EDWARDSVILLE - Kaylea Lacey, who's a sophomore forward for the girls basketball team at Alton High School, has enjoyed a stellar season thus far, as she's played a key role in helping the Redbirds to a 22-1 mark with a few weeks left in the regular season.

Kaylea LaceyLacey scored 11 points in Alton's win over Edwardsville on Jan. 11 67-36 at Lucco-Jackson Gym, a game where the Redbirds outscored the Tigers in the second half 45-16 after leading at the half 22-20. Then in the opening game of the 37th Highland Invitational Tournament on Jan. 13, Lacey scored 12 points as the Redbirds won over Belleville West 91-21, advancing to the quarterfinals.

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With that win, Alton became the first area team, boys or girls, to reach the 20-win mark this season.

Kaylea is an Auto Butler Female Athlete of the Month for the Redbirds.

In an interview conducted after the win over Edwardsville, Lacey felt good about how things went in the second half and how the Redbirds executed very well in the final 16 minutes.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Lacey said. "I feel like we executed what we needed to execute tonight. It's great."

The Redbirds played somewhat tentative in the first half, but in the second half, came out very strong and dominated, It was a very good bounce-back win for Alton, after losing their first game of the season on Jan. 6 to Notre Dame Academy of Green Bay, Wisc., at the Grow The Game Shootout at Hinsdale Central 70-63.

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"I just think we've been working on some things," Lacey said, "and we just went out there in the second half, and just brought all the energy, and executed everything we've been working on. It just all came together at one time, so it was all good."

Alton has enjoyed a very stellar season, one of the best in the program's history, and Lacey sees her role as one of being herself and helping the team in any way she can.

"I see my role as just being aggressive," Lacey said, "and being who I know how to be. Just helping out my team, and doing the things I know how to do."

Lacey is very much looking forward to the season's stretch run and has one ultimate goal for herself and her team.

"For myself, I'd say, just make sure every game, I'm consistent, and just playing hard, doing what I need to do," Lacey said. "For the team, us all keep going what we're doing, keep progressing and keep getting better, so we can make our way to state."

The state finals are set for Illinois State University's CEFCU Arena, formerly known as Redbird Arena, Feb. 29-Mar. 2. And Lacey and her teammates are bound and determined to get to the finals and win the program's first-ever championship.

"Yeah, definitely looking forward to it," Lacey said. "We are going for the state goal, so that's where we're headed."

Again congrats to Kaylea on her recognition as an Auto Butler Female Athlete of the Month.

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