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FRONTENAC  When it comes to facing a truly good team, it can be tough to know which way to turn in terms of defending the appropriate scoring source.

Edwardsville has proven over and over that it is a truly good team, and Saturday it was senior Myriah Noodel-Haywood's turn to step up at key junctures during a 50-38 win over Whitfield in the St. Joseph's Shootout.

Noodel-Haywood had phenomenal first and third quarters to help the Tigers (16-0, No. 1 in the large-schools rankings) eradicate an early deficit and then build a comfortable lead.

“We let teams come up on us and we have to fight back,” said Noodel-Haywood, who scored 18 points, including all six of Edwardsville's in the opening quarter. “I didn't feel I had to carry too much of a load because I know I have a team. We all got it together today."

Early on Saturday, Whitfield was the clear aggressor and took an 11-6 lead.

Whitfield held every Edwardsville player other than Noodel-Haywood scoreless for the first eight minutes. Secondly, Whitfield moved the ball around well.

“I feel like we played a really good two-and-a-half to three quarters,” Whitfield coach Mike Slater said. “One of the things we'd been talking about is consistency and discipline. To put it another way, it's effort and execution. We had a four of five lead and you just can't relax or let up. We even had them in foul trouble.”

Junior guard Aijha Blackwell led Whitfield (10-4) with 17 points.

Where Noodel-Haywood started for Edwardsville, Kate Martin picked up the banner on the way to a game-high 19 points.

Martin scored nine points in the second quarter as the Tigers took a 21-19 lead into halftime.

“We had many kids step up and hit big shots,” Edwardsville coach Lori Blade said. “When we were struggling, Myriah stepped up and hit shots to keep us close there. We weren't very good the first quarter at all. The second quarter we were better, but still not (perfect) and yet we were still up at half. That was a good sign.”

Edwardsville took control in the third quarter, outscoring Whitfield 22-10 to take a 43-29 lead.

Once again, it was Noodel-Haywood who came out huge with a handful of baskets to help blow the game open.

Blade said finding what it took to win, directly on the heels of a victory Friday over O'Fallon, proved big.

“We were standing around, watching and I was concerned with fatigue from last night – two good teams,” Blade said. “We toughened up mentally and started getting some movement within our offense. Once we got the good movement, we would find good looks.”

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