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Lady Kahoks Lose to Tigers

December 8, 2011
By Chris Kusnerick of Collinsville High School

COLLINSVILLE • Thirteen and 34 were the magic numbers for the Edwardsville girls basketball team Thursday night.

Emmonnie Henderson and Kortney Dunbar each scored 14 points as the Tigers routed Collinsville 63-37 in the Southwestern Conference opener for both teams at Collinsville's Vergil Fletcher Gymnasium.

It was the 13th consecutive Edwardsville win against the Kahoks and the 34th straight conference win for two-time defending league champion Edwardsville.

The Tigers, No. 5 in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings and No. 3 in the Illinois Associated Press Class 4A poll, improved to 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the league. Collinsville fell to 3-2 and 0-1.

Collinsville's Kayla Murphy had a game-high 17 points.

Edwardsville's last stumble against Collinsville was Jan. 9, 2006. The Tigers last league loss came at Belleville West on Jan. 29, 2009.

"I thought they really played well tonight," Edwardsville coach Lori Blade said. "Their intensity level, their passion to play together. They were unselfish. They just played really well together at both ends."

Henderson, a 6-foot-2 junior center, who is drawing considerable Division I interest. Thursday, Florida assistant coach Murriel Page was on hand to watch the Henderson score six of the team's first eight points as the Tigers ran off the first 13 points enroute to a 17-1 lead.

Edwardsville eventually led 19-8 after one quarter, 36-10 at halftime and 50-21 after three quarters.

"Me, I wasn't really into it, but my teammates stepped up and they showed that they could do it," said Henderson, who picked up two fouls in the first quarter and went to the bench with 1 minute, 32 seconds to go in the quarter and sat out the rest of the half.

"I just need get used to not having Leigh (Kesper, who was out with an illness)," she said.

With Kesper (Missouri S&T) out, Sarah Parker filled in admirably, scoring nine first-half points.

"Everybody else on the team did a good job," said Henderson, who was double and triple-teamed when she played. "I just have to learn not to get frustrated and get the ball to my teammates in the open areas."

The Kahoks were their own worst enemies in the opening half. They had eight turnovers in the first quarter and had 14 at halftime. At one point in the first half, they had more turnovers than shots taken.

"You can't have that many turnovers," Collinsville coach Lori Billy said "You just can't. Their pressure hurt us a little bit."

Collinsville's shooting touch also was out of sync.

"We couldn't throw it in the ocean (in the first quarter). You've got to be able to hit free throws (they were eight of 22)," Billy said.

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