By Mark Jurgena
COLLINSVILLE — When they needed it, Katie Bardwell, Lily Carlisle and Carsyn Moad came up big.
The defensive stops allowed Collinsville to turn a three-point deficit with just over one minute to play into a 40-36 win over Father McGivney at Fletcher Gym on Feb. 3.
The win moved Collinsville to 12-14 on the season as they headed into the postseason while McGivney fell to 20-9 overall.
After a Bardwell steal with the Kahoks down 36-33, Ella Guerrero gave up an open look from three in favor of finding teammate Talesha Gilmore underneath for a possible layup. Gilmore was fouled and hit both free throws to cut the lead to one and set up Carlisle and Moad.
On the inbounds play, Carlisle aggressively went after the inbounds pass and forced a tie-up.
“We had some great ball pressure at the end up front by Talesha and they made a weak pass,” said CHS coach Colin Moore. “Lily was tough and physical at got a jump in our favor.”
The Kahoks got the ball on the possession arrow but couldn’t convert the turnover into points.
After McGivney got the defensive rebound the Kahoks pressure forced an errant pass which was picked off by Moad. She got the ball to Guerrero again who fed Gilmore for the go-ahead layup with 15 seconds to play.
“Moad then floated back and was kind of playing a spot to look for a long lazy pass and she jumped over and then did a great job getting it back to Ella in a scoring position to feed the ball into Talesha,” said Moore. “It was nice to be on the right side of a tough-fought game by both teams.”
Collinsville fell behind 7-0 to start the game, but the Kahoks fought back to a 14-all tie at the half.
They stayed in the game thanks to the play of Guerrero and Gilmore.
Guerrero had 19 points including five makes from beyond the arc. Her fourth three of the night was a milestone one.
When she buried a 3-pointer from the right corner at the 1:42 mark of the third, she gave the Kahoks a seven point lead. It was also her 164th career 3-pointer which broke the Collinsville High School career record.
She added another three from the right wing on the next possession to give CHS a 32-23 lead with 1:01 to play in the third.
Guerrero finished the game with 165 threes in her career.
“Ella has worked hard the past four years and is always ready to shoot,” said Moore. “She has had three pretty solid shooting seasons in a row from beyond the arc. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
While Guerrero was hitting from the outside Gilmore was working on the inside. While she finished just shy of another double-double she did toss in 15 points and grab eight rebounds. She also had three blocked shots and tied Moad for a team high two assists.
Collinsville fought frantically in the fourth quarter to overcome a 37-30 deficit and got it down to five points late in the contest but couldn’t finish the comeback and fell to Centralia 54-46 at Fletcher Gym on Feb. 1.
Collinsville had an early 11-7 lead but fell behind 20-17 at halftime.
Despite the deficit, Gilmore had a big first half scoring 14 of Collinsville’s 17 points over the first 16 minutes.
However, the Orphan Annies switched to a 2-3 zone for the second half to limit access to the paint.
The plan worked with Gilmore only tossing in four points in the quarter.
In the fourth, the Kahoks forced many early turnovers but couldn’t score as Centralia ran out on a 8-0 run to take a 45-30 lead before the Kahoks went on a 7-1 run to cut the lead to nine.
The Kahoks continued to push getting a pair of threes from Moad, a pair of free throws from Bardwell and a free throw from Gilmore but it wasn’t enough.
For the game, Gilmore had yet another double-double with 21 points and 13 boards with three blocks. Moad added 11 points including three from distance.
The Orphan Annies are 17-9 overall on the season.
Collinsville had a solid first quarter but struggled the rest of the contest during a 60-26 loss at Fletcher Gym on Jan. 30.
The Kahoks trailed 17-12 after one quarter however the Tigers went on a 17-2 spree to take a 20-point lead into the locker room.
Edwardsville expanded its lead to 55-24 after three quarters.
Moad led Collinsville with 11 points on a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc while Gilmore had eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Tigers are 14-12 overall and 7-4 in the SWC entering this week’s games. Collinsville is 5-5 in the conference entering this week.
Collinsville played at Jerseyville on Monday then hosted O’Fallon on Tuesday. However, results were unavailable at press time.
The Kahoks host Alton on Thursday in their final regular season contest.
On Feb. 12 they will host Edwardsville again in the semifinals of the Collinsville Class 4A Regional. The Kahoks are seeded fifth in the sub-sectional while the Tigers are seeded fourth.
That will be the second game of the evening with tip-off at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Top-seeded Alton will face eighth-seeded Granite City in the early contest.
The championship game will be Feb. 16 at 6 p.m.
Collinsville played O’Fallon on Tuesday and Alton on Thursday this week. In the latest Associated Press Class 4A poll, Alton is ranked second in the state behind undefeated Wilmette (Loyola Academy). While O’Fallon, the defending Class 4A state champion, is ranked eighth.
The Redbirds have beaten the Panthers twice this season with both games decided by five points.
Alton’s record dropped to 25-2 over the weekend when they lost 57-49 to undefeated Lincoln at the EAWR Shootout. Lincoln is unanimously ranked number one in Class 3A.