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Lady Redbirds conquer Glarner Knights in opener
DARLINGTON GUARD Kaylee Meyers (#41) drives through a group of New Glarus defenders for two of her team-high 16 points in the Redbirds 81-69 victory.

    DARLINGTON — Five players scored in double figures to lead the Darlington Redbirds over New Glarus, 81-69, in a non-conference prep girls’ basketball season opener at DHS on Friday, Nov. 17.
    The Redbirds (1-0 overall) held a 51-30 lead at the half and led by as many as 28 in the second half until a 30-11 scoring run by the Glarner Knights (0-1) in the second half cut the deficit back to single digits before the ‘Birds pulled away late.
    “It was a very good game. There were a lot of points on the scoreboard tonight,” said Darlington head coach Kelly Rose. “It was a bit stressful towards the end. Kudos to them, they really stepped it up in the second half.”
    Darlington poured in the game’s first 14 points and had eight different players score on the way to opening up a 37-13 advantage with 6:30 remaining in the first half. The ‘Birds led by 21 at the intermission.
    Three-pointers by Kathleen Mathias and Chelsie Golackson (two) extended Darlington’s lead to 62-34 early in the second half, however the Knights refused to go down without a fight.
    New Glarus trimmed a 28-point deficit down to 18 with 10 minutes remaining, and then cut it down to nine at 73-64 on a basket by Willow Lee with 4:01 to play.
    “We kind of hit a lull for a little bit and got into foul trouble. We got some work to do,” remarked Rose.
    The Knights were still within nine and at the foul line with just over a minute to go. After the Knights missed a pair of free throws, the ‘Birds used a basket by Marissa Gould and a pair of free throws by Golackson to go back on top by double digits and they held on for an 81-69 victory.
    Junior guard Kaylee Meyers scored 11 of her team-high 16 points in the opening half and senior forward Kennedy Rankin added all 12 of her points in that half as well for the Redbirds, who sank eight 3-pointers and went 15-of-16 from the free throw line in the game.
    Golackson, a senior, scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half. Mathias, a junior, and junior guard Bethany McDonald netted 11 apiece, while fellow juniors Casey Glendenning and Reghan Crist came off the bench for six each for the ‘Birds.
    “We have a good, solid group of returning players with three starters back and a lot of girls who played a lot last year. We have a deep bench, so now we have to figure out how to work everybody in,” Rose stated.
    Lee scored 16 of her game-high 28 points in the first half to keep the Knights in the game early, while Julia Barnaby scored 19 of her 21 points in the second half to guide the guests’ late rally. NG sank only one 3 and shot just 14-of-26 from the foul line.
    Darlington will host Platteville (0-1) in a non-conference game on Monday, Nov. 27, starting at 7:30 p.m.

New Glarus… 30   39 – 69
Darlington….. 51   30 – 81
    New Glarus – Hustad 2, Watrud 1, Wieser 1, Benson 13, Lee 28, Himmelmann 3, Barnaby 21. Totals – 27  14-26  69.
    Darlington – Bethany McDonald 11, Meghan Douglas 4, Casey Glendenning 6, Kathleen Mathias 11, Reghan Crist 6, Marissa Gould 2, Chelsie Golackson 13, Kennedy Rankin 12, Kaylee Meyers 16. Totals – 29  15-16  81.
    3-point goals– NG 1 (Benson 1), D 8 (McDonald 1, Mathias 1, Golackson 3, Rankin 2, Meyers 1). Total fouls– NG 14, D 21. Fouled out– D Rankin, Mathias.