COLLINSVILLE - Senior center Emerson Weller led the way for Edwardsville's girls' basketball team on Jan. 5 with a 16-point performance against Collinsville in the Tigers' 51-30 win at Vergil Fletcher Gym.

Emerson WellerEdwardsville, who started off the season 2-5, has been enjoying success in the last month, especially over the Holidays in splitting four games at the prestigious Visitation Christmas Tournament, with seven wins following a narrow loss to St. Joseph's Academy in west St. Louis County 55-52 in the opening game of the St. Joseph's Shootout Jan. 7.

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Weller is an iCAN Clinic Female Athlete of the Month for the Tigers.

Weller, who has signed to play next season at Missouri-St. Louis has been an instrumental part of Edwardsville's resurgence this year, following the loss of many key players to graduation. She felt getting to this point has been a great feeling, indeed.

"It's a really good feeling," Weller said in a postgame interview that followed the win over the Kahoks. "We've really come together well as a team and that's the best feeling of all."

The Tigers have worked and fought very hard to get back to the near break-even point on their record and Weller agreed that momentum is on their side.

"Yeah, I hope not," Weller said with a smile. "Those last two games at this have definitely helped get that momentum going and we've just been playing really well, executing well, It's just been fun."

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The Tigers used a 7-0 run at the end of the first quarter to establish their momentum against Collinsville, turning it into a 16-8 run throughout the second quarter that made the score 29-14, going on from there to take the win.

"Yeah, that definitely helped us," Weller said. "We got some good passes, our transition was really well. We just saw the court really well."

The most important thing was the Tigers played very well together as a team, which really makes a vital difference.

"That just makes it ten times more fun to be out there, playing together," she said about working well together as a team. "You execute better. We're doing a lot of the little things very well."

It's always those so-called one percenters that can lead to big success on the court.

"The little things matter, they definitely do," she said. "They matter a lot, actually."

With the calendar having turned into January, and the Southwestern Conference season well underway, thoughts now turn to the conference games in the next two months as the Tigers and other teams in Illinois begin to gear up for possible March Madness runs in the IHSA playoffs. Weller likes her team's chances in the final weeks.

"With the way we've been playing, I feel really well," Weller said. "If we continue to grow off each game, we'll be looking good going into the postseason, for sure. I'm so excited."

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