DULUTH -- Collins Hill head coach Eric Nathan was admittedly nervous about his team's game on Friday night at Duluth. Historically, the Eagles have struggled in the Joe Marelle Gymnasium, including a loss last year to the Wildcats, but it didn't take long on Friday night for his worries to be put at ease.
Collins Hill guard Devin Mitchell led all players with 27 points as 11 different Eagles scored in their 65-46 win over Duluth. The win pushed Collins Hill's overall record to 6-2, while keeping the Eagles unbeaten in Region 7-AAAAAA at 4-0.
"To me, coming here is scary," Nathan said. "I've been here seven years and I feel we always struggle in this gym. I was very happy with the way we came out and played and we executed the game plan we wanted. Everybody contributed and it was a good win."
Collins Hill opened the game by taking a 16-7 lead in the first quarter. Five different players scored in the period for Collins Hill, but it was Williams who led the way with eight points in the period.
Shamus Goss of Duluth (4-2, 1-2) did all he could to keep Duluth in the game by scoring all seven of Duluth's points in the first and five more in the second as the Wildcats stayed within sight of the Eagles, trailing 31-21 at the half. Goss was the lone offensive threat for Duluth as he led the team with 18 points. Sabion Griffin-Bey finished with eight points, while Bryce Wooten scored seven off the bench.
Trailing by 10 at the break, Collins Hill put a quick end to any Duluth comeback by opening the third with a 10-3 run. Williams again led the way with eight in the period, while Eric Ambrosio and Darius Joell chipped in with four points each. Joell finished the night with 10 points and three rebounds.
"We were competitive in the first half but everything was better in the second half," Nathan said as the Eagles pushed their lead to as high as 20 points in the third. "We never let (Duluth) get back into the game."
Duluth's biggest issue of the night on offense was getting shots to fall, something head coach Eddie Hood was quick to point out after the game.
"We just didn't hit a whole lot of shots," Hood said. "We started 1-for-7 in the first half and were in a dogfight from behind. We've been plagued by slow starts all season and you can't have slow start against a team like Collins Hill. You've got to be able to hit shots in your own gym."
Johncarlos Reyes was the top rebounder for Collins Hill with six to go along with four blocks, while Gregory Blackshear led the Eagles in rebounds with five. Duluth's Romelo Styron was the top assist man in the game with seven.
Duluth 47, Collins Hill 32
Duluth overcame a 7-for-22 night at the free-throw line, thanks in large to a strong night defensively, to pull away for a 47-32 win over the Eagles. Joi Jones led Duluth (4-2, 2-1) with 16 points, while Katie Powell added nine points and four rebounds.
Collins Hill, which was led by 10 points from Julianne Bayer, was never able to find its stroke on offense with 38 turnovers.
The Eagles were within striking distance in the third period, trailing by just five at 23-18, when starting point guard Bre'ana Singleton left the game with an apparent knee injury. After Singleton's departure, Collins Hill (4-4, 1-3) would manage just one field goal in the second half.