Sam Wilke could sense during warmups of Tuesday’s Badger North Conference game against Reedsburg that the Beaver Dam prep boys basketball team was focused and ready.
Then Cade Ferron swished two 3-pointers to give the Golden Beavers momentum that eventually carried through to a 65-47 win in the South Gym of Beaver Dam High School.
“You could tell before the game we were a little more into it with the student section, then obviously being at home we had momentum going into it,” Wilke said. “We fed off that.
“It all went downhill from there.”
Wilke led Beaver Dam with 18 points, four assists and two steals to go along with five rebounds, but it was Ferron who stepped up and had 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.
“Cade played great,” Wilke said. “We’ve been waiting for him to have one of those games and I think he found his shot. So hopefully he keeps going with it.”
Ferron’s layup with 7 minutes, 54 seconds remaining in the game started an 8-2 run — where he scored all the points — to put the Golden Beavers (6-4, 2-4 Badger North Conference) up 58-41 with 6:04 left.
“He’s had some pretty clean looks, but he’s struggled a little bit,” Beaver Dam head coach Tim Ladron said. “I’m proud of him to have the confidence to continue to shoot the ball. Once he hit that first 3, I think he got a little more confidence.”
Ferron’s confidence boosted Beaver Dam to shoot 24-of-42 from the floor and 11-of-22 from beyond the arc, which Reedsburg (7-4, 2-4) head coach Josh Rupnow took notice of.
“That’s the best they’ve shot all year,” Rupnow said. “I scouted their last seven games and this is way, way better than they’ve ever shot in any of the last seven games.
“That’s credit to them to being able to come out and knock them down.”
This marks the fourth win in the last five games for the Golden Beavers who haven’t done well traveling in conference games, but are undefeated at home in the South Gym. This win ends a five-game winning streak for Reedsburg.
The win brought extra confidence to a Beaver Dam team that’s playing a lot of young guys this season.
“It’s no secret we’ve struggled from the floor early in the year,” Ladron said. “We’ve started to shoot the ball better as of late. We’ve worked pretty hard at it. It was great to see some of the guys get at it. It was great to see Cade have a big night. He’s worked really hard. … The more guys can get going, it’s less pressure to take off of Sam and Dillon and Connor.”
It also helps when Beaver Dam is playing lights out on defense and holds a Reedsburg team to under 50 points when the Beavers have averaged 63.3 points a game all season.
“I attribute that to their defensive pressure was great,” Rupnow said. “I think we had a lot of open looks that we missed. We had a lot of shots inside that we missed. The film doesn’t lie.
“We’ll go back and check the film and see if we took bad shots.”
Reedsburg’s Tyson Tully is averaging 22.2 points a game and Beaver Dam held him to just 13, while Ben Furhmann led the Beavers with 14 and Will Fuhrmann had nine.
“I thought we had some great defensive efforts,” Ladron said. “I thought Kyle Gabel was fantastic in his first start tonight. He really did a good job on Tully.”
Beaver Dam as a whole played well and it started right out the game when the Golden Beavers shot out to a 20-14 lead and ended the first half leading 39-23.
“At the start of the game they just came out with more energy,” Rupnow said. “They played better. They made their shots and we didn’t make our shots. That first half was probably the worst half we’ve played all year. Defensively, we weren’t able to get stops, and defensively, they were. They were frustrating us, putting pressure on. It was a tale of two halves.
“We were down 16 at the half and never able to recover.”
BEAVER DAM 65, REEDSBURG 47
Reedsburg 23 24 — 47
Beaver Dam 39 26 — 65
Reedsburg (47) — Max Tully 4, Will Fuhrmann 9, Jacob Dregney 5, Tyson Tully 13, Derek Halvensleben 2, Ben Fuhrmann 14. TOTALS: (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 14 13-19 47.
Beaver Dam (65) — Broden Boschert 3, Cade Ferron 15, Kendric Jimenez 2, Sam Wilke 18, Dillon Livingston 6, Kyle Gabel 4, Connor Cullen 9, Jordan Schwanke 4, Marshal McGauley 4. TOTALS: (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 24 6-10 65.
3-pointers: R 6 (Max Tully 1, Jacob Dregney 1, Ben Fuhrmann 4), BD 11 (Cade Ferron 4, Sam Wilke 4, Connor Cullen 3). Total fouls: R 13, BD 18.