Darrow gets back on track
A mid-season slump wasn't enough to cause Rachel Darrow to be down on herself. Instead, the junior sharp-shooter picked up the pace on the defensive end and gave the Lions a boost that way.
Her shot has returned gradually, but it made a grand appearance Tuesday night as Darrow poured in a season-high 19 points, including three-for-four from three-point range, and sparked LHS to a 58-52 home victory against Bishop Ward.
Seeing the ball constantly swishing through the net was a welcome sight for Darrow as she helped Lansing (9-8 overall, 7-4 Kaw Valley League) snap a two-game losing skid.
"It's so hard not to get down on yourself," Darrow said, "but there are 11 other people on this team who can pick you up. Whether I have no points or 19 points, they're always there."
Junior guard Nichole Twitchell was there to pick up the offensive load when Darrow's shot wouldn't fall. Forwards Amanda Radovich, junior, and Emily Goodlin, senior, also increased point production in the post during that span.
While others took care of the offense, Darrow shook off her frustrations by smothering opponents with tenacious defense. She averaged nearly four steals per game during a recent five-game stretch.
"When she couldn't score, she definitely stepped it up on defense," Goodlin said. "When you can't score, really all you can do is give it your best on the defensive end. When you play really tough defense, then it motivates you on the offensive side."
As Darrow continued to search for her shot, Twitchell blossomed as a lethal threat from the right side.
Now Darrow, who opts to play the left side, has reemerged, and she made Ward pay for it both with three-pointers and pull-up jumpers off the dribble.
"You've got both sides that can shoot the ball," LHS coach Keith Andrews said. "Then everybody doesn't cheat to you and everybody doesn't lean to you. Probably the best thing for Rachel was she went a couple games without scoring much so she kind of slid in here and fired away.
"I'm glad to see her wake up and come around. This was a big shooting night for her. It was great."
Goodlin said she hoped it was only the first of many on-target games for Darrow. Goodlin said the Lions could use the lift with sub-state play just around the corner.
"When Rachel scores, it definitely brings up the team and brings us together," Goodlin said.
"When she can sink them, she's usually on fire for the whole game. It's usually not a one- or two-shot thing. She's usually on fire for the whole game."