HOWE — When Collinsville was clinging to a one-point lead with 1:53 left, there were three straight opportunities for the Pirates to suddenly find themselves trailing for the first time since the early stages of the second quarter.

HOWE — When Collinsville was clinging to a one-point lead with 1:53 left, there were three straight opportunities for the Pirates to suddenly find themselves trailing for the first time since the early stages of the second quarter.


Each of the ensuing Blue Ridge possessions, however, ended in turnovers.


"I wasn’t too comfortable throughout the game," Collinsville head coach Danny Bates said. "They had to battle in and out throughout the game."


The late defense, combined with the hot shooting of John Lewis, who made five 3-pointers in the second quarter on the way to 26 points, sent the Pirates to a 63-55 victory over the Tigers in a Class 1A Division I Region II quarterfinal on Tuesday night.


The Pirates (18-7) will face Olney in a region semifinal at 1 p.m. on Friday at Abilene Christian University. It is the first regional tournament appearance for Collinsville since 2003, when the Pirates made it that far before losing to eventual champion Tenaha.


"Last year I think our goal was to make the playoffs and we even won our first game," Bates said. "This year we thought we could do better. And they showed it."


Despite leading almost the entire game, including holding a seven-point advantage with just over three minutes left, Collinsville had to sweat out the ending. The Tigers, who were down 11 at the break, pulled within a possession six times in the fourth quarter but were never able to get even or take the lead.


"I thought they did well battling back. You can see where the experience overcame the youth," Blue Ridge head coach Jason Wilson said. "It’s just where the youth kinda caught up with us."


Brevin Wiggins had 17 points and eight rebounds and Thomas Weatherford totaled 11 points and 16 rebounds for Blue Ridge (23-7), which was also trying to end a 11-year drought since its last region tournament appearance. Before this season the Tigers, who graduate only one senior, hadn’t won a playoff game since 2006 but went undefeated during the second half of district play to snag second place in 15-A (I) and surge into the postseason.


"We’ve had to overcome some bad habits. We were learning how to win," Wilson said. "I think we’ve accomplished that this year. Hopefully this experience will help them next season."Collinsville took advantage of 12 first-half turnovers by the Tigers and turned a one-point lead after the first quarter into a 31-20 margin at halftime. Lewis led the charge in the second quarter, making all of his 3-pointers in scoring 17 of the Pirates’ 20 points in the frame.


"John’s a very confident kid," Bates said. "He knows when he has the hot hand to shoot it."


Blue Ridge took its only lead when Harrison Martin scored to start the second quarter. Lewis connected from deep and Brody Worth, who had 13 points, banked in a shot. Then Lewis hit three 3-pointers as part of an 11-0 run.


"We turned the ball over too many times in the first half," Wilson said. "You can’t give shooters extra opportunities to shoot."


The Pirates struggled on offense in the third quarter and quickly saw their double-digit lead evaporate, never going ahead by more than eight the rest of the way. Wiggins scored twice underneath and Worth and Weatherford had three-point plays as the Tigers reeled off a 10-1 run in a four-minute span.


"We came out and took some quick shots. Didn’t have a chance to get those second-chance points," Bates said. "That’s something we needed to fix."


Tanner Petska had six of his eight points to in the frame to keep Collinsville ahead and the Pirates took a 42-38 lead to the final eight minutes.


It was another Petska putback with 5:16 remaining for the first basket of the fourth quarter after Blue Ridge got to within two. Lewis had a steal and layin to give Collinsville a 54-47 lead with 2:53 left but Martin made a jumper, Worth hit two free throws and then Agan came up with a steal off a half-court trap for an easy lay-in with 1:53 left to cut it to a 54-53 margin.


The Tigers came up with a steal but gave it right back. Daley then missed the front end of a one-and-one at the line but the ball went out of bounds off Blue Ridge. The Tigers came up with the ball with yet another chance to take the lead but Agan got caught in the air on a pick-and-roll and hit Wiggins in the back and the Pirates corralled the loose ball.


Daley made a 3-pointer from the left corner and Agan missed a free throw in a one-and-one situation before Collinsville was able to salt the victory away with a pair of Daley free throws with 18 seconds left.