O'FALLON - Senior guard Macy Silvey, who signed earlier this week to play for SIU-Edwardsville in college next season, sank a pair of free throws in the final seconds to give Edwardsville a 47-45 win over Chicago Whitney Young in both teams' season opener at the Southern Illinois Shootout series Saturday afternoon at the OTHS Panther Dome in O'Fallon.

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Silvey's heroics climaxed a very close game against a traditional Chicagoland power that saw the Tigers rally from a five-point first-quarter deficit to take a halftime lead in a see-saw game.

"It was an awesome first win over a program that's been prominent over the years," said Edwardsville head coach Caty Happe. ''For the first game, there's always some rust to knock off, but I thought the kids really played well together."

With about 15 seconds left in regulation and the game tied 45-45, the Tigers called time out to set up a play that was designed for Silvey to drive the lane. Silvey did and was fouled on the drive, setting up the game-winning free throws. A three-point shot at the buzzer by the Dolphins fell short, giving Edwardsville the win.

Young led the Tigers 17-13 after the first quarter, but Edwardsville rallied in the second to outscore the Dolphins 19-6 to take a 32-23 lead at halftime. Young rallied in the third, outscoring Edwardsville 14-6 to cut the lead to 38-37 after three quarters, but the Tigers won the fourth quarter 9-8 to make the final 47-45.

"They got into a little bit of foul trouble," Happe said of the second-quarter rally, "we hit some shots, we were able to pick up our defense and we rebounded really well."

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Senior forward Sydney Harris, who recently signed with Central Michigan, scored 21 points in her season debut, while Elle Evans, who signed to play for North Dakota State, added 15 for the Tigers.

"Syd did a really great job coming right off of volleyball," Happe said. "and she shot the ball really well."

And as usual, the first game of the season revealed many things the Tigers need to work on, but the bottom line was gaining the opening win of the new campaign.

"It gave us a lot of things that we really need to work on," Happe said, "but it's always great to come out with a win."

Besides Harris and Evans, Emma Garner scored six points and Silvey had five points, including her game-winning free throws. Destiny Jackson led the Dolphins with 13 points, with Olivia Vick adding 10 points, Skylar Jones had nine points, Tanila Marshall scored seven points, Hailey Hillman hit for four points and Nadia Swansey scored two points.

The Tigers open their season 1-0 and next play at O'Fallon against Breese Mater Dei Catholic before going on the road to Evansville, Ind. next Saturday to play Reitz Memorial Academy and Castle before having their home opener Nov. 30 against Highland.

"Mater Dei is very long and they're very well-coached," Happe said, "and I expect another tough game."

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