Leighton powers Lady Bulldogs past Dell Rapids

MADISON'S KENDRA LEIGHTON shoots a three-pointer in the first half during a game with Dell Rapids on Thursday night at the Madison High School Gym. Leighton poured in a game-high 36 points to power the Lady Bulldogs to a 73-45 win.

Kendra Leighton, one of seven seniors honored before Senior Night on Thursday, saved her best performance of the season for her last game in the Madison High School Gym.

Leighton tossed in a game-high 36 points to power the Lady Bulldogs past the Dell Rapids Quarriers 73-45 in a Dakota XII Conference clash at Madison. She was 13 of 22 in field goals, 8 of 12 from three-point range and 2 for 3 at the charity stripe.

"This was a big win for us. We wanted to leave with a big smile on our face," said Madison senior Briana Steuerwald.

The Lady Bulldogs opened up a 21-8 lead after the first quarter. Leighton drained three 3-pointers and two field goals to finish the first quarter with 13 points.

Dell Rapids reeled off the first seven points of the second quarter and cut the deficit to 21-15, when Alli DeStigter drained a three-pointer.

Madison outscored the Quarriers 8-6 to close the quarter and held a 39-21, halftime lead.

The Lady Bulldogs' offense warmed up in the third period and outscored Dell Rapids 29-13 for a huge 59-34 lead.

"We were told to step it up on defense at halftime and play them tighter on defense," said Steuerwald. "We also started to hit our shots."

Madison made 26 of 55 field goals, 47.3%, and 12 of 23 three pointers, 52.2%. The Lady Bulldogs drained 9 of 14 free throws, 64.3%, and grabbed 44 rebounds.

Grace Nelson finished the game with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Steuerwald added 11 points, five assists and three steals.

Rounding out the scoring for Madison were Lexie Roemen with seven points, Zoey Gerry with four and Julianna Hodges with three.

"We wanted to get all of the seniors into the scoring column because we have been playing together since third grade," Steuerwald said.

Dell Rapids made 15 of 60 field goals, 25%, and 8 of 23 from behind the three-point arc, 34.8%. The Quarriers connected on 7 of 10 free throws, 70%, and pulled down 37 rebounds.

Zoey Hilmoe scored 12 points to pace the Quarriers. Aspen Hansen added 10 counters, eight rebounds and three steals.

Other Madison seniors who were honored before the game were Steuerwald, Nelson, Morgan Anderson, Roemen, Kiley Klein and statistician Olivia Nugent.

Madison (8-10 overall, 4-5 in Dakota XII) will go to Dakota Valley on Friday night for a doubleheader with the Dakota Valley Panthers. The C game will begin at 4 p.m., followed by junior varsity and varsity games.

JVs win

Madison won the junior varsity game 48-20. Gerry tossed in 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to pace the winners.

Sophia Vanden Bosch added nine points and three assists. Katie Sewell added eight counters and four rebounds.