Edwardsville's Makenzie Silvey darts to the basket in the Granite City Sectional game against Belleville West.

Edwardsville encountered its greatest challenge of the season, but the girls basketball team pulled out a 53-51 victory Thursday night over Rock Island to capture the IHSA Class A Pekin Sectional.

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"This game was a test of the will of the girls, especially after being behind by 10-12 points," Edwardsville coach Lori Blade said. "The girls have a will to compete and work so hard together."

Makenzie Silvey erupted for several points in the third quarter and led all Edwardsville scorers with 15 points. Rachel Pranger had 14 points and controlled the boards with 14 rebounds. Criste'on Waters and Kate Martin each added eight points. Amiyah Dycus had four points; Aliyah Box and Kirsten Willeford had two points apiece.

Silvey guided Edwardsville back in the third quarter, scoring several of her points. Pranger also continued to be aggressive on the boards, Blade said.

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Blade also said Amayha Dycus delivered a strong defensive effort and helped the team break intense pressure throughout the game from Rock Island.

Rock Island led 25-14 at the end of the first quarter and the Tigers came back to 30-23 at the half. Edwardsville was behind 11-0 before scoring in the first quarter. Edwardsville outscored Rock Island 14-7 in the third period and 16-14 in the final quarter.

Edwardsville moves to 30-0 with the triumph and plays at 7 p.m. Monday in the Bloomington Super-Sectional against 31-3 Lisle Benet Academy.

Blade said she was extremely pleased with the development of her team, with the varsity consisting mostly of freshman and sophomore players.

"Again, these kids like to compete," she said. "We were mentally tough and competitive throughout the game tonight."

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