DARLINGTON – Darlington center Claire Scott matched her season-high with 18 points and pulled down 19 rebounds to lead the Lady Redbirds over Benton/Shullsburg, 60-39, in a non-conference girls’ basketball game at DHS on Monday, Feb. 6.
The game was tied at 2-2 early on until Scott knocked down back-to-back baskets to kick off a 16-0 scoring run by the Redbirds (10-7 overall). Guards Amy Jorgenson and Cassidy Chambers added 3-pointers during the run, while AnnaLisa Ruesga and Haily McGowan scored putbacks off offensive rebounds as the ‘Birds flew out to an 18-2 advantage.
The Zephyr-Miners (8-8) charged back with an 11-2 run of their own at the start of the second quarter to slice the deficit down to 22-16 midway through the period, but they would get no closer as Scott, Jorgenson and Chambers combined for eight unanswered points to put the Redbirds back on top by double digits.
Benton/Shullsburg trimmed the gap back to nine by halftime by scoring the last five points of the first half, however the ‘Birds fired out of the gates in the third quarter outscoring their guests 19-7 in the stanza to open up a 21-point lead.
“When we come out in attack mode and are able to finish, we are pretty tough. That was the first and third quarters last night. We still have to find a way to make teams play the way we want them to play on a more consistent basis,” stated Darlington head coach Michael Chambers.
Chambers finished with 18 points, four assists and three steals and Jorgenson added 11 points, four steals and three assists to fuel Darlington’s offensive attack.
Ruesga chipped in with six points for the Redbirds, who shot just 34 percent from the field on the night (19-for-57 on 2-pointers and 4-of-11 on 3-pointers) but got off 68 shots in the game thanks to 20 offensive rebounds.
The ‘Birds also shot 10-for-12 at the foul line on the night.
Junior guard Blaire Lutes scored eight of her team-high 14 points in the second quarter in an attempt to bring the Zephyr-Miners back from a huge early deficit. Sarah Redfearn added seven points for the guests, while Emma Neis and Alyssa Leeser chipped in with a season-high seven points apiece for the co-op.
Benton/Shullsburg shot just 33 percent from the field (15-for-46) and 49 percent from the line (7-for-15), while turning the ball over 20 times and getting out-rebounded all game by the ‘Birds.
“I believe our mental approach to this game wasn’t where we needed it to be. We had an awful lot of uncharacteristic turnovers tonight. In addition, we did not box out well at all. Claire Scott dominated the offensive glass tonight,” noted Benton/Shullsburg head coach Nathan Russell.
Darlington returns to action on Friday, Feb. 10, when they host the SWAL-leading Fennimore Golden Eagles.
At Shullsburg, on Friday, Feb. 3, junior point guard Blaire Lutes scored eight of her game-high 19 points in overtime to lead the Zephyrs-Miners (2-3 in SRW) to a thrilling 52-43 Six Rivers West victory over Highland (11-4, 2-3).
Trailing by five at the half, the hosts chipped away at the Cardinals’ lead until tying the score at 37 all on a 3-pointer by Stephanie Roberts with less than two minutes to play.
Highland held the ball for a final shot only to have Sarah Redfearn block Leigh Drury’s game-winning attempt to force overtime.
Benton/Shullsburg took an early lead in OT at the foul line, and Lutes followed with eight consecutive points to give the hosts a commanding lead.
Haley Morrissey went 6-for-8 from the foul line on the way to a 14-point night for the Zephyr-Miners, while Lutes had four rebounds, three assists and two steals to go along with her 19 points.
Redfearn finished with nine blocked shots, seven rebounds, four points, three steals and two assists; and Molly Blackbourn added seven boards, five points and three blocks.
B/S also got four points and four assists from Roberts and four points and seven rebounds from Emma Neis.
Taylor Wienkes led three Cardinals in double figures with 14 points, while Amber Yager scored 13 and Drury added 11 for the guests.
Benton/Shullsburg hosts Belmont in SRW game at Benton on Thursday, Feb. 9, and they also host Southwestern in non-conference action at BHS on Monday, Feb. 13.
Bent/Shulls… 5 16 7 11 - 39
Darlington..… 20 10 19 11 - 60
Leading Scorers: Benton/Shullsburg– Blaire Lutes 14, Alyssa Leeser 7, Emma Neis 7, Sarah Redfearn 7, Molly Blackbourn 4. Darlington– Claire Scott 18, Cassidy Chambers 18, Amy Jorgenson 11, AnnaLisa Ruesga 6, Haily McGowan 2, Abigail Merriam 2, Kaitlyn Wall 2, Mallory Busch 1.
Highland….… 11 11 9 6 6 - 43
Bent/Shulls… 10 7 11 9 15 - 52
Leading Scorers: Blaire Lutes 19, Haley Morrissey 14, Sarah Redfearn 4, Molly Blackbourn 5, Emma Neis 4, Stephanie Roberts 4, Alyssa Leeser 2.