EDWARDSVILLE - Senior forward Syd Harris led the way with 28 points, while senior Emma Garner added 10 points to help guide Edwardsville to a 49-36 win in a Southwestern Conference girls basketball game played Tuesday evening at Lucco-Jackson Gym.

Both the Tigers and Flyers were playing shorthanded due to COVID-19 protocols, and the game was played behind closed doors without fans because of the resurgence of the pandemic, a temporary policy implemented this week. In addition, the junior varsity game was cancelled because of protocols, with the Flyers only able to dress seven players for the varsity game.

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"We were short some players out with COVID," said Edwardsville head coach Caty Happe, "and so did East St. Louis. But it's always good to see the kids play, and we got to see a lot of younger players get an opportunity to play."

Happe felt that the conditions and the empty gym, except for players, coaches, officials, media and game day workers, didn't make that much of a difference in the game.

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"Really, it didn't feel that different," Happe said. "It was a lot quieter, but the kids played with intensity, just like any other game. It was good to see."

The Flyers jumped to an early lead before Edwardsville came back to tie the game 7-7 after the first quarter, then the Tigers took control of the contest, taking a 24-12 lead at halftime, with East Side coming back in the third quarter to cut the lead to 35-24 after three quarters. That would be as close as the Flyers would get, as Edwardsville outscored East Side 14-12 in the final quarter to take their 49-36 win.

Besides Harris and Garner's performances, the Tigers got five points from Zay Hoover, four points Ellie Neath and two points from Blakely Hockett. Jazmine Young led the Flyers with 14 points, while Arionna Whitt had eight points, Derrica Branch added seven points, Mikayla Lee had four points, Ryale Mosley scored two points and Alicia Cross had a single point.

The Flyers are now 7-6 and are set to host O'Fallon on Thursday night, then Belleville East next Tuesday, Jan. 11, then go on the road at Breese Mater Dei Catholic Jan 13, with all three games scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers improve to 13-4, and are set to play at Collinsville Thursday at 7:30 p.m., then meet Kansas City St. Teresa's in the St. Joseph's Academy Shootout Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. Edwardsville returns to conference action Jan. 11 at Belleville West in a 7:30 p.m. start.

"It's good to see the younger girls step up and get a win while we're shorthanded," Happe said.

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