Duwa helps Washington ground Falcons

Union photo by Doug Brenneman

Kinsey Duwa lines up a 3-pointer and makes it in front of the Louisa-Muscatine bench where Coach Mike Milder watches and L-M player Kylee Sanders is consoled after her injury.
Union photo by Doug Brenneman Kinsey Duwa lines up a 3-pointer and makes it in front of the Louisa-Muscatine bench where Coach Mike Milder watches and L-M player Kylee Sanders is consoled after her injury.

WASHINGTON — There is no specific statistic for hustle.

One could keep track of dives on the floor, crashes into the bleachers, running into the wall, headlong sprints down the court, and if Washington kept track of such things, Kinsey Duwa would surely lead in those categories.

Duwa’s hustle helped Washington win a nonconference high school girls basketball Monday over the visiting Louisa-Muscatine Falcons, 48-17.

“She has been our leader in any of those categories all year long,” WHS coach Shannon Rugg said. “We even talked about that earlier because she brings that toughness to our team. She will run through a wall if you ask her to. If that’s what we need her to do, she is going to try it. She may not succeed, but I guarantee she will try.”

Duwa did lead the Demons in assists with five along with four steals. She also had four rebounds, all offensive and finished with seven points.

“At this point in the season, my knees are completely purple, so I don’t even pay attention to it anymore,” Duwa said. “Coach said before the game that he needed my energy on the floor. I think I’ve ended up in the bleachers at least once every game. I know they expect that out of me now.”

Duwa, at 5-foot-2, was also the designated defensive stopper for the Demons and drew the assignment of defending L-M’s 5-foot-9 Kylee Sanders, who averages 21.9 points a game.

“We ran a box and one and Rugg told me that it was my job to just be face guarding her the whole time in that defense,” Duwa said. “Usually they put me on the point guard or a team’s top scorer because I’m aggressive on defense.”

The game was back and forth early with the score tied at 7-7 after the first quarter. Sanders had six of those seven points.

“She got pretty frustrated, which was our goal,” Duwa said. “Obviously we did not want her to score, but we also wanted to get in her head a little bit. She averages a lot, so she’s pretty much the whole team. I played with quite a few girls on that team when I was little. So I know how good she is.”

With 6 minutes, 2 seconds left in the second quarter, Sanders was fouled on a breakaway layup.

“She was sprinting all around the court trying to get open and I told her she was just wasting energy,” L-M coach Mike Milder said. “We will get you open. We will set some screens and do that for her and then she got hurt so that was the end of accomplishing that for her.”

Sanders lay on the floor and her pain was audible. After another Falcon player sank the free throws for the foul, L-M led 11-9. The Demons outscored the Falcons 39-6 from that point on.

“She leads us in everything, so you can’t ever just replace a player like that,” Milder said. “We’re not prepared for that to happen. Once it happened they packed it in on us. Once she’s out, we don’t have the aggressiveness to attack. She is unbelievably quick and an all-around great athlete. We did not make anything happen without her.”

It was a 21-11 Demon lead at halftime.

“We came in at half time and Coach told us we had two options,” Duwa said. “We could let them hang around and stay in the game or we could go pound them. I think we chose the second option.”

Because of the injury, the game did not play out like it could have.

“Coach read off their stats before the game and in every category they were better than us, so we knew we had to play our best,” Duwa said. “It was a really close game until she got hurt.”

The score was 34-15 after three quarters.

“We had a slow start again and I don’t know why we are slow starting team,” Rugg said. “I did like our defense. I think we had (Sanders) frustrated with the box and one defense we were running on her. It was just a matter of time offensively before we got going. I told the kids we wanted to get her frustrated because even if she got a shot then it was going to be a rushed shot. That is the purpose of that defense and Kinsey is pretty good at running it for us. It depended on who we had in there, we would switch it off. It was up to the girls to communicate and I thought we did a great job of that. Unfortunately she got hurt and you never want that to happen. We were on that defense to stop her and that should tell you how good of a basketball player she is.”

Halle Leyden canned three 3-pointers and was 2-of-4 at the foul line to lead the Demons with 11 points. Anna Nacos added eight points and Addison Six tallied nine. Olivia Pacha and Ava Turner notched four points apiece and Madison Fishback had three. Six grabbed six rebounds and Pacha five.

There was an instance when Duwa went flying into the bleachers after a loose ball and a Falcon player offered to help her up but Duwa refused.

“I wasn’t really mad about it,” Duwa said. “I was looking for a foul because she kind of shoved me. I think people expect me to be hurt when I fall down but I don’t feel anything usually.”

Washington’s record is 7-4 while L-M is 9-4.

Washington returns to Southeast Conference play at Keokuk tonight and hosts Mt. Pleasant Friday.