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Late 120 run lifts IowaGrant girls over Darlington
IowaGrant senior Taylor Jackson (left) hounds Darlingtons Mariah Wiegel. Jackson was glued to Wiegel all night and held the Redbirds second-leading scorer to just six points.

      DARLINGTON — Iowa–Grant girls’ basketball coach Craig Jenkins had a very specific goal of wanting to finish in the upper half of the Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League this year.

     After back-to-back conference wins over Southwestern and Darlington last week, Jenkins Panthers are tied for fourth place in the eight-team league and just a game back of third-place Riverdale.

     The Panthers (5–11, 4–5 SWAL) have now won four of their last seven games, including three of five in conference play, after starting the season just 1–8.

     Iowa–Grant has turned things around offensively, averaging 49.2 points per game over the last seven contest after averaging just 37.0 points per game in the first nine.

     The Panthers used a late 12–0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters to pull out a 50–42 win on Friday night avenging an earlier loss to Darlington on Dec. 16.

     I–G trailed by as much as five points in the first half, before trimming the Redbirds (4–12, 3–6) lead to one at halftime, 22–21.

     The lead changed hands on the first four possessions of second half, but Darlington clung to a one-point led late in the third quarter until junior Haley Yelinek hit a 3-pointer to give Iowa–Grant a 31–29 edge. It was I–G’s first and only long ball of game. The Panthers missed their first 10 3-point tries of the night.

     After scoring the last five points of the third quarter, Iowa–Grant added the first seven points of fourth to take a 38–29 lead on senior Kylie Moneypenny’s 3-point play with 6:42 remaining.

     Darlington got back within six at 43–37 after a 3-point play by Callie Norton with 1:20 to play, but I–G went 5 of 8 at foul line over final 1:03 to seal victory.

     The Panthers went 7 of 12 at line in final eights minutes after shooting just 4 of 10 at line in first three quarters.

     Moneypenny scored five points each of the final two quarter and finished with a team-high 13 points. Fellow senior Taylor Jackson scored six point of her nine points in the fourth quarter and also held Darlington’s second-leading scorer Mariah Wiegel to just six points on back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter.

     I–G dominated the offensive glass, especially in the first half, getting two, three and sometimes four shots per possession.

     Last Tuesday night, Iowa–Grant outscored visiting Southwestern 27–21 in the second-half to rally for a 51–49 victory.

     Jackson scored a team-high 14 points to lead the Panthers, while Moneypenny and sophomore Emma Liddicoat scored 10 points each in the win.

     Niki Berning scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Wildcats (3–13, 2–5) in defeat.

     After Tuesday’s non-conference game at Dodgeville, Iowa–Grant will host league-leading and undefeated Cuba City Thursday night.

Iowa–Grant 51, Southwestern 49
(from Tuesday, Jan. 27 @ Livingston)

Southwestern  14    14    10    11    —  49
Iowa–Grant         5    19    14    13    —  51
Southwestern (3–13, 2–5) — Niki Berning 21, Kenzie Burkholder 3, Amber Brand 8, Michelle Budden 8, Miranda Kemp 3, Becca Pearce 2, Jalyn Kephart 3. Totals — 17 5-10 49.
Iowa–Grant (4–11, 3–5) — Kylie Moneypenny 10, Mariah Ginter 2, Jordyn Grimm 3, Hailey Roth 4, Emma Liddicoat 10, Haley Yelinek 8, Taylor Jackson 14. Totals — 21 2-4 51.
3-point goals — S: 6 (Berning 4, Burkholder 1, Brand 1); IG: 7 (Jackson 4, Liddicoat 1, Yelinek 2). Team fouls — S: 8, IG: 9. Fouled out — none.

Iowa–Grant 50, Darlington 42
(from Tuesday, Jan. 30 @ Livingston)

Iowa–Grant    7    14    10    19    —  50
Darlington    10    12      7    13    —  42
Iowa–Grant (5–11, 4–5) — Carly Richards 2, Kylie Moneypenny 13, Mariah Ginter 3, Jordyn Grimm 2, Hailey Roth 4, Emma Liddicoat 8, Haley Yelinek 5, Taylor Jackson 9. Totals — 18 11-22 50.
Darlington (4–12, 3–6) — Callie Norton 8, Sadie Fitzsimons 2, Taryn Rankin 12, Mariah Wiegel 6, Kennedy Rankin 2, Taylor Cox 8, Taylor Jacobson 2. Totals – 15  6-13  42.
3-point goals — IG: 1 (Yelinek 1); D: 2 (Wiegel 2). Team fouls — IG: n/a, D: n/a. Fouled out — none.