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EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville's girls basketball team will certainly have a challenge facing them when they go up against Chicago's Mother McAuley in their IHSA Class 4A Illinois Wesleyan Super-Sectional in Bloomington tonight.

The Mighty Macs' Jenna Badali hit a couple of drives in the third quarter in their Mother McAuley Sectional final in Chicago last Thursday night, drives that took the wind of Frankfort Lincoln-Way East's sails and sent McAuley to their super-sectional clash with the Tigers at 7 tonight at IWU's Shirk Center.

Badali's drives were part of an 18-point night for her in the win; Tara O'Malley led the Mighty Macs with 19 points and Grace Hynes scored 16 points in the win for the 26-7 Macs; Edwardsville enters tonight's game at 29-0.

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Edwardsville will counter with seniors Kate Martin, Rachel Pranger and Myriah Noodel-Hayward; Martin, who will be playing next season for Iowa, leads the Tigers with a 16.8 point-per-game average, with Pranger averaging 12 points and Noodel-Hayward averaging 10.5 PPG. The other two regular starters, Quierra Love and Jaylen Townsend, average 8.6 points and 7.3 points respectively.

The Tigers have taken on the top teams in the St. Louis area this season, having defeated schools like Incarnate Word, St. Joseph's, Kirkwood and Whitfield on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River as well as swept through the Southwestern Conference this season; they started their postseason run with a win over Belleville West and a nail-biting win over Belleville East in the Belleville East Regional, then defeated Chatham Glenwood in the Champaign Centennial Sectional before getting past Rock Island in overtime in Thursday's sectional final.

The Mighty Macs, members of the Chicago Girls Catholic Athletic Conference, have scored wins over Orland Park Sandburg and Homewood-Flossmoor in the Sandburg Regional, then over Chicago Marist and Lincoln-Way East in their own sectional last week to set up tonight's clash.

Tonight's winner will meet the winner of the Lewis University Super-Sectional in Romeoville, either Lombard Montini or Bolingbrook, in the state semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Illinois State's Redbird Arena in Normal; the other semifinal will be played at 7:15 p.m. Friday between either Lake Zurich or Des Plaines Maine West from the Arlington Heights Hersey Super-Sectional and Rockford Boylan or Geneva from the Streamwood Super-Sectional.

The final is set for 7:15 p.m. Saturday, with the third-place playoff game preceding the final at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

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