EL DORADO — Going into its second game of pool play at the El Dorado tournament, Collegiate was riding a four-game losing streak. By holding off El Dorado 39-37, the Spartans are able to breathe a sigh of relief.
"When you've lost four games in a row, there's so many things that can creep into your mind in a situation like that," Collegiate coach Terrence Phox said. "In order for us to be the team we want to be, we have to be able to function in tight games like that. I'm glad to see that we got a victory."
It was a victory, but El Dorado (2-9) wouldn't let it come easy. Even when the Wildcats hit just two field goals in the first half, Collegiate still led just 17-16. The Wildcats turned the ball over 17 times in the first half but stayed in the game thanks to hitting 11 of 12 free throws in the second quarter.
"I was really pleased with (our defense)," Collegiate's Ashia Woods said. "We've been running this defense for a while and it's always been pretty successful."
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It was the Spartans' defense that came through down the stretch. Woods, who had been out for two weeks before the tournament with a hairline fracture in her left foot, scored 23 and made the biggest defensive stop of the night. After missing her second free throw with 8.7 seconds left, she stole the outlet pass and was able to circle around the basket as time expired.
"This year it's always been a pretty close game," Woods said. "I wouldn't say we were too worried, but we were worried some because we were knocking down our shots. We kept our focus and pulled through."
Andrea Valadez came off the bench to pace El Dorado with 11 points. Jaimie House added 10 for the Wildcats.
Collegiate (6-5) will play in the third-place game today against Augusta at 3 p.m. El Dorado will play Circle in the fifth-place game at 1:30 p.m.
Collegiate (6-5) 10 7 11 11 — 39 El Dorado (2-9) 3 13 5 16 — 37
COLLEGIATE: Lower 4, Dunn 6, Woods 23, Taylor 6. Totals 13 (2) 11-20 39.
EL DORADO: Clites 2, House 10, Utech 9, Klein 5, Valadez 11. Totals 9 (2) 17-24 37.
Gardner Edgerton 36, Circle 30 _ Circle was unable to hold on to its one-point halftime lead in pool play, falling to Gardner-Edgerton.
The Thunderbirds took advantage of a low-scoring first half for a 12-11 lead at the break. In the second half Gardner-Edgerton started to pull away, leading 22-16 at the end of the third quarter.
Kyrstie Ehm paced Circle with 14 points. Ashlee Bihimer had 10 for the Trailblazers.
Gardner-Edgerton will play East in the championship game at 4:45 today.
Circle (8-4) 2 10 6 14 — 30 G-E (7-5) 2 9 11 14 — 36
CIRCLE: Hon 5, Flaming 2, Jernigan 1, Ehm 14, Barrett 6, Morton 2. Totals 9 (1) 11-14 30.
GARDNER-EDGERTON: Reindle-Boden 2, Mullins 3, Walker 5, Devlin 1, Parks 2, Bihimer 10, VanDeBerghe 4 Porter 9. Totals 11 (1) 15-25 36.