Shorthanded Silverado thrives with 3-point flurry by Collins

Missing two injured starters, Silverado girls basketball coach Kelli Mathews was hoping someone would fill the void.

Senior guard Shea Collins gladly handled the job Thursday night.

Collins made four 3-pointers in the first half and finished with a game-high 21 points to carry the Skyhawks to a 61-46 road victory over Desert Pines.

Silverado was without injured Alena Evans and Kaitlin Keathley.

“I’m really proud of Shea because she has hung in through a slump,” said Mathews, whose team had six 3-pointers. “She looked really strong, and that’s one of the key reasons why we won.”

Natalie Lainhart also posted 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Skyhawks, and Diamond Wright supplied 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Collins’ contributions helped Silverado build momentum. She nailed three consecutive 3-pointers in the final three minutes of the first quarter as Silverado took a 17-7 lead. After Desert Pines rallied to within 30-27, Collins beat the halftime buzzer with a 25-foot 3-pointer.

“I realized I was going to have a good night when I hit that shot,” she said. “Right then I knew.”

The Skyhawks’ defense triggered their offense, forcing turnovers and wild shots. Silverado had a 41-29 rebound edge.

“Our defense and transition game were much improved,” Mathews said. “We worked on that a lot yesterday. The girls used those drills and put them into the game tonight.”

Claudia Meneses and LaBrea Walker had 16 points each to lead the Jaguars, who rallied several times in the second half.

The Skyhawks put the game out of reach with an 8-0 run that made it 46-32 at the end of the third quarter, and they added another 8-0 spurt in the fourth. 

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