DARLINGTON – When the Cuba City Cubans found themselves down by five points with five minutes to play, they didn’t panic. Instead, the Cubans found ways to get to the free throw line– again and again.
Cuba City went 11-for-13 from the foul line during a 15-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead with two minutes remaining and they went on to defeat the host Darlington Redbirds, 57-47, in a SWAL girls’ basketball game at DHS on Friday, Dec. 2.
The Lady Cubans (1-1 overall, 1-0 SWAL) finished 24-for-34 at the foul line in the second half and went 30-for-44 in the game to knock off the previously unbeaten Redbirds (4-1, 0-1).
“Losing a conference opener, especially at home, is always difficult. Cuba City is a young, athletic team. They put on the pressure, and we made too many mistakes. We will be able to learn from this one in order to prepare for upcoming competitive teams,” said Darlington head coach Kelly Rose.
After the Redbirds took a 42-37 lead on a free throw by junior Kennedy Rankin with 5:13 to play, the Cubans turned up the intensity and found a way to rally. A three-point play by sophomore Elizabeth Misky brought the guests back within two and freshman Kiera Holzemer poured in eight unanswered points, including a 6-for-6 effort from the foul line, to put the Cubans up 48-42 with 4:03 remaining.
Coach Jeff Pustina’s crew connected on 9-of-16 free throws over the next three minutes, 24 seconds to secure the victory.
Senior Morgan Vosberg scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the first half to lead the Cubans out to a 22-21 halftime lead. The teams traded the lead 11 times in the first half.
Holzemer tallied 12 of her 16 points at the foul line, while Misky and sophomore Megan Hartl added eight points apiece after connecting on six foul shots each.
Sophomore Kaylee Meyers scored nine of her team-high 13 points in the first half to lead the Redbirds. K. Rankin followed with nine points, while seniors Sadie Fitzsimons and Taryn Rankin scored five points along with sophomore Kathleen Mathias.
At Dodgeville, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, Taryn Rankin scored 21 points and Bethany McDonald netted 16 points to counter a 37-point effort by Dodgeville’s Hannah Jones and help the Lady Redbirds defeat the host Dodgers, 62-53, on Wiegel Strong Night.
Darlington jumped ahead 32-22 in the first half and put up 30 points in the second half to secure their fourth straight victory to open the season.
T. Rankin had a big night all-around adding 18 rebounds to record a double-double along with nine steals and three assists for the ‘Birds, who out-rebounded the Dodgers, 41-33, and also posted more assists, 15-7, and steals, 31-20, than the hosts.
Sadie Fitzsimons dropped in eight points, while Kennedy Rankin and Kaylee Meyers added five apiece for the ‘Birds.
“The Dodgeville game was a character builder. The momentum of the game swung back and forth, as any game can, and we were blessed enough to come out of it with a win. I was very impressed with Jones’ ability to take over a game if necessary,” stated Coach Kelly Rose. “Moreover, I’m thankful for the efforts to make the Dodgeville-Darlington game a “Wiegel Strong Night”. I hope we can continue to honor Luke’s memory through events and fundraising opportunities.”
Darlington heads to Hazel Green to face Southwestern in a SWAL game on Thursday, Dec. 8.
Cuba City…. 22 35 – 57
Darlington… 21 26 – 47
Cuba City – Morgan Vosberg 17, Elizabeth Misky 8, Megan Hartl 9, Parker Kopp 2, Courtney Busch 4, Kiera Holzemer 16, Jadyn Reese 1. Totals – 12 30-44 57.
Darlington – Callie Norton 2, Sadie Fitzsimons 5, Bethany McDonald 4, Kathleen Mathias 5, Taryn Rankin 5, Meghan Douglas 4, Kennedy Rankin 9, Kaylee Meyers 13. Totals – 17 10-15 47.
3-point goals– CC 3 (Vosberg 3), D 3 (Fitzsimons 1, Meyers 2). Total fouls– CC 16, D 20.
Darlington… 32 30 – 62
Dodgeville… 22 31 – 53
Darlington – Sadie Fitzsimons 8, Bethany McDonald 16, Kathleen Mathias 7, Taryn Rankin 21, Kennedy Rankin 5, Kaylee Meyers 5. Totals – 0 0-0 62.
Dodgeville – jabs 7, Jones 37, Argall 3, Miller 1, Rhyner 5. Totals – 0 0-0 53.
3-point goals– DA 4 (Fitzsimons 1, McDonald 1, Meyers 1), DO 3 (Jones 3). Total fouls– DA 20+, DO 17.