It took until the second quarter for Ivy Wilmington to feel in the groove, but once the North sophomore settled in, there wasn't much that was going to knock her out of it.
Wilmington scored 14 of her career-high 28 points in the second frame, helping lead the Wildcats to an 82-60 win over intra-city rival Davenport Central on Friday night at North High School.
Wilmington's surge came as part of a 15-7 run, which included back-to-back 3s from the sophomore to turn an 11-point lead into a 46-27 advantage and eventual 52-33 halftime lead.
"Once I hit the second 3 in a row, I felt like it was momentum for our team, and it was on from there," Wilmington said. "We're just playing ball like we do. We're coming together slowly as a team, and it's working out great."
Wilmington's previous career high was 16 points, scored in the season opener against Cedar Rapids Washington, and she is the team's leading scorer, averaging 15.2 points per game.
Wilmington was complemented on the scoreboard by Camry Dillie, who added 21 points. Dillie had struggled shooting the ball to start the year, with just 5 3-pointers in her first four games. Friday night, she hit 6 3-pointers and was 50 percent from behind the arc.
"Coach has been telling me to keep shooting and my teammates were always really encouraging, and so it never really got me down, kept shooting, kept practicing it," Dillie said. "It felt really good."
Anne Awour added 10 points and 17 rebounds while Bella Sims showcased her versatility, scoring 14 points and adding eight rebounds and several key assists.
The Wildcats will likely be without Reese Ranum for at least two weeks as the lone senior on the team suffered an ankle injury in last week's win over Assumption.
Since dropping its first two games by a combined six points, North (3-2, 3-1 MAC) has won three straight and is now averaging 65.2 points on the year.
"That's the team I thought I was getting the first couple of games and we didn't get it," North head coach Matt Hoeppner said. "The kids can flat out shoot, it was just a matter of when they were going to go in."
Though they gave up 60 points, Hoeppner was fine with the pace of the game, smiling when considering the prospect of turning games into track meets moving forward.
"That's kind of our style. Sims starts the engine, then we couple that with a couple of shooters and Anne down low," Hoeppner said. "We're fortunate enough to have players all over and they did a good job of playing within themselves tonight."
Despite the loss, the Blue Devils (1-4, 1-3) continue to show signs of growth in Rita Jett's fourth season as head coach. Central is averaging nearly five points per game more than last year and had 10 different players score points against the Wildcats.
Central trailed 68-45 after three quarters and battled back to cut it to 71-58 with four minutes remaining but couldn't climb any closer.
"For a minute, we had our momentum going, ran out of steam," Jett said. "We were doing a lot of chasing. We practice our defense all the time. This time we just got caught off guard."
Junior Kariana Lohf led the Blue Devils with 13 points, and sophomore Acorionna Lard had seven points and nine rebounds.
"This is the best we've played in a long time," Jett said. "We're out to put our name in people's mouths this season. I don't think people think we're going to lay down and roll over. Our girls have heart, they have tenacity and they have perseverance."