During practice Jada Donaldson is always hitting 3-pointers with ease.
Donaldson did just that during Thursday night’s Badger North Conference game at the Beaver Dam Middle School gym against Reedsburg, making six of them and finishing with a game-high 23 points as she led the Beaver Dam prep girls basketball team to a 71-30 victory.
“Jada is phenomenal every night,” Beaver Dam head coach Tim Chase said. “She’s awesome; it doesn’t surprise me at all. She does that all the time in practice. She took the open shots and knocked them down. That’s something she can do, it’s the next part of her game that’s coming.
“She has great defense, she takes care of the ball and she’s getting that scoring ability as well.”
Donaldson also finished with three steals on the night when she said the Golden Beavers knew conference supremacy was at stake. Entering Thursday, the Golden Beavers and the Beavers were tied for the top spot with 5-0 records.
“We came into this game knowing that the standings in the conference were on the line,” Donaldson said. “We’ve always been about making statements; this is our first time in the conference, so we have to play our best every night. That’s what our focus was.”
In the first five minutes Donaldson hit three of her 3-pointers to help the Golden Beavers (7-1, 6-0 Badger North) get up to an 11-6 lead with 12 minutes, 56 seconds left in the half.
“We’re always encouraged from our coaches to just shoot when we have the opportunities,” Donaldson said. “They kind of sagged off on defense so I knew I had to step up.”
Donaldson and the rest of the Golden Beavers knew they needed to shoot the ball well because this season they haven’t been doing that.
“The way they scored tonight, I thought they scored too easy,” Reedsburg coach Mark Simon said. “I don’t think we defended with enough physicality. They got some easy baskets within their offense, it wasn’t really in their transition, it was more in their half-court stuff. They started shooting tonight. They’re coming off three games where they haven’t shot particularly well.
“Tonight, I think they probably had close to 10 threes on the night.”
The entire Golden Beavers team played well against the Beavers (8-2, 5-1), as Maty Wilke finished with 10 points, and Natalie Jens, Afton Bartol and Aly Van Loo all had six points apiece. Tara Stauffacher also contributed with nine points.
“We want to see one of those kids try to score 25 because they’re a team that they all want to contribute in scoring,” Simon said. “They share the ball so well. Everyone was right around 10 and 11. I thought for them the way they share it, it would be hard for someone to go off for 25 points because they do pass so well.”
Paige Schumann only scored four points but she contributed in six assists as Bartol led the team with six rebounds.
All of those contributions by Beaver Dam players led to a 42-13 lead by halftime, but Simon still felt Reedsburg played well in that opening half.
“I thought we did a lot of good things in the first half,” Simon said. “I think we had 10 turnovers, which I think is manageable. I thought we got decent shots in the first half. I don’t think the score indicated that first half what type of game it was.
“It was 18-8 with about 10 minutes to go and then it got away from us a little bit.”
Reedsburg’s Brooklyn Schyvink led her team with 17 points, and Skyler Miller had six points.
After the break, Beaver Dam kept the motor running as Donaldson’s three-point play with 11:21 remaining make it 65-21.
“We were home finally, which helps a little bit too,” said Chase about why Beaver Dam shot the ball well. “We’ve been on the road a lot this year. This is the gym we’ve been practicing in, so we probably needed something like that.”
Donaldson agreed it helped make a statement that Beaver Dam is now the top team in the conference.
“I think so, yeah,” she said.
BEAVER DAM 71, REEDSBURG 30
Reedsburg 13 17 - 30
Beaver Dam 42 29 - 71
Reedsburg (30) – Ava Douglas 9, Brooklyn Schyvnick 17, Skyler Miller 6, Rylee Dorow 1, Kaitlyn Zunker 2. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 11 8-15 30.
Beaver Dam (71) – Natalie Jens 6, Grace Scharfenberg 2, Paige Schumann 4, Jada Donaldson 23, Kaylee Miller 2, Afton Bartol 6, Maty Wilke 10, Maryn Ferron 3, Tara Stauffacher 9, Aly Van Loo 6. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 29 3-4 71.
3-pointers: R 0, BD 10 (Jada Donaldson 6, Natalie Jens 2, Maryn Ferron 1, Tara Stauffacher 1). Total fouls: R 5, BD 14. Fouled out: R – none. BD – none.