YAKIMA -- The Connell girls basketball team knew all about Seattle Christian post Katie Collier, a Division I recruit almost certainly headed to the Pac-10 after she graduates in 2012.
Collier, a 6-foot-2 junior, made an impression on the Eagles at last year's state tournament, scoring 15 points in a first-round loss to the Eagles.
In a quarterfinal loss to La Salle on Thursday, Collier did everything but drive the team bus, scoring 30 of the Warriors' 40 points.
But Connell had a solid defensive plan to contain the lanky post in a 54-28 win over Seattle Christian on Friday at the SunDome, double-teaming her on defense and attacking her on offense.
Collier had 15 points at the half, and Seattle Christian trailed by just two points at 24-22. But the scrappy Eagles shut her out in the second half before watching her and the team self-destruct.
The Warriors shot poorly in the first half at 26 percent (6-for-23) but were a disastrous 12 percent (2-of-17) in the second half, accounting for just six points over the final 16 minutes.
"We basically guarded Collier at all times with two players (Maci Whitby and Brooke Gibbons). We didn't adjust anything at halftime. We just continued to do the same thing, but better," said Connell coach Dan Colby. "Our defense picked up, and when we play great defense we tend to get better on offense.
Megan Booker was at her sharp-shooting best for the Eagles, hitting 4 of 7 from 3-point range for a team-high 14 points. Whitby and Kayla Bjorge combined for five more treys and 21 points.
"This is what we've been working for all season. We're determined to place higher than we did last year," said Booker, a key reserve on last year's squad that finished sixth after reaching the semifinals. "
With 5:38 left in the fourth quarter and the Eagles in full control at 40-26, Collier swung a high elbow that caught Gibbons in the jaw, drawing her fifth foul and ending her day.
Connell (20-7) will face SCAC rival Granger in today's fourth-sixth place game at 8 a.m.
CONNELL -- C.Riner 2, Bjorge 11, Gibbons 4, Whitby 10, Withers, Easterday 5, Megan Booker 14, Hawkins 3, Schultz 5, Stredwick. Totals 19-64 7-12 54.
SEATTLE CHRISTIAN -- Harris, Shelton 3, Jansen 5, Gleason 1, Collier 15, Ronish, Johnson 4, Sasaki, Kaler, Terhune, Petersen, Corliss, Mumm. Totals 8-40 12-18 28.
Connell 12 12 11 19 -- 54
Seattle Christian 10 12 2 4 -- 28
Highlights--Rebounds: C 46 (Schultz 7), SC 40 (Shelton 8, Gleason 8); 3-pointers: C 9x25 (Booker 4, Bjorge 3), SC 0x6; Turnovers: C 12, SC 25; Steals: C 13 (Bjorge 4), SC 4 (Collier, Johnson, Shelton, Harris); Assists: C 12 (Bjorge 4), SC 6 (Shelton 3); Collier 3 blocks.