DARLINGTON – Every coach wants to see their team start off strong, but few coaches will ever get to witness a start like Darlington’s Michael Chambers did on Friday.
Chambers’ Redbirds had it working on each end of the court, holding Southwestern scoreless for the first 10 minutes of play and scoring the game’s first 27 points en route to a 57-27 drubbing of the visiting Wildcats in SWAL girls’ basketball action at DHS on Jan. 27.
Darlington (9-6 overall, 6-2 in SWAL) forced 10 turnovers on the defensive end of the court in the first quarter and converted many of those takeaways to quick points on the other end of the floor as their transition game allowed them to build up an eye-popping 25-0 lead by the end of the opening stanza.
Senior point guard Amy Jorgenson got the Redbirds rolling with a 3-pointer to start the game and she added three layups and two more baskets in the first quarter to account for 13 of her game-high 16 points.
A basket by junior forward Claire Scott to start the second quarter put the Redbirds ahead 27-0 before Southwestern’s Abby Kunkel finally put her team on the scoreboard with a 3-pointer at the 5:43 mark.
The ‘Birds outscored the Wildcats (6-9, 3-5) the rest of the period, 13-4, to build up a 40-7 halftime advantage, and Coach Chambers’ crew put it in cruise control the rest of the night.
Scott finished with 15 points and Cassidy Chambers chipped in with 11 points for the Redbirds, while Kunkel led the way with 10 points for the Wildcats followed by Katelyn Hoppman with nine points.
At Darlington, on Tuesday, Jan. 24, Platteville made the most of their numerous trips to the free throw line by converting 21 of their 37 foul shots to sink the Lady Redbirds, 65-58, in a non-conference affair.
The teams combined for 51 fouls and 63 free throws on the night with the Lady Hillmen using a 21 to 13 advantage at the stripe to earn the win.
Amy Jorgenson finished with 19 points for the Redbirds, while Cassidy Chambers and Claire Scott each added 16 points for the hosts. Elissa Bilderbach’s 17 points and Julie Lawinger’s 16 led Platteville (8-5) on the night.
Darlington has a key SWAL meeting in Cuba City on Thursday, Feb. 2, and the Lady Redbirds return home to face Benton/Shullsburg in a non-conference affair on Monday, Feb. 6.
Southwestern… 0 7 9 11 - 27
Darlington…….. 25 15 10 7 - 57
Leading Scorers: Amy Jorgenson 16, Claire Scott 15, Cassidy Chambers 11, AnnaLisa Ruesga 5, Abigail Merriam 4, Tatum Evenstad 2, Haily McGowan 2, Mallory Busch 2.
Platteville…. 11 17 13 24 - 65
Darlington… 12 14 10 22 - 58
Leading Scorers: Amy Jorgenson 19, Cassidy Chambers 16, Claire Scott 16, Tatum Evenstad 4, Haily McGowan 1, AnnaLisa Ruesga 1, Kaitlyn Wall 1.