JERSEYVILLE — Kaylee Eaton showed the way and the Civic Memorial Eagles merrily followed her Wednesday in their final game of the Jersey Holiday Girls’ Basketball Tournament.
Eaton punched in 18 points — all in the first half — as the Eagles defeated Collinsville, 65-39, for third-place in the eight-team tourney. CM improved to 9-6 and Collinsville fell to 7-6.
“That’s the most points I’ve scored in a game and the best half I’ve had,” said Eaton, a 5-foot-8 sophomore guard. “I was feeling it. I’ve never had a half like that.”
So were the rest of the Eagles. They made 23 of 51 shots, including 8 treys, to blitz the Kahoks. Eaton sank 4 of those treys, all in her big first half. CM led 37-17 at the break.
“It was probably our most complete game of the season,” Eagles’ coach Jonathan Denney said. “We defended and rebounded well, and Kaylee really had a great game and she’s capable of doing that.
“Kaylee was incredible. She was the best player on the court the first half.”
Collinsville coach Lori Billy wouldn’t dispute that.
“I looked up at the scoreboard early in the game and she (Eaton) already had 10 points before I knew it,” Billy said. “We thought we had a handle on them, but they hit a lot of shots and played well.”
Southwestern clipped defending champion Calhoun, 53-47, for the tourney title and secured its 11th consecutive victory. The Piasa Birds hiked their record to 15-3 and dropped Calhoun to 14-2. Maddy Greeling’s 21 points led Southwestern.
“For the most part, we knew what we had to do and we did it,” said Southwestern coach Steve Wooley, an East Alton-Wood River High graduate. “We shot a lot better this time than the first time when we played them this season.”
Jersey used Mackenzie Thurston’s 18 points to beat Freeburg, 53-47, in the fifth-place game and improve to 8-7. Granite City topped Carrollton, 49-45, in the seventh-place game as the Warriors’ Addaya Moore poured in 25 points. Teammate Donyai Garrett pitched in 19 points so spur the 3-8 Warriors, who ended a 5-game skid.
Allie Troeckler of CM was named the tournament’s MVP. She scored 98 points in four games. “I’m happy about it, but a little surprised because there are so many good players in this tournament,” she said.
The remainder of the all-tourney team included: CM’s Eaton, Jersey’s Thurston, Granite City’s Moore, Greeling and Kelsey Rhoades of Southwestern, Julia Whitworth of Freeburg, Kaitlyn Fischer of Collinsville, plus Kassidy Klocke, Emma and Grace Baalman of Calhoun.
CM, which lost to Calhoun, 54-51, on Tuesday, came out quickly against Collinsville. The Eagles hit 8 shots, including 3 treys, in building a 24-11 first quarter advantage. They increased their lead to 37-17 by halftime and never looked back.
“I felt like we came out strong and we played our game,” Eaton said. “I think it’s our best game of the season. We played together.”
Troeckler punched in 16 points and Katelyn Turbyfill contributed 14 more for CM, which made 23 of 51 shots, 8 of them from 3-point land. Troeckler also snagged 11 rebounds.
“We played an amazing game, both on offense and defense,” Troeckler said.
Gabby Morgan’s 10 points were best for Collinsville. The Kahoks hit 15 of 36 shots and committed 17 turnovers.
“We’re playing hard,” the Kahoks’ Billy said. “We have eight kids that are hurt, so we are trying to get healthy. We had some challenges in this tournament, but it was good for us.”
Denney wanted CM to finish the 3-day tourney strong and he lauded the Eagles for a solid showing.
“We got a glimpse of who we are and it was more of a complete game,” Denney said. “We did a lot of good things, with Kalyn Troxell and Katelyn Turbyfill both picking up Allie, too. This is how good we can be if we continue to play this way.”
And he figures Eaton will continue to bloom.
“She was a complete player out there and Kaylee has the potential to do all the time,” he said.
JERSEY HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT
CM 65, COLLINSVILLE 39
Collinsville 11 6 11 11 — 39
CM 24 13 14 14 — 65
COLLINSVILLE (7-6) — Kaitlyn Fischer 4, Kassidy Smith 2, Lauren Lee 9, Carlee Mahan 5, Gabby Morgan 10, Joni Rukavina 4, Venise Govan 3, Danielle Knutson 2. 2FG-11 3FG-4 FT-4 PF-16
CM (9-6) — Allie Troeckler 16, Katelyn Turbyfill 14, Kaylee Eaton 18, Kalyn Troxell 6, Alaira Tyus 3, Alexis Enke 3, Izzy Buckley 5. 2FG-15 3FG-8 FT-11 PF-10