LA CONNER — Early on the defensive strategy of the Darrington girls basketball team was working to perfection, holding league rival La Conner to just 13 points in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Loggers their offense wasn’t as poor shooting held them to nine points.
But in the second half Darrington’s offense exploded and the Loggers beat La Conner 38-27 at La Conner High School on Tuesday night to take over sole possession of first place in the Northwest 1A/2B League.
“We struggled offensively in the first half,” said Darrington head coach Jeff Anderson, “but we talked about our offense at halftime and got more ball movement and got the girls flashing at the right times. It kind of snowballed there for a little while.”
Led by Devan Wilson’s outside shooting, Darrington outscored La Conner 19-4 in the third quarter and hit its final four shots of the quarter to end the quarter on a 9-0 run that opened up an 11-point lead that wouldn’t be threatened from that point on. Wilson had three 3-pointers in the quarter and finished with 10 points.
“It was a confidence thing,” Anderson said. “Once we started knocking down some shots they started believing.”
The first time the two teams met La Conner won handily, beating Darrington 49-27 on its home court. In that meeting La Conner post Anna Cook had 21 points and dominated the paint. So Anderson decided to play a sagging zone defense that bunched defenders around Cook at the top of the key and dared Braves’ shooters to beat them deep.
They couldn’t and the Loggers’ plan worked. La Conner shot 9-of-44 (20 percent) from the floor and turned the ball over 21 times.
“Tonight we zoned up on them and our idea was to make them beat us from the outside first,” Anderson said. “They did get some open looks but they didn’t knock anything down so we didn’t stray away from our game plan.”
In a fortuitous turn of events for Darrington, Tuesday’s game is the only game that counts in the league standings and gives the Loggers a 11/2 gmae lead on La Conner and Orcas Island in the standings.
At La Conner H.S.
Darrington 4 5 19 10 — 38
La Conner 5 8 4 10 — 27
Darrington—Railynn Ford 0, Casandra Cousins 2, Riley Anderson 0, Devan Wilson 10, Baleigh Rumsey 5, Amy Miles 6, Monica Franke 10, Madison Schoneman 0, Jordyn Stafford 4. La Conner—Katie Novak 3, Nakiya Edwards 6, Nicole Henriksen 0, Heather Henriksen 0, Lauren Reynolds 0, Siomi Bobb 0, Anna Cook 8, Katie McKnight 4, Aubrey Stewart 5, Ashley Watkins 0. 3-point goals—Edwards 2, Novak, Wilson 3, Rumsey. Records—Darrington 4-0 league, 9-4 overall. La Conner 2-1, 11-4.