SULLIVAN • Clare Shetley could hardly breathe.
But that wasn't about to stop the Sullivan High senior forward on Friday night.
Shetley, playing with two displaced ribs, poured in eight second-half points to help the Eagles to a 46-39 win over Rock Bridge in the championship game of the Sullivan Holiday Invitational.
Sullivan captured its own tournament for the first time since 2012.
The Eagles improved to 9-0, their best start since the 2005-2006 team also won its first nine games.
Shetley, who finished with nine points, tallied six points in the final 3 minutes, 27 seconds to hold off Rock Bridge, which had won six in a row after losing its season opener to Class 5 champion Kirkwood.
"They don't hurt right now," Shetley said of her rubs. "But they will in a few minutes."
Shetley will gladly trade the pain for the championship trophy.
"This means a lot to all of us," said Sulivan junior Katie Creek, who led the winners with 12 points.
Mallory Shetley added 11 points. Senior Bria Jones, who recently passed the 1,000-point plateau, added 10 points.
Rock Bridge junior Payton McCallister led all scorers with 24 points.
Creek, who is averaging just five points per game, scored 11 in the first half to help the hosts out to a 22-13 lead.
Rock Bridge, which won four successive state titles from 2011-2014, battled back to within 38-37 on a pair of free throws from McCallister midway through the final period.
Clare Shetley took over from there with a scintillating drive down the lane for a three-point lead.
She hit two foul shots to pump the lead to 43-39 with 23 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
Clare Shetley did not start the game after injuring her ribs on Wednesday. She entered the game in the first quarter and immediately pick up a couple fouls.
But the halftime breather provided her with a shot of energy. The six-footer came out in the final period and took control.
"Second half, I knew I had to pick up my game," Clare Shetley said. "I was feeling pretty good."
Clare Shetley said she was able to ignore the pain once she got into the rhythm of the game.
"It still hurt, but when you're going up and down out there, it's easy to forget about it," she said.
Sullivan used a rock-ribbed defense to take command early. The Eagles forced Rock Bridge to miss 22 of 25 shots in the first half.
"Defense is always what gets it done for us," Jones said.
Sullivan bolted out to a 28-17 lead early in the third period on a pair of free throws from Sophie Sellers, who started in place of Clare Shetley.
Rock Bridge, behind McCallister, battled back late in the period and got to within one on several occasions in the fourth quarter.
But the Bruins could never get the lead.
"We just pushed together and we executed," Creek said. "I felt confident and we came out and executed."