Rachel Pranger drives the lane for two of her 20 points in Wednesday's regional game against Granite City. (Photo by Dan Brannan)The Edwardsville Tigers moved one step closer to their 12th straight regional title as they defeated the Granite City Warriors 55-10 in the IHSA Class 4A Alton Regional on Wednesday night and remained undefeated at 27-0. Granite City finishes the season at 3-24.

““Right now it’s about getting to the next game. That’s all it’s about with these young kids and that’s all we are trying to focus on,” Edwardsville head coach Lori Blade said. “Overall it was a good job.”

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Freshman Rachel Pranger led the way for the Tigers with 20 points. Sophomores Makenzie Silvey and Criste’on Waters racked up 9 points each.

The game started off slowly for both sides and Edwardsville only led 10-5 after the first quarter.

“We’ve had some slow starts lately and that was a concern,” Blade said. “We have to settle in a little bit quicker.”

The Tigers turned it up in the second frame and outscored the Warriors 18-1. Edwardsville missed several mid-range shots, but they took advantage with their size on the boards. They got a bucket load of second and third chance points to bolster their scoring output.

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“I did think that we rebounded well. That is one of our focuses through the postseason,” Blade said.

Edwardsville led 28-6 at halftime and the Tigers would not let up in the slightest. The Tigers shot 56 percent (13-23) from the field in the second half, with many of their buckets coming off of steals and fast breaks that resulted in layups.

Edwardsville put on a defensive clinic for the entire game by getting a variety forced and unforced turnovers as well as rebounding splendidly. The 10 points they allowed in this game was the least they had given up in a game all season.

“We did our job getting to the final. Now we need to perform well on Friday and get to the (Sectional) semifinal on Tuesday,” Blade said.

The Tigers will take on the Pekin Dragons in the regional championship game at 7 p.m. on Friday. Pekin advanced to the championship by defeating the Alton Redbirds 59-38 on Wednesday night.

Edwardsville's Criste'on Waters scampers with some others for a loose ball Wednesday night in the Alton Regional. (Photo by Dan Brannan)

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