EDWARDSVILLE - Seniors Macy Silvey and Emma Garner led Edwardsville with 13 points each, while Syd Harris added 12, and clutch free-throw shooting and a blocked three-points shot at the end all combined to give the Tigers a 49-47 win over rival O'Fallon in a Southwestern Conference girls basketball thriller Tuesday night at Lucco-Jackson Gym.

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Neither team led by more than eight in the contest, which saw clutch shooting, great defense and a big block by Silvey of a three-point shot before the buzzer that helped give Edwardsville a key early win in the conference. It was also a very intense affair from the opening tip before a big and very loud crowd that combined to produced what's usually a typical game in the league.

"O'Fallon's a great team and to see somebody this early on in the conference is always awesome," said Edwardsville head coach Caty Happe. And to come out with a win, even when we don't play the complete game that we want, it's great to come out with a win. Our kids really battled."

The Panthers took a six-point lead late in the first half before the Tigers rallied to tie the game at 20-20 at halftime, and it gave Edwardsville some big momentum going into the second half.

"Keeping it close the whole game, it was six points both ways, and then, they came back, obviously, in the third and the fourth," Happe said. "To be able to come out with a win and really gut it out was awesome."

All the Tiger players contributed to the win, which Happe was very proud to see.

"It was, and all the way around, from our first player into our last player in, everyone contributed," Happe said. "So it was great to see a good team win for everybody."

The mindset going into the game was a very typical one for Edwardsville.

"Compete the whole game," Happe said. "I mean, day in and day out, everyone's going to give us our best game, so making sure we're ready at all times to compete."

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Edwardsville took the early lead at 5-0 on a basket from Garner and a three from Silvey, but O'Fallon followed up with a basket from Zsana Hawkins and a three from D'Myjah Bolds to tie the game up at 5-5.

The two teams exchanged free throws and baskets as the first quarter ended up being tied 9-9, as a three-point play from Malia Robertson at the start of the second quarter gave O'Fallon its first lead at 12-9.

An Elle Evans free throw and Harris' first basket of the game brought the Tigers back to a 12-12 tie, but the Panthers went on an 8-0 run behind a three from Avery Christopher, baskets from Shannon Dowell and Bolds and a free throw from Dowell to ahead 20-12.

The Tigers went on their own 8-0 run at the end of the half, on a pair of free throws from Ella Cook and an Elle Evans basket off a miss, sandwiched around a pair of Harris baskets, the second coming right before the buzzer to pull the Tigers into a 20-20 stalemate at halftime.

The Tigers went right into the front at the start of the second half of baskets from Garner and Harris to take a 24-20 lead, but the Panthers countered with free throws and a basket from Bolds to tie the game back up at 24-24. Edwardsville went on a 7-0 run with a three from Harris and baskets by Garner and Ellie Neath to take a 31-24 lead, An exchange of threes after an O'Fallon free throw made it 34-28 for Edwardsville before a Silvey basket gave the Tigers a 36-28 lead after three.

Dowell and Bolds scored at the start of the fourth to halve the lead to 36-32, but the Tigers' lead would stay at six for most of the period. A Robertson three brought the Panthers to within 45-42, and a basket by Dowell underneath cut the lead to 45-44 with less than a minute left in regulation, but a pair of big free throws from Silvey gave the Tigers a 47-44 lead with 16.6 seconds left. A Robertson free throw cut the lead to 47-45 with 5.3 seconds left, and the Panther had the chance to tie or win on a turnover with 2.5 seconds to go, but Silvey blocked Ma'Chilah Vinson's three at the buzzer to give the Tigers the win.

Both teams are now 7-1 on the season, with the Panthers hosting Alton on Thursday night and Collinsville Dec. 16 in 7:30 p.m. tips, while the Tigers host Belleville East Thursday night at 7:30 p.m., then have another important game Saturday morning against Civic Memorial in the curtain-raiser of the Scott Credit Union Shootout at 11 a.m. Happe knows what lies ahead for her team, and the team will continue to work and getter better.

"You know, continue to get better and to work on us," Happe said. "We're six games in two weeks, so right now, I'm making sure we've still got legs under us and we're running our stuff well. And then, we're playing good defense, so really, just each game, focus on similar things."

Read More:

Jan 26, 2022 | Harris Breaks School Single-Season Scoring Record, Tigers Top O'Fallon Jan 26, 2022

Jan 22, 2022 | Harris Scores 24, Silvey Has 17, Evans 16, As Tigers Use 12-0 First Quarter Run To Defeat Whitfield 65-45 Jan 22, 2022

Nov 1, 2021 | Seniors Lead The Way As Edwardsville Wins Two-Set Thriller Over O'Fallon 26-34, 25-22 In Class 4A Pekin Sectional Semifinal Nov 1, 2021

Mar 5, 2015 | Cougars Advance at OVC Women's Basketball Tournament Mar 5, 2015

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Dan Brannan also contributed to this story

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