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Darton women crush Andrew in battle of local rivals, 84-43

Darton women's basketball coach Lea Henry was pleased Sunday after her Lady Cavs defeated Andrew College, 84-43, to improve to 5-2.

Darton women's basketball coach Lea Henry was pleased Sunday after her Lady Cavs defeated Andrew College, 84-43, to improve to 5-2.

CUTHBERT— First-year Darton College women’s basketball coach Lea Henry is new to the rivalry between the Lady Cavs and neighboring Andrew College.

But Sunday, Henry’s players gave the Darton program a familiar result.

The Lady Cavs (5-2) raced out to a 40-23 halftime lead and never looked back en route to 84-43 win as Darton improved to 10-1 in regular-season matchups with the Lady Tigers since Andrew restarted the program in 2006.

“I’d watched Andrew play (recently) and I knew they’d been playing well, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Henry said. “But I was pleased with what we got.”

Five players scored in double figures for the Lady Cavs, including a game-high 20 points from Michelle Mitchell. The win also helped Darton rebound from a gut-wrenching loss Saturday to Region XVII top dog Middle Georgia, 61-58. Middle Georgia is undefeated and ranked 19th in the country.

“We played with a lot more focus,” Henry said of Sunday’s win compared to Saturday’s loss — a game in which the Lady Cavs led for most of the contest before squandering a late lead. “We defended well (Sunday) and played real aggressive. I challenged the girls to take it to another level (after that loss) and they did.”

Christina Brown added 15 for Darton, Chanteniece Fann dropped in 13 and Amber McKenzie and Lauren Johnson each scored 10. Andrew (10-5) didn’t have a double-figure scorer for the first time all season. Kellie Bacon led the way with eight points, leaving head coach Mike Riffe a bit frustrated after the program had gotten off to its best start since returning from hiatus and felt like it would challenge Darton.

“We didn’t show up. We didn’t have any fire. Maybe we’ve played too much basketball in too short a time. I don’t know,” said Riffe, whose girls are now off until Jan. 12 after playing a staggering 15 games in a little more than a month. “I hope when we come back, we are a lot hungrier.”