BARABOO — The Baraboo girls basketball team has been open with its desire to play a run-and-gun style of offense, but Tuesday night, the Thunderbirds were outgunned by a team that has an uptempo attack down pat.
Maryn Ferron led four players in double figures as Beaver Dam routed host Baraboo 100-46, making a strong first impression in the Golden Beavers’ Badger North Conference debut.
The Thunderbirds kept pace for a few minutes, battling to within one point at 11-10 before the defending WIAA Division 2 state champions rattled off 10 straight points and cruised from there en route to their 30th consecutive victory.
“That’s kind of what we do, keep that pace going the whole game,” Beaver Dam coach Tim Chase said. “I know Baraboo’s trying to do the same right now. We’ve probably just been at it a little longer with our kids doing that. The second part of the first half, we got our run going a little bit, got some steals and got some easy layups.”
Baraboo (0-2, 0-1 Badger North) came out with energy, but that energy only got the Thunderbirds so far.
“It was a test,” Baraboo head coach Michael Behl said. “They’re certainly a team that wants to play really, really fast. We tried to play their pace, because that’s the pace we want to play. … It’s just a matter of us figuring out where we need to be in the press and forcing our will on teams. We did that for the early part of the game, and we had little pockets of it. We just couldn’t sustain it.”
Back-to-back baskets by Haley Hannagan brought the Thunderbirds to within 11-10 before the Golden Beavers (2-0, 1-0) asserted themselves.
“I knew they wouldn’t back down,” Behl said of how his team battled. “Our kids are tough. Then with our short bench and their long bench, it was just going to be a matter of time before we wore down and they forced their will on us. That’s really what happened.”
Beaver Dam turned up the defensive pressure and quickly took control, forcing three straight turnovers and eventually taking a 21-10 lead before forcing a Baraboo timeout with 9 minutes, 57 seconds remaining in the first half.
The Golden Beavers kept their foot on the gas the rest of the half, scoring 39 points in the final 9:18 of the half to take a 60-26 lead into halftime. The second half was more of the same, as Beaver Dam reached the 100-point mark when Paige Hodgson scored with 2:27 remaining.
“They put 100 on the board, but it’s not something that I’m overly upset with right now,” Behl said. “What I’m somewhat disappointed in is that we didn’t get at least 60. ... That has to be a goal for us, to be above the 60s and finishing games in the 70s consistently. I thought we could have done that against this team.”
Afton Bartol had 12 points, Natalie Jens added 11 points and Aly Van Loo finished with 10 points for the Golden Beavers. Beaver Dam caught fire from behind the 3-point line, finishing with 12 3-pointers compared to three for the Thunderbirds.
Baraboo junior Lexi Johnson attacked the basket and finished with a game-high 19 points, including two 3-pointers.
“I thought Lexi played really well,” Behl said. “She got to the rim and she found her teammates. She was a tough matchup for them.”
Hannagan added 13 points for the T-Birds, while Megan Horstman chipped in six points, Grace Stuckey added five points, and Abby Moon and Lindsay Johnson each scored two points.
BEAVER DAM 100, BARABOO 46
Beaver Dam 60 40 — 100
Baraboo 26 20 — 46
BEAVER DAM (100) — Jens 11, Burchardt 5, Scharfenberg 2, Schumann 4, Donaldson 6, Miller 8, Bartol 12, Uhrich 4, Storhoff 3, Wilke 6, Ferron 7 0-0 17, Stauffacher 8, Van Loo 10, Hodgson 2.
BARABOO (46) — Moon 2, Hannagan 13, Horstman 6, Stuckey 5, A. Johnson 6 1-4 19, L. Johnson 2.
3-pointers: BD 12 (Ferron 3, Donaldson 2, Miller 2, Stauffacher 2, Jens 1, Burchardt 1, Storhoff 1), B 3 (A. Johnson 2, Stuckey 1). Total fouls: BD 22, B 11.