Behind an aggressive defense that created plenty of opportunities for the Darlington squad, the Lady Tigers opened with a dominating 18-1 opening period on the way to a 52-22 win over Calhoun inside the Huffman Center.
Just two games into the young season, Darlington — under new head coach Hazel Hall — has gone 2-0 after opening with a 71-40 victory over Armuchee on Saturday.
Junior guard Caroline Dingler led the Lady Tigers’ scoring in both games, getting 15 points against the visiting Lady Jackets on Tuesday to go with five steals. Senior Sydney Seymour was next with nine points as well as six rebounds.
Olivia Adams and Lauren Childs rounded out the top scorers for Darlington with eight apiece.
“Our core group is made up of juniors and seniors who have played a lot of minutes over the last two years. And, really, we have not changed a whole lot during that time,” said Hall, who was an assistant coach the last two seasons. “But now we have some underclassmen who have really come a long way.”
Hall singled out the team’s ninth-grade players, which includes Sarah Tunnell and Emmaline Ratledge, who have added to the Lady Tigers’ depth and allowed them to substitute freely in the early part of the season.
“The upperclassmen have done a great job making sure everybody is doing what they are supposed to,” Hall said. “The communication is really good, and sometimes that can be difficult. And we are playing fast. They enjoy that type of game, and it’s a whole lot more fun when everybody can play and contribute.”
Dingler had three 3-pointers and was 4-for-4 at the line in the first half Tuesday, helping Darlington take a 27-6 halftime lead. Calhoun made just two field goals in the opening 16 minutes.
As for playing during the week leading up to Thanksgiving, Hall said it was simply about the need to play against someone different.
“You get tired of practicing against the same people every day,” she said.
“It will be a while before our next game, so we’ll try to fix the things we need to do a little bit better. Even though we haven’t had a bad start, there are still some things we need to tweak.”
Darlington will be back in action on Dec. 4 hosting Christian Heritage in a Region 6-A game.
In other action:
Armuchee girls 43, Woodland 26
Wrapping up their two-day Thanksgiving tournament, the Armuchee Lady Indians rebounded from back-to-back losses to pick up a 43-26 win over Woodland on Tuesday.
Chloe Purdy led all scorers with 13 points, while teammate Olivia Moses finished with 12. Armuchee (2-2) led 11-2 after the first period and held off a push by Woodland in the second half.
The Lady Indians will take Thanksgiving off and be back on the court next Tuesday to host Trion.
Trion girls 39, SE Whitfield 35
A late 3-pointer and some important rebounds helped give the Trion Lady Bulldogs their first win of the season Tuesday as they defeated Southeast Whitfield 39-35 in Trion.
The back-and-forth game saw Lady Bulldogs Tianna Youngblood and Shelby Carlock each score 10 points to lead their team. Trion (1-1) will travel to take on Armuchee next Tuesday.
SE Whitfield boys 54, Trion 44
The Trion Bulldogs tried to overcome a slow start against the visiting Southeast Whitfield Raiders on Tuesday night but couldn’t hold out in a 54-44 loss to open the season.
Brier Ingle led Trion with 14 points, followed by Jaden Hardy with 12 and Austin Mason with nine. The Bulldogs (0-1) will be on the road next at Armuchee next Tuesday.