THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
Russell coach Mandy Layne presents a special ball to Madison Darnell after she scored her 2,000th career point on Friday against Greenup County.
MARTY CONLEY | FOR THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
RUSSELL Madison Darnell didn’t know exactly how many points she needed to reach 2,000, and she preferred it that way.
Russell coach Mandy Layne did her best to keep the impending achievement a surprise, but Darnell said she “had a few hints” leading up to Friday’s home game against Greenup County.
Darnell sank a pair of free throws in the first quarter for her fifth and sixth of the night, and 1,999th and 2,000th of her career. The senior notched 19 points as Russell beat the Lady Musketeers, 54-31, for its 16th straight win over 63rd District competition. She’s the second Lady Devil in program history to eclipse the mark. Regina Carroll is Russell’s top scorer with 2,494 from 1975-79.
Darnell was “really shocked and a little emotional,” she said.
“Growing up, I remember seeing people reach that milestone and I remember always wondering how cool it’d be to reach that, but I never really made it a goal,” Darnell said.
Layne said the most remarkable part about the feat is Darnell’s pass-first mentality.
“She wants to get her teammates involved first,” said Layne, also a 2,000-point scorer. She racked up 2,337 at Ashland and West Carter from 1995 - 2000. “She only shoots it about 10 times a game, but she’s still averaging around 19 points a game.”
Layne called a timeout when No. 2,000 found the net in the first quarter.
“It was like a normal timeout, and I went to clap hands with teammates and then everybody just erupted and clapped for me and congratulated me,” Darnell said. “That was really cool, and it’s great to be best friends with your teammates.”
Darnell tallied seven rebounds, six steals, five assists and four blocks as well on Friday. The Georgetown College commit became the 18th player in 16th Region history to hit 2,000.
“I’m just so happy for her,” Layne said. “I know how much time she’s put into getting better and improving her individual game. She’s just a selfless kid and wants her teammates to be great.”
Ty Mitchell also came up with six thefts against Greenup County. Russell held the Lady Musketeers to only two second-half field goals.
“Our team defense was once again outstanding,” Layne said. “That’s what we thrive on, getting easy buckets and things like that.”
Russell (10-5) will ride a four-game winning streak into a home matchup with Scott today at 2:30 p.m.
Greenup County (4-11) is scheduled to host East Carter tonight at 7:30.
Greenup County (31) — Haywood 12, Robinson 2, Miller 8, Hunt 5, Hannah 2, Boggs 2, Locklear, Vanderpool, Carroll, Bush, Ratcliff, E. Hunt. 3-Pt. FG: None. FT: 19-28. Fouls: 16.
Russell (54) — Mitchell 8, Darnell 19, Ross 4, Michael 2, Sanders 7, Andre 5, Morris 5, Hill 4, L. Wallenfelz, C. Wallenfelz, Picklesimer, Blevins, Inskeep, Arthur. 3-Pt. FG: 2 (Andre, Morris). FT: 12-18. Fouls: 25.