WAPELLO, Iowa − The Wilton girls basketball team (8-5, 5-5) finally pieced together a complete performance in a 70-33 road win over Wapello (7-4, 6-3) on Saturday.
The concern entering this season for Wilton coach Jeremy Putman's squad was on the defensive side of the ball, where the Beavers were surrendering 54 points per game through their first eight contests. The concerns, however, shifted to offense heading into break as Wilton scored 54 points or fewer in all but one December game while holding its final two opponents to 39 and 33 points.
"(Our defense) is kind of picking up, but our offense has kind of dropped off," Putman said after the first half of the season ended. "We need to get everything clicking on the same cylinder here."
The roller coaster of inconsistency returned last week when Wilton defeated West Liberty 75-43 but then fell 83-74 against Monticello three nights later.
The Beavers, however, strung together one of their most impressive performances of the season on Saturday against a Wapello team that was riding a five-game winning streak.
Wilton scored 32 points in the first quarter, building a 24-point lead before entering halftime ahead 41-16.
Emily Lange scored 18 points, Aubrey Putman 17 and Kortney Drake 16 as the Beavers finished the game shooting 52.5 percent from the field. Putman also added 11 rebounds, Lange seven and Drake five.
The 37-point win was Wilton's second-largest margin of victory this season.
"Wilton is very, very good," Wapello coach Brandon Brown said. "They have three girls (Lange, Putman and Drake) who are high-volume scorers, and it's tough to defend all three of them at any given time. They got up and down the floor on us pretty well today and beat us inside."
Wapello, meanwhile, shot just 31.1 percent from the field, and had 23 turnovers. The Arrows also were out-rebounded 33-16.
Eryka Dickey finished with 11 points and Addisyn Lolling added eight, but no other player scored more than four.
"We had a pretty good streak going there," Brown said. "Our goal at this point is to get better every day, to get ready for the end of the year and get ready for districts.
"Ultimately, today's not a conference game, it doesn't affect us in terms of conference. If we want to take that next step, we have take this game, come back Monday, work harder at practice and try to match the physicality of the tougher teams and being able to get mentally tough to handle the stretch down here after Christmas."