The Tide is rising in Edgerton.
Thanks to a recent eight-game winning streak, Edgerton High’s boys basketball team has gone from pretender to contender in the Rock Valley Conference.
The Crimson Tide are allowing fewer than 50 points a game and are balanced offensively. Coach Daryl Fox can go nine or 10 deep on his bench, with five players averaging seven points or more a game.
A win Friday night over front-running East Troy could move the Tide within a half-game of first place. Edgerton last won a conference title in the 2013-14 season when it captured the Rock Valley North crown.
Fox said his team has exceeded expectations.
“I’m pleasantly surprised by where we’re at,” Fox said. “I thought we had a chance to be pretty good, but you never want to underestimate this league. Our league is really good.
“We’ve talked in years past about being competitive, but it’s a big step to go from being competitive to beating the upper-echelon teams.”
Edgerton (11-3, 9-3) started the season 2-2, including a 27-point loss to first-place East Troy, but has been on a roll ever since. Before Tuesday’s road loss at McFarland, the Tide had not lost since Dec. 7, and six of the eight wins during the stretch were by double digits.
Fox said his team learned a valuable lesson in the early loss to East Troy.
“Every kid on this team realized that if you don’t play defense and work hard, you’re not going to see the court,” Fox said. “It’s as simple as that.
“And the fact that we’re so balanced scoring-wise, it makes it tougher for other teams to defend us because there’s only so much you can take away.”
While Edgerton looks to take one step closer to the top spot in the Rock Valley on Friday night, here’s a look at two other area games, as well:
Jefferson (13-0, 11-0 Rock Valley) at Big Foot (10-5, 9-2), girls, 7:15 p.m., today—A must-win game for the host Chiefs if they have their sights set on a Rock Valley title. The unbeaten Eagles hold a two-game lead over second-place Big Foot.
Jefferson won the first meeting between the teams this season, 53-40. The game was tied 18-18 at half, but free throws proved to be the difference down the stretch. The Eagles outscored the Chiefs 23-6 at the line.
Parker Fetherston is averaging 15.5 points per game to lead Jefferson.
“They’re very quick, and that gave us problems the first time we played them,” Big Foot senior Courtney Schoenbeck said of Jefferson. “We have to get back on defense and do a better job of rebounding.”
Reagan Courier averages 16.2 points a game to lead Big Foot, with Schoenbeck also in double figures at 13.7.
Best guess: Jefferson 57, Big Foot 51
East Troy (9-4, 9-1 Rock Valley) at Edgerton (11-3, 9-3), boys, 7:15 p.m., Friday—The Crimson Tide look to bounce back after seeing their eight-game winning streak snapped Tuesday at McFarland.
East Troy handed Edgerton its worst loss of the season, 75-48, on Dec. 7.
“We were ahead with three minutes left in the first half, but then had a really bad last three minutes of the first half and first three minutes of the second half,” Edgerton coach Daryl Fox said.
“The big thing we have to do is not let (AJ) Vukovich get to the basket so easily. We have to have somebody step up and be willing to take a charge.”
Vukovich continues to fill it up for the Trojans. The sophomore is averaging 19.6 points a game to lead the conference, and he had a 40-point game earlier this season.
Jacob Fox leads a balanced attack for Edgerton. His 15.3 points a game lead the team, but four other players are averaging seven points or more.
Best guess: East Troy 66, Edgerton 59
Sun Prairie (13-1, 10-1 Big Eight) at Janesville Craig (6-7, 5-6), boys, 7:30 p.m., today—The fourth-ranked Cardinals bring their high-flying act to Bob Suter Court.
Sun Prairie has been on a roll since the return of Jalen Johnson. The 6-foot-6 sophomore—ranked as the No. 6 recruit in the nation by ESPN for the class of 2020—is second in the conference in scoring at 20.9 points per game and is a matchup nightmare for the undersized Cougars.
Sun Prairie, then without Johnson, won the first game between the teams this season, 76-69.
Sun Prairie senior Marlon Ruffin is averaging 16.6 points per game and is also drawing interest from a number of Division I schools.
Blake McCann continues to pile up the points. The senior leads the Big Eight in scoring at 21.5 points per game and has reached double figures in scoring every game.
Best guess: Sun Prairie 74, Craig 60
Area scoring leaders
Logan Eischeid;Jr.;Big Foot;18.1;26