Collinsville girls edge Bishop Kelley again in regional final
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Sunday, February 24, 2013
2/24/13 at 7:41 AM
After Collinsville swept its regular-season series against Bishop Kelley with a pair of one-point victories, the Metro Lakes Conference foes met for a Class 5A regional girls title on Saturday.
"The odds of winning three games against a good team by one point are almost impossible," Collinsville senior guard Shelbie Kirby said.
But that's what happened as Kirby scored a game-high 15 points, including two go-ahead free throws with 2:35 left, to help ninth-ranked Collinsville edge No. 8 Bishop Kelley 35-34 at Bishop Kelley.
"She can do it all," Collinsville coach Kelly Clarke said about Kirby, who averages 17.4 points. "She makes great plays. She makes big plays when they count. All the pressure is on her shoulders. For someone who has all the pressure like that, she shoulders it pretty well."
Collinsville (19-6), which is 8-2 in games with margins of four points or less, advances to an area title game against East Central while Kelley (13-11) will play Grove in the losers bracket. Both games will be Thursday at a site to be announced later.
"I know we're that team that can beat them," Kirby said about Thursday's matchup against the East's No. 1 seed in a battle of the Cardinals.
Sawyer Salisbury made 1-of-2 free throws with 24 seconds left to give Collinsville a 35-32 lead. Kelley could not get open for a tying 3-pointer so it tried for a conventional three-point play and that strategy almost worked as Seana Stoia was fouled while shooting with 1.2 seconds remaining.
Stoia made both free throws although she tried to miss the second. After a timeout, Collinsville executed a long inbounds pass to seal the win.
"These kids never think they are going to lose," Clarke said. "They always make the plays. I call them the 'Cardiac Cardinals.'"
Madie Vaughn added eight points for Collinsville. Madi Schulz and Stoia had 11 points each to lead Kelley.
Schulz banked in a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to cut Collinsville's lead to 18-17. Collinsville responded by building its advantage to 28-22 going into the fourth quarter.
Kelley, which did not score its first basket of the second half until only 6:15 remained, tied the game at 28 on Schulz's two free throws midway through the fourth.
"I knew we could pull it off and we just had to answer their little run," Kirby said.
Kirby answered with two free throws that were offset by Stoia's basket. Two free throws by Kirby and Kyrston Wheeler gave the Cardinals a 34-30 lead with 37 seconds left.
Seven seconds later, Schulz made two free throws to cut Collinsville's lead to 34-32 and set up a tense finish.
Clarke said Collinsville had extra incentive on Saturday after losing out to Kelley on being a regional host after receiving the East's No. 5 seed behind the No. 4 Comets even though his team beat Kelley twice, won the conference title and had a better record.
"It was hard to figure," Clarke said. "In Bishop Kelley's defense, they've always ranked us up there high, even higher than what they have been so it's not the fault of (Kelley coach) Jade (Allison)."
Collinsville won its first regional since 2007 and its first in 5A.
"I'm ecstatic," Kirby said. "We are so excited. I knew before the season it was going to be a special season with the team we had coming back and the new coaches."
COLLINSVILLE 35, BISHOP KELLEY 34
Collinsville (19-6): S.Kirby 15, Vaughn 8, Wheeler 7, Salisbury 5.
Bishop Kelley (13-11): Schulz 11, Stoia 11, Collins 4, Stephens 4, Berry 2, McCorkle 2.
Original Print Headline: Collinsville gets edge on Kelley again
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393