Dighton leads Boone against improved Perry squad

Sean Cordy
Boone's Emma Dighton looks to move the ball against the Jayettes on Monday, Feb. 1 in Perry.

Meeting Monday night on the Jayettes' hardwood, Boone and Perry faced each other for the second time this season to provide a piece of comparison in this turbulent season. The visiting Toreadors had the Jayettes' number in the first go-around, and proved to have just as much power now with a 51-29 victory.

Pillars of success

Perry fans may be unaware of how powerful Emma Dighton has been this season considering her relatively quiet first performance during the Jayettes' season opener. She was the team's third-leading scorer that night while logging a double-double. Monday, she churned out 22 points, seven rebounds and seven steals, adding to her line of 14 points per game.

"She was really good from the three-point line tonight (shooting 3-of-5)," Boone head coach Jim McPartland said. "It was good to get her on track. The other kids didn't shoot quite as well (3-of-30). So it's kind of just how it is from night-to-night and see who's on mark."

Boone's Emma Dighton at the free-throw line on Monday, Feb. 1 in Perry.

Morgan Kathman was the next biggest contributor, clocking in nine points and four rebounds for Boone. 

Coming into the game, Perry's Lydia Olejniczak was tied with Dighton in points per game with a majority stake of Perry's output. She once again led the team's shot chart, posting 11 points after drawing a couple of free throw at game's end to tie Jayna Kenney among the Jayettes Monday.

"We kind of wanted [Lydia] in the middle of the zone attack in the high post where we can get it to her," Perry coach Skylar Wolf said. "It's great to see her kind of facilitate the offense in the high post."

Progression, not regression

By Wolf's account, Perry took some steps forward as a team considering Boone's margin went from a 51-point win to only scoring 51 points total. He said one of the team's biggest changes was adjusting to the Toreadors' zone scheme, a different look than seen in the first game.

Boone's Emmy Lewis in action on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021, against Perry's Jayna Kenney.

"I thought we did a great job of bringing that energy, especially out of the gate," Wolf said. "We did a great job of kind of handling the pressure. We kind of held that pressure and stayed within swinging distance in the first quarter."

Perry looks for that same progression Tuesday at ADM (5-13).

Hunt for momentum

For Boone, the Toreadors have done well within games of maintaining momentum but as soon as they string two games together, the team seems to hit a reset. They haven't won more than two games in a row since the three-game streak to start the season but they have an opportunity Tuesday against Carlisle (2-14) and Friday against Carroll (7-8).

“Athletics is a lot about how you feel about yourself and your team, so I think they’re gaining some confidence. The kids realize that they can play with every team they go against,” McPartland said. “The next two games are definitely winnable.”