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Darlington pours it on Dawgs & Cats
Darl BBB McGuire color
DARLINGTON SENIOR Bailey McGuire (#20) battles for a rebound with a pair of Southwestern players during Fridays SWAL boys basketball game in Hazel Green.

    DARLINGTON — The Darlington Redbirds boys’ basketball team poured it on the ‘Dawgs and ‘Cats in SWAL play last week.
    The Redbirds began the week by blasting the Boscobel Bulldogs, 71-44, at home on Tuesday, Feb. 13, and then the ‘Birds ran their winning streak to three games by taking down the Southwestern Wildcats, 59-48, in Hazel Green on Friday, Feb. 16.
    Darlington improved to 14-7 overall on the season and remains in fourth-place in the SWAL at 9-4.
    Freshman Carter Lancaster scored a game-high 17 points and junior Stryker Fitzsimons netted 15 points to carry the Redbirds over the visiting Bulldogs (2-18, 1-12) on Tuesday night.
    The ‘Birds bolted out to a 36-21 halftime lead, and then added another dozen points to their lead in the second by outscoring the ‘Dawgs by a 35-23 margin.
    Senior Tanner Evenstad and junior Matthew Douglas added eight points apiece, and senior Tony Ruesga chipped in with seven points to guide a balanced Darlington attack.
    The duo of Lancaster-and-Fitzsimons were back at it at Southwestern on Friday night, combining for 30 points to lift the ‘Birds over the host Wildcats (10-11, 6-7).
    Lancaster scored nine of his game-high 16 points in the first half to lead Darlington out to a 27-16 halftime lead, while Fitzsimons tallied eight of his 14 points in the second half to hold the ‘Cats at bay.
    Southwestern pulled within eight a couple of times early in the second until Douglas dropped in three consecutive 3-pointers to shoot the Redbirds into a 47-28 lead with 10 minutes remaining. Douglas knocked down four of Darlington’s seven 3s en route to 12 points.
    The Wildcats fought back within nine with two minutes remaining, but the ‘Birds sank enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
    Junior Cayden Splinter was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 12 points. Junior Grant Jochum hit three 3s on his way to nine points, and junior Justin Wilson added eight points for the hosts.
    Darlington closes the regular season hosting Iowa-Grant (6-5, 4-9) in a SWAL finale on Thursday, Feb. 22.
    The WIAA Division 4 tournament is set to begin on Tuesday, Feb. 27. The Redbirds received the #4-seed and will have an opening round bye. The ‘Birds will hosts the winner of the quarterfinal game between #5-seed Cuba City (14-7) and #12-seed Boscobel (2-18) in a regional semifinal affair at DHS on Friday, Feb. 23, starting at 7 p.m.
    The regional semifinal games will be held on Friday, March 2, at 7 p.m., and the regional final games are scheduled for Saturday, March 3, also at 7 p.m.
Boscobel……….. 21   23 – 44
Darlington……… 36   35 – 71
    Boscobel– Wallin 13, Bray 1, Marks 2, Davis 4, Heisz 1, Ward 3, Davidson 5, Miller 5, Martin 4, Knowles 6. Totals – 16  8-16  44.
    Darlington– Kameron Blosch 3, Tanner Evenstad 8, Trae Schilling 2, Cade Murray 2, Tucker Lange 2, Carter Lancaster 17, Bryce Stone 3, Carson Evenstad 2, Stryker Fitzsimons 15, Tony Ruesga 7, Andrew Merriam 2, Matthew Douglas 8. Totals – 25  15-21  71.
    3-point goals– B 4 (Wallin 2, Ward 1, Davidson 1), D 6 (Evenstad 1, Stone 1, Ruesga 2, Douglas 2). Total fouls– B 22, D 15. Fouled out– B: Davis, Miller.

Darlington……….. 27   32 – 59
Southwestern…… 16   32 – 48
    Darlington– Kameron Blosch 5, Tanner Evenstad 2, Trae Schilling 2, Carter Lancaster 16, Bryce Stone 2, Bailey McGuire 2, Stryker Fitzsimons 14, Tony Ruesga 4, Matthew Douglas 12. Totals – 20  12-22  59.
    Southwestern – Schneider 6, Splinter 12, Wilson 8, Jochum 9, Cooper 6, Reiff 5, Stangl 2. Totals – 13  16-22  48.
    3-point goals– D 7 (Blosch 1, Lancaster 1, Ruesga 1, Douglas 4), S 6 (Schneider 2, Splinter 1, Jochum 3). Total fouls– D 19, S 20. Fouled out– S: Schneider, Splinter, Wilson.