PALATINE, Ill. — It’s been 21 months since Beaver Dam’s prep girls basketball team last felt the way it did Saturday, when Maine West out of Des Plaines, Illinois, notched a 60-51 win over the Golden Beavers at a showcase event hosted by William Fremd High School.
But Golden Beavers head coach Tim Chase isn’t too bothered. After all, these sort of tests are what he hoped his team would get when he scheduled games like this and the ones Beaver Dam will play later this month at a holiday tournament in Minnesota.
Plus, a nine-point loss really isn’t that bad considering Maine West, which advanced to the state quarterfinals last year in the Illinois High School Association’s biggest class and returns pretty much everyone from that team, had been winning by an average of 52.8 points per game entering Saturday’s tilt.
The biggest reasons defending WIAA Division 2 state champion Beaver Dam (3-1) had its 31-game winning streak — which dated back to last season’s opener — snapped were fouls and poor shooting.
Regarding the former, foul trouble in the second quarter allowed the Warriors to go on a 13-0 run and take a 34-24 halftime lead.
Beaver Dam wasn’t able to make up the difference from the field, finishing 4-of-28 on 3-point shooting.
“Those were probably the two biggest things,” Chase said.
The Golden Beavers also struggled a bit on the boards, getting outrebounded 40-28.
Add it all up and Chase said the biggest lessons learned Saturday regarded play in the paint and making life easier in the scoring department.
“We’ve got to consistently be physical inside and be better in rebounding,” he said. “Offensively, when we’re struggling to hit shots, we’ve got to do a better job executing sets.”
Beaver Dam did trim the 10-point halftime deficit to four points midway through the third quarter, but the Beavers were never really within arm’s reach after that.
Maty Wilke led the Beavers with 12 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, but she fouled out of the game. Jada Donaldson added 10 points and four steals, while Aly Van Loo had six points and six rebounds.
The Warriors were led by Alison Fallon, an NCAA Division I Army commit who had 18 points.
MAINE WEST 60, BEAVER DAM 51
Maine West 12 22 15 11 — 60
Beaver Dam 12 12 19 8 — 51
MAINE WEST (60) — Pearson 2, Johnson 6, Kent 11, Fallon 18, Dugolic 9, Reyes 2. TOTALS (FGM FTM-FTA PTS): 24 8-17 60.
BEAVER DAM (51) — Natalie Jens 3, Paige Schumann 12, Jada Donaldson 10, Afton Bartol 2, Maty Wilke 12, Tara Stauffacher 6, Aly Van Loo 6. TOTALS (FGM FTM-FTA PTS): 19 9-12 51.
3-pointers: Maine West 4 (Kent 1, Fallon 3), Beaver Dam 4 (Natalie Jens 1, Maty Wilke 2, Tara Stauffacher 1). Total fouls: Main West 12, Beaver Dam 21. Fouled out: Wilke.