Three-time defending state champion Beaver Dam has become the gold standard when it comes to girls basketball in the state of Wisconsin.
The Golden Beavers are a program Oregon coach Adam Wamsley and his team look at as a beacon of success to follow in the future. Last year, the Beavers became the fifth program in state history to accomplish a three-peat, as they finished the season 27-1 and ranked 14th in the espnW 25 Power Rankings.
Wamsley admitted his team “has a lot to work on” before the Panthers can consistently compete with teams like the Beavers. Oregon’s ballhandlers were constantly pressured into turnovers by Beaver Dam in a Badger Conference crossover game at the Kohl Center on Tuesday, Nov. 26, resulting in a 70-46 loss.
Oregon (1-2) had turnovers on seven of its first nine possessions, as the Beavers bothered the Panthers with a suffocating full-court press and quick hands.
“We let them dictate what we wanted to do,” Wamsley said. “They’re one of the best teams in the state regardless of division, and I give them a lot of respect.
“I know we’re better than what we showed. Hopefully this is something we can learn from and improve upon.”
Kaitlyn Schrimpf made a layup to get Oregon on the board at the 14:46 mark. The Panthers cut their deficit to three on three separate occasions in the first half, but Beaver Dam (3-0) extended its lead each time.
The Beavers ended the first half on an 18-5 run to lead 33-17 at intermission. Matyson Wilke drilled back-to-back 3s and made a pair of driving layups during the run.
Beaver Dam used an 11-1 run to make it 44-20 with 14 minutes left. The Beavers had a 9-3 run over the next three minutes to extend its lead to 30.
Oregon’s reserves outscored Beaver Dam’s reserves by nine in the final five minutes. Every Panther who played in the game scored, a silver lining moving forward.
“They work hard day in and day out to help us get better,” Wamsley said. “I’m not surprised because it’s a great group to coach top to bottom. I’m happy they were able to get on the Kohl Center court and contribute.”
Schrimpf paced Oregon with a team-high 11 points. University of Illinois-Springfield recruit Liz Uhl added eight points, and Jaelyn Nedelcoff scored five points off the bench.
Emily Mortenson was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line, Ellie Koopman canned the Panthers’ only 3-pointer, and Izzie Peterson was held to two points.
Wilke, a junior who has offers from 18 Division I schools, recorded a game-high 17 points, 11 rebounds and five steals. Natalie Jens helped with 14 points. UW-Milwaukee commit Jada Donaldson added 12 points, and Carley Burchardt reached double figures with 10 points.