St. Edward found Coal City's unblemished record to be no fluke Monday night in the championship game of the Lisle Holiday Cage Classic.
Using a tenacious defense and fourth-quarter sharpshooting from the foul line, the Coalers pulled away for a 52-44 victory to go 15-0 on the season.
"They're a great team, they're upperclassmen," St. Edward coach Michelle Dawson said. "They're a fun team to watch and have got a lot of different weapons. And their shooting was lights out tonight."
The Coalers hit 17-of-30 from the field (57 percent) while the Green Wave was completely cold. St. Edward missed all 14 three-pointers it took and for the night made 33 percent (18 of 54) from the field.
"It just wasn't falling for us tonight," said St. Edward senior Katie Swanson, who had 12 points and made the all-tournament team. "We had the right shots, we were getting open looks. It just wasn't rolling our way."
Coal City never trailed after Makenna Emerson made a three-pointer and Carly Pavlis a shot from the side at the end of the first quarter for a 15-10 lead. The Coalers got three three-pointers from Nicole Borgetti and pulled out to a nine-point lead before protecting it down the stretch with six fourth-quarter free throws from scoring leader and tourney MVP Emily Halliday, who had 16 points, and six fourth-quarter free throws by Britta Spelde, who had 12 points.
"(Halliday) has been doing exactly the same thing since her freshman year," coach Brad Schmitt said. "She's a steady player. She's going to get a number of points a number of different ways. I think that's why she's so tough to guard.
"She showed that again tonight. She got to the free throw line and scored in transition and scored in the half-court sets."
St. Edward (10-5) never got closer than four in the fourth quarter and Coal City pushed it back to a comfortable margin with two Spelde free throws and a bucket by Halliday.
Clarissa Ramos led the Green Wave with 15 points and Madelyn Spagnola added 12. The Green Wave beat Antioch 51-50 to make the finals.
"I just thought we struggled putting the ball in basket tonight," said Dawson, whose team will be without starting 6-foot-3 center CeCe Rapp for about another month because of a broken collarbone sustained in a car accident. "I thought our defensive effort was still really good, our hustle. I never really felt we were out of the game.
"The ball just didn't bounce our way."