BURTON — Durand’s young team leaned on three-year varsity guard Kennedy Pawloski to lead the Railroaders to a season-opening 50-19 victory Monday over Burton Madison.
Pawloski scored 19 points with four rebounds and three steals. Two and a half minutes in, Pawloski broke a scoreless tie with a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Durand went on to take a 16-5 lead after one quarter and a 27-9 by halftime.
Pawloski, scoring several transition lay-ups, scored 13 more points in the second half. She said it was a good way to start the season. The 5-foot-6 junior guard said Durand coach Cecil Cole wanted the team to play smart, but aggressively in the second half.
“We definitely played more aggressively (in the second half),” Pawloski said. “And that’s what led to those breakaway layups. We’re a very talented team. We’re young but we have a lot of potential and we are going to be good this year.”
The game kicked off the high school girls basketball season in the area — it was the only area game on Monday. Six games are on tap tonight as the season truly tips off.
Durand (1-0) also featured Jordyn Lawrence’s 11 points, Maddie Raley’s double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds and Riley Vandendries’ eight points, six rebounds and two assists. Jessica Winslow grabbed eight rebounds for Durand.
Vandendries is the lone senior on the Durand roster. The Railroaders have five freshmen and two sophomores.
The Eagles (0-1) — seeing a mixture of man-to-man and zone from the Railroaders — were led by Miya Davis’ six points on two 3-pointers.
Cole said his team kept the turnovers to a manageable number, played solid defense and was able to hit some shots when it needed them.
“Our field goal percentage tonight was 36 percent — not bad,” Cole said. “Considering we have such a young team, we played pretty well. Obviously, we made some mistakes. But the girls played hard. This is probably the hardest-working group I’ve had in practice in years. We’re going to get better and better with every start. They work hard, they hustle — but we didn’t execute all of the time. We made a lot of young mistakes.”
But Pawloski, Raley and Vandendries jump-started the Railroaders in the opening half, Cole said. Raley and Vandendries each scored eight in the first half, while Pawloski had six points.
“Raley had some nice put-backs for us and Pawloski really took off in the second half for us,” Cole said. “I think she settled down. Everybody was pressing. It’s the first game of the year. They’ve got their nerves up and they are trying a little harder probably.’
Cole said the opening-night road win was a solid way to start the season.
“Not bad at all,” Cole said. “We’re a young team and we’ll take it — as long as we get better everyday.”
DURAND 50, BURTON MADISON 19
DURAND (1-0): Kennedy Pawloski 7 2-3 19, Riley Vandendries 3 0-0 8, Maddie Raley 4 2-3 10, Jordyn Lawrence 4 1-3 11; Jessica Winslow 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 5-9 50.
MADISON (0-1): Miya Davis 2 0-0 6, Daneisha Smith 2 0-0 4, Rachel Morris 1 2-6 4, Taylor Keys 1 0-0 3, Dutchess Darling 0 1-2 1, Ja’Qaila Walker 0 1-2 1; Jamyah Gray 0 0-5 0. Totals: 6 4-15 19.
Durand 16 11 11 12 — 50
Madison 5 4 3 7 — 19
3-Point Goals: Burton Madison 3 (Davis 2, Keys 1). Durand 7 (Pawloski 3, Vandendries 2, Lawrence 2). Rebounds: Durand (Raley 11, Winslow 8, Vandendries 6, Pawloski 4). Assists: Durand (Vandendries 2). Steals: Durand (Pawloski 3, Raley 3).