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Kimmel leads Duchesses past Warriors in debut

Welcome to the party

Kimmel had quite the coming-out party, and her Dixon girls basketball teammates got in on the fun.

A freshman guard, Kimmel had 18 points and five rebounds in her varsity debut, a 54-21 victory against Sterling on Monday night at Musgrove Fieldhouse. It was the opener for both squads in the Sauk Valley Shootout.

Kimmel came off the bench and connected on 6 of 8 field goal attempts, including all three 3-point tries, to lead all scorers. Her 3-pointer just before the first-period buzzer gave Dixon a 16-7 lead.

“I was nervous, but once I got out there, it just went away,” Kimmel said. “I had to be confident, and just let the ball go in.”

The Duchesses closed the second quarter on a 6-0 run to go up 28-12 at the break, and steadily pulled away from there. Dixon’s biggest lead was the final score, after closing with a 9-0 run the last 4 minutes of the game.

It was a team effort. Britney Pitzer finished with nine points, while Kira Goral and Madelyn Chesley had seven each. Chesley (eight) and Goral (seven) also combined for 15 rebounds.

Abby Guthrie hit a pair of 3s for six points, and she added five boards. Zoe Carr contributed five points and four rebounds.

“I thought the defense stood out most of all,” Dixon coach Luke Ravlin said. “We executed the game plan that we had in for what we thought they were going to do, and every kid that went out there I thought was ready. I was really proud of them tonight.”

Sterling struggled all night to find the mark against the Duchesses’ sticky defense, and converted just 8 of 40 field goal attempts. The Warriors didn’t help themselves by missing 6 of 11 free throws and committing 16 turnovers.

“Defensively, we were a step behind everything,” Sterling coach Taylor Jackson said. “Our girls played really flat-footed, and we know that we’re better than that. We’re looking forward to a good practice tomorrow, and to turn it around against Newman.”

Genea Garza and Gretchen Gould each had six points for Sterling, and Gabbi Schilling added five points and seven rebounds. Josi Borum grabbed a team-high eight boards.

Girls basketball

Sauk Valley Shootout

Dixon 54, Sterling 21

Star of the game: Caylyn Kimmel, Dixon, 18 points, 5 rebounds

Key performers: Britney Pitzer, Dixon, 9 points, 3 rebounds; Madelyn Chesley, Dixon, 7 points, 8 rebounds; Genea Garza & Gretchen Gould, Sterling, 6 points each

Up next: Stillman Valley at Dixon & Sterling at Newman, both 7 p.m. Wednesday

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