By Dan Truttschel-Sports Correspondent

A sluggish first quarter Feb. 7 couldn’t take the wind out of the Wilmot girls basketball team’s sails.

Senior standout Kari Clements etched her name in the record books when she surpassed the 1,000-point plateau to lead the Panthers to a dominant 60-39 Southern Lakes Conference win over visiting Burlington.

The victory improved the Panthers to 12-6 overall and 10-1 in the SLC. Wilmot leads the conference standings at 10-1, one game ahead of Badger at 9-1 and two ahead of Waterford at 8-3.

Burlington held a 14-10 lead after the first quarter be-fore the Panthers finally took control.

The slow start was the combination of several factors, Wilmot coach Keiya Square said.

“We didn’t have Rachel (Szydlowski because of sprained ankle), it was a little extended introduction because of senior night, and then Kari was so close to 1,000 points,” he said.

“I think if she would have needed 10 or more points, it wouldn’t have mattered as much, but only being six points away, it wasn’t ‘if’ it was going to happen, it was a matter of ‘when.’”

The Panthers ended the period on a 21-2 run to take a 31-16 lead into halftime. Wilmot, which never was challenged from there, outscored the Demons 29-23 the last two quarters.

Square said the absence of Szydlowski in the post forced him to shuffle the lineup, and it may have taken his team until the second quarter to ad-just.

“It took a little while to figure out where everyone was supposed to be on both ends of the floor,” he said. “(Ellen) Stang for them also was in a little bit of foul trouble, and she was giving us problems inside.

“When they went small, our girls did a good job of running our stuff and keeping them from getting second-chance points.”

Clements finished the night with 19 points, followed by Jenna Damon with 10, Danielle Klotz with nine and Teya Gaines with six.

Klotz came up with several key baskets when the Panthers needed them, Square said.

Damon also played well to give the three seniors a positive final regular-season moment on their home floor, Square said.

The Panthers are back in SLC action Friday night at Union Grove.

 

Clements leads the way

Sparked by six 3-pointers and a 30-point effort from Clements, the Panthers rolled past host Westosha Central, 66-38, Feb. 11.

Wilmot led 21-9 after the first quarter and 35-21 by halftime. The Panthers out-scored Central 31-17 the final two quarters and never were challenged.

“Kari was in the zone,” Square said. “We started the game off running a play for her to get a shot, and she knocked it down.”

Olivia Klahs added 10 points, and Sam Kirk had nine.

 

 
 

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