They were simply red-hot.
The Class 1A, No. 7 Lady Panthers nailed eight treys in the first half and finished with 11 in the game, helping Spring Garden sink Area 10 rival Collinsville 54-48.
"We seem to be doing a pretty good job of finding somebody that's got the hot hand," Spring Garden coach Ricky Austin said. "We're starting to understand that part of our game. Auburn (Kirk) made some big ones early to get us going. Madison (Sides) made a couple early. Darian (Gaines) made a few in a big stretch for us. We're going to have to count on that some (this season). When they're falling, you've got to use it."
The home team's outside shooting proved to be just enough.
Spring Garden's first five buckets of the game came from beyond the arc, but Collinsville (6-2, 1-1) was able to withstand the barrage and trail only by a 17-14 margin at the end of the first quarter.
Spring Garden (5-3, 1-0) connected on three more treys in the second quarter - all by Kirk - but Collinsville managed to withstand the storm and take a 32-26 lead at halftime.
Spring Garden regained the lead with 1:51 left in the third quarter on their ninth 3-pointer of the game - this one from senior forward Tori Pierce. Pierce's trey gave the home team a 37-34 advantage, a lead they wouldn't relinquish again.
"The shot the ball well in their gym," Collinsville coach Jon Tidmore said. "They did what they needed to do. They found a mismatch when they subbed. They had our big girl guarding a guard, and we couldn't get out there to them."
Collinsville center Savannah Boyles led all scorers with 18 points. Christy Cox contributed 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers herself. Kiana Ford netted six points and Hanna Hornbuckle finished with five points.
Kirk led Spring Garden with 16 points. Gaines contributed 12 points - all on 3-pointers. Sides added nine points, four steals and a pair of assists. Pierce posted seven points and 10 rebounds. Haley Motes finished with seven points and seven boards.
"Coach Tidmore does a great job of having his girls prepared. They probably played well enough to win," Austin said. "We just so happened to have the ball in our hands at some crucial times and made some plays. That game could have gone either way. We've got to find a way to distance ourselves from them in another way by just outscoring them. I know that sounds crazy, but we've got to find another way. We've got to find another way and become a defensive-stop team to be able to distance ourselves from people than what we were tonight."
Collinsville boys 56, Spring Garden boys 46
SPRING GARDEN - Class 1A, No. 4 Collinsville jumped out to an 18-6 advantage in the first quarter and didn't look back in earning a 56-46 victory at Spring Garden on Friday.
Deshawn Moore led the charge for Collinsville (4-1, 2-0). He posted a game-high 24 points (18 in the second half) and grabbed seven rebounds.
"Deshawn has been sick for two days, but he's such a gritty kid. He just plays so hard," Collinsville coach Jon Tidmore said. "I thought he was big in the second half. He kind of slowed down finally and his offense came to him."
Collinsville was able to maintain the lead throughout the game. It led 28-19 at halftime and 41-27 at the end of the third quarter.
Spring Garden (3-2, 0-1) managed to make a late run, but it came too late.
"We're tired of playing catch-up," Spring Garden coach Ricky Austin said. "It's like that every game. You're not going to win many of those. Collinsville does a good job of protecting the ball, and we missed so many easy shots. I thought that set the tone that we weren't ready to play. I'm disappointed in our overall team performance, but I was real proud of Will Ivey and Jake Grogan. I thought they played as good as they could play to not have a lot of help tonight with their teammates turning the ball over and making bad decisions on defense."
Josh Hale led Spring Garden in scoring with 12 points. Ivey and Logan Whorton both had 11 points. Grogan finished with 10 points.
Collinsville got a 13-point performance from Davey Posey. David Hernandez had eight points and eight rebounds. C.J. Jones came away with five points and Brady Osborn finished with four points and six boards.
"Give credit to Collinsville. They forced the rest of us to play bad, and they deserved to win," Austin said. "They really whipped us. It seemed like it was more than a 10-point game. If it hadn't have been for Jake Grogan and Will Ivey, it would have been."