LETTS, Iowa – When the Wilton girls basketball team’s Big 3 – Emily Lange, Kortney Drake and Aubrey Putman – are all clicking offensively, the Beavers are tough to beat.
When they have six players score at least nine points, they’re nearly unstoppable.
Despite another inconsistent defensive performance, Wilton (4-1) pulled off a resounding 79-50 victory Monday night on the road against Louisa-Muscatine (1-3).
It was a welcomed sight for the Beavers, who scored just 31 points in an 18-point loss to Cascade last Friday.
The key to Wilton’s success through its first five games has been a quick start, and the Beavers got another one on Monday.
Wilton outscored Louisa-Muscatine 24-4 in an opening quarter that featured junior guard Linsey Ford dropping seven points out of the gate to lead the Beavers.
“I think that’s key to our games, jump out to that lead, that gets the momentum built up,” coach Jeremy Putman said. “The games that we’ve won, we’ve gotten out to good leads so far.”
Despite another impressive start, there was more inconsistency on the defensive end as the Falcons put up 21 points in the second quarter while swapping baskets back and forth with the Beavers’ up-tempo offense and trimming the deficit to 18 points at the midway point.
But with a share the wealth type of mentality on offense and defense, the Beavers regained control of the game to start the third quarter and outscored the Falcons 36-25 in the second half.
Drake finished as Wilton’s top scorer with 18 points, while Lange had 16, Putman 15, Kali Milder 11, Ford nine and Lexi Maurer nine.
“We got scoring from everybody tonight,” coach Putman said. “Both ends, they chipped in on the offensive end, got some buckets, and on defense it took a team effort again, especially on the boards. I think everybody rebounded well today.”
After starting slow offensively, the Falcons received strong performances from Alexa Wehrle, who finished with 13 points, and Kylee Sanders, who had 10. Both players shot 50 percent or better from the field.
Louisa-Muscatine boys dismantle Wilton: The Wilton boys basketball team (1-3) had no answer defensively in the paint as Louisa-Muscatine regularly attacked the basket in a 73-26 win at home Monday night.
Twenty of the Falcons’s 26 points in the first quarter came from layups, opting to not even attempt a jump shot until midway through the quarter when Karson Cantrell knocked down a 3.
“We came out and played with some energy after a tough game on Friday night,” Louisa-Muscatine coach Brennan Gerst said. “I thought the boys responded well, they came out ready to play, and that was one of the things I preached at the beginning.”
With 15 and 14 points, respectively, Zack Bieri and Brady Walker surpassed Wilton’s entire first-half scoring output as the Falcons increased their lead to 47-12.
Bieri and Brandon Burmeister finished with 15 and Walker 14 to pace the Falcons, who shot 53 percent from the field and 45 percent from distance.
The win comes on the heels of a 66-47 road loss against Lone Tree and improves the Falcons’ record to 2-1.
The Beavers, meanwhile, struggled again on the offensive end, connecting on just 9 of 49 field goal attempts while settling for mostly jumpers. For the third time this season, they were held to fewer than 30 points.
Afterward, Wilton coach Mark Patterson was adamant that his team’s greatest challenge has been themselves.
“We got a lot of unknowns, a lot of inexperience,” Patterson said. “We play a lot of quality teams, so our deficiency is going to show a little more. We’re trying to just get the guys to keep working and close the gap.
“Brennan does a good job with his kids, and they’re ready to play. They got on us early, and we don’t have the firepower to get back in games once we’re down so much.”