In her fourth season playing varsity girls basketball, Bethany Oren has been asked to shoulder more of the load.
The Edgerton High senior has answered the call, and on Tuesday she was rewarded in more ways than one.
Oren matched her season and career highs with 28 points, and her first basket of the second half put her over the 1,000-point mark for her career. It all came in a 62-53 Rock Valley Conference home victory over rival Evansville.
“I tried not to know (my career total), because I didn’t really want to and it would make me more nervous,” Oren said. “But it’s amazing. It’s a short list of girls who have done it.
“And a rivalry win is always nice.”
Oren became the sixth Crimson Tide girls player in the 1,000-point club. The others are Rose Fox, Meggie Schmidt, Kellan Schmidt, Whitney Oren—Bethany’s sister—and Brenda Matzke.
“She’s put a lot of work into her four years and really upped her game this year when we really needed it,” Edgerton coach Mike Schmidt said of Bethany Oren, who is averaging more than 19 points per game. “She’s tough for anyone to match up against. She’s got a tough shot to block.”
Oren made her presence felt early and often against Evansville. She had six points in Edgerton’s first three possessions and finished with 14 in each half.
The Crimson Tide led 18-17 with about seven minutes remaining in the first half, but they went on a 14-2 run going into halftime to seize control.
Senior Jessica Danks made back-to-back 3-pointers just before halftime and added 20 points for a Crimson Tide team that improved to just 5-13 overall and 3-11 in the RVC but has won three of its last six games.
“We’re definitely not the same team that we were at the start of the year,” Schmidt said. “We’re playing a lot better. We played Jefferson and Whitewater to tough games and have some wins now. We hope to be playing our best at the end of the year, and it’s coming.”
Oren made a pair of buckets—including the one to put her over 1,000—to open the second half, stretching the lead to 16 points. She was 10 of 16 from the field and 8 of 10 from the line, and she had a five-point solo run midway through the second half that pushed Edgerton’s lead over 20.
Evansville used full-court pressure down the stretch to mount a bit of a comeback but ran out of time. Sophomore Abby Eftemoff finished with 17 points, and junior Riley Hazard added 11.
The Blue Devils, who have the exact same records as the Crimson Tide, were missing a handful of players due to illness and played their fourth straight game without standout Paige Banks. The sophomore, who is averaging 19 points per game, suffered a concussion against Clinton.
“There’s nothing you can do about it, you just have to muddle through,” Evansville coach Tina Aasen said. “We have moments of greatness and then kind of peter out a little bit. And we get ourselves in such a hole sometimes that it’s hard for anybody to get out of that.
“But I can never fault our players’ effort. They play hard and play until the end.”
The Rock Valley girls are back in action Friday, with Evansville hosting Whitewater and Edgerton traveling to Brodhead.
EDGERTON 62, EVANSVILLE 53
Evansville (53)—Hinkle, 1-1-4; Rinehart, 4-1-9; Hazard, 5-1-12; Fillner, 3-2-8; Sendlebach, 2-0-4; Eftemoff, 5-6-16. Totals: 20-11-53.
Edgerton (62)—B. Oren, 10-8-28; Stamm, 3-0-8; Demrow, 0-2-2; Shaw, 2-0-4; Danks, 7-2-20. Totals: 22-12-62.
Evansville 19 34—53
Edgerton 32 30—62
3-point goals—Evansville 2 (Hinkle, Hazard), Edgerton 6 (Stamm 2, Danks 4). Free throws missed—Evansville 9, Edgerton 7. Total fouls—Evansville 16, Edgerton 15.