HAVEN — The proper setting for an upset was in place inside a rowdy Wildcat gym in Haven.
It was an electric atmosphere common for big games, but the Collegiate girls basketball team punctured any drama early in its 60-33 win over Haven on Friday night.
But that didn't stop the Spartans from simulating challenges they will face as the season progresses.
"If you create bad habits, then in big games you're going to go wrong," senior Kamri Phox said. "In a game where you're up, you have an opportunity to practice things that are going to matter in big games."
Problems emerged with rebounding in the Spartans' last game, so Collegiate made hitting the boards an emphasis to capitalize on its height advantage with Sadie Clark and Ashia Woods.
Clark and Woods combined for 28 points and 17 rebounds, and the Spartans outrebounded Haven 38-25.
"This whole week in practice we really focused on boxing out," Clark said. "Molly Holden was a beast on the boards and she was pushing all of us in practice to get better."
Another issue has been perimeter shooting. Collegiate proved it can be a deep threat with six three-pointers. Katie Broberg hit two threes in the third quarter and the Spartans were able to cruise from there after a 51-27 lead through three quarters.
"I wouldn't have made all my shots if it wasn't for my team supporting me and getting me the shots," Broberg said. "We just have that confidence in each other."
Haven (6-3) struggled with the height disadvantage, as well as the pressure from Collegiate. Against what Phox said was Collegiate's best defense of the season, the Wildcats finished with 33 turnovers.
"We didn't play great," Haven coach Dwight Roper said. "They had a whole lot to do with the way we played. We don't make excuses. They were the better team tonight."
With the win, Collegiate remains on top of the MCAA standings with a 4-0 record and improved to 7-1 overall.
"We're going to play teams with post players that are going to be hard to handle," Collegiate coach Terrence Phox said. "Our younger and smaller players are going to have to understand that rebounding has mostly to do with desire."
Collegiate22 14 14 9 — 59 Haven9 9 9 6 — 33
COLLEGIATE: Phox 6, Green 5, Broberg 8, Clark 12, Woods 16, Lower 5, Holden 0, Horton 0, Massey 3, Dunn 2, Cole 2, Skar 0, Taylor 0, Courtney 0. Totals 24 (6) 5-7 59.
HAVEN: Reynolds 6, Boese 5, Nordstedt 3, Ezell 3, Stefanski 6, Miller 4, Rogers 4, Foraker 0, Hatchel 0, Chamberlain 1, Laughlin 1, Preiser 0. Totals 10 (2) 11-18 33.