Covington's rebound basket capped a 9-0 Tigers run and made the score 19-5 with 3:04 remaining. A trey by Dunbar put Edwardsville ahead 28-7 at halftime.
The Tigers continued to pour it on in the second half, outscoring Collinsville 11-0 in the third quarter. A free throw by Lauren White capped a 24-0 Edwardsville run and made the score 43-7 with 7:27 left in the fourth quarter.
"As long as we are, and as quick and athletic as we are, we're going to make some people turn the basketball over," Blade said. "But with all that, we still should have been a little bit better and a little more disciplined in our defense and our angles."
Senior Emmonnie Henderson, who is bound for the University of Louisville, led a balanced Edwardsville attack with 15 points. Dunbar and Covington added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
"It was good, but I know we can do better as a team," Henderson said. "Eventually, it will all come together.
"When Lauren White (who missed much of the first half with three fouls) is not in, we have a little bit of struggle. But we adjust to it."
Karla Halde led Collinsville with seven points.
"I think their defense is even better this year," Billy said of Edwardsville. "Any time a team like that can make a run to state and get that experience, obviously that helps them throughout their next season."