Lady Pirates pull away from Era

Jan. 21—Collinsville used a strong defensive effort Friday night to pull away from Era on the road.

The Lady Pirate basketball team beat the Lady Hornets 44-30, Collinsville's second district win against Era this season.

Collinsville (14-12 overall, 5-2 District 13-2A) held Era to 9 points in the second half to turn a tight contest into a somewhat comfortable win.

Era (16-13, 4-4) closed the gap to 40-30 with 1:54 to play but didn't score again.

Collinsville coach Kailey Davidson said her players worked hard for this win after having a week to prepare.

"We had a bye this week," Davidson said. "So, we focused all week on making sure that we were intense, that we played our game, that we took what we needed to do defensively and then capitalize on offense."

Collinsville led 23-21 at halftime. Era got the ball to start the second half, and junior Kate Krebs blew past a defender to tie the game seconds into the half. Both teams led in the first half, and Krebs had beaten the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer. The game seemed destined to remain tight after Krebs' early layup.

Instead, the Lady Pirates answered with a 13-2 run. Era didn't score from the field in the fourth quarter until 2:36 remained. The Lady Hornets scored again soon after to make it 40-30 with 1:59 to play, but Collinsville freshman Reese Patterson and junior Addisyn McDonnell scored the game's final shots to finish the victory.

Collinsville junior Devyn Elvington said the Lady Pirates came into the second half looking to build their lead.

"I think we all agreed that we needed to play the press more and be more intense and aggressive," Elvington said. "I think our help defense really stepped up in the second half."

Krebs scored a game-high 21 points, but no other Lady Hornet scored more than 3. Collinsville freshman Ashleigh Ortowski led the Lady Pirates with 18 points, followed by McDonnell with 10.

The Lady Pirates started district play 4-0 before dropping back-to-back games to Muenster and Lindsay. With a week to prepare, Davidson said getting this win was vital.

"Sometimes, you get in a lull, and you're losing," Davidson said. "Sometimes, it's hard to dig yourself out and come back out on a win. So, it was big for us to come out tonight and get a win on the road, especially in our seeding within our district."

The win puts Collinsville in third place, a game and a half ahead of Era in the standings. Although Era beat Collinsville in a non-district meeting during the Holiday Classic, the Lady Pirates winning both district meetings also gives them the tiebreaker with Era should they need it. Collinsville is half a game behind second-place Lindsay.

Davidson said she wants to see more intensity from her players the rest of the season.

"I want to keep building," Davidson said. "I want us to clinch the playoffs, of course, but then, I want to go further. I want them to experience the win and what it feels like to play together and be successful."