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Women’s College Basketball: Moraine Valley falls short vs. Waubonsee

At 6-foot-1, Emma Darby normally towers over the opposition.

That wasn’t the case Thursday night at Erickson Hall, where Moraine Valley surrounded Darby with 6-3 Nariman Jaber, 6-1 Jamilla Jones and, at times, 6-2 Amber Hunter.

“It’s good so I can practice my shot fakes and go around them,” said Darby, Waubonsee Community College’s center.

Darby went around and over the Cyclones for 26 points and 14 rebounds in leading the Chiefs to a huge, 68-59, victory in a key Illinois Skyway Collegiate Conference contest.

The Chiefs never trailed and used a 14-0 run, keyed by 10 Darby points, to take a 28-9 lead with 5:39 left in the first half. The Cyclones, despite a late rally, were dumped in a deep hole.

It completed as season sweep for the Chiefs who, more important, have a two-game lead in the race for the conference title. Waubonsee (17-6 overall) is 8-0 in the league while Moraine Valley slipped to 15-10, 7-2.

The two played to the wire Jan. 16 in Palos Hills before the Chiefs pulled out a 67-61 win.

“We didn’t want that to happen again. We had more intensity,” Darby said. “We got in the passing lane and didn’t let them get the ball.”

While Darby came up huge, the Chiefs had other key performances.

Ashley Wilk, in foul trouble all night long, scored eight of her 10 points in the second half. Bailey Klaas, who rendered Moraine’s 1-2-2 press useless with her ballhandling, added nine points.

Then there was Sarah Garms. She hit a gigantic three-pointer seconds after Moraine’s Katie McGann (10 points) hit a trey to cut a seemingly insurmountable Chiefs’ lead to 50-41 with 9:10 left to play.

“That’s one thing we’ve been working with her on — to have confidence,” Waubonsee coach Dana Wagner said. “We have confidence in her and she stepped up and did a great job.”

Darby did most of her damage on the free-throw line, hitting 14-of-18 — after missing her first four from the line.



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