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Cold shooting dooms Darrington girls against La Conner
After a dominating first quarter that saw the Darrington Loggers girls basketball team hold the La Conner Braves to a mere two points it appeared that Darrington would have an easy go of things winning their league matchup.
Their tight man-to-man pressure bothered the Braves full court and when Darrington dropped into a zone La Conner struggled to shoot over them. But when Randi and Haley Wales got into foul trouble for the Loggers the roof caved in on the team and they found themselves on the short end of a 36-30 loss.
The Jan. 18 game at the Darrington Community Center was a clash between two top tier teams in the Cascade conference, with the visiting team walking away with a hard-fought victory.
In the first quarter Darrington made their living from the charity stripe, scoring five of their first seven points on free throws. Jordan Corley got their first, getting hacked on an offensive rebound to give Darrington their first lead 2-0. Kimi Woodward then sank one of two from the line after getting fouled shooting from the left wing. Haley Wales made a hustle play down low, following a Corley miss with an offensive rebound and putback to give Darrington a 5-2 edge. Corley then found a wide-open Randi Wales on a backdoor cut. Wales got hit going up with the ball and made two free throws to complete the scoring in the quarter.
Darrington continued to look good in the second period behind the strong play from Corley. The crafty senior knocked in a 12-foot bank shot three minutes in to put Darrington ahead 9-7. Woodward then followed her own miss with a made lay-up to give the Loggers a four point lead. A steal by Haley Wales resulted in a dribble drive and foul from the Braves, who had yet to figure out the Darrington press. Wales converted one free throw for a 12-9 advantage. At halftime Darrington led 15-14 but La Conner showed they could hang around and make things difficult on the young Loggers.
The third quarter was not kind to Darrington as they watched their lead disintegrate. The Loggers got plenty of good shots on the offensive end but could not get anything to go down as they watched the Braves begin to hit from outside. Both Wales twins picked up their fourth fouls in the third quarter, forcing Coach Ben Bryson to go to his bench for some relief. But the Logger attack was grounded and La Conner shot ahead to lead 25-19 after three quarters.
In the fourth Corley got Darrington going again with a bank shot to pull them within four. With two minutes gone in the quarter the Wales twins remained glued to the bench, watching La Conner pull away. With 4:46 remaining the two were re-inserted into the lineup and immediately made an impact. Haley cleaned up an offensive rebound to pull Darrington within 27-23. La Conner then hit a back-breaking shot as the shot clock expired following a well defended possession. Darrington could get no closer than six the rest of the way and lost 36-30.
The home games are so important, said Coach Bryson following the game. To lose this one means we have to go on the road and get a couple back. Tonight wasnt our night, we missed a lot of shots around the basket and had some bad foul trouble. We didnt rotate onto their shooters in the second half. Its going to take some senior leadership to turn things around for us. Were counting on the senior girls to really step up down the stretch.