Carson Nitz, rightfully, is going to be the focus of many opposing defenses this season.
The Beloit Turner girls basketball senior, a three-year starter, can score from anywhere on the floor. She’s a legitimate offensive threat, but the Trojans are even harder to stop when others are scoring too.
Such was the case Friday night.
Nitz poured in a game-high 24 points, and Turner drew upon its deep roster to surge past Edgerton for a 67-51 Rock Valley Conference win at Edgerton High.
Turner coach Nick Faralli knew he could lean on the 5-foot-10 Nitz, but beyond that, even he didn’t know how the rest of his roster—full of players shifting into new roles—would respond in Friday’s season opener against an Edgerton team that won 18 games last winter.
“This was a huge momentum booster to come on the road and beat a team that had a lot of wins last year,” Faralli said. “You just never know the first time those lights go on in a varsity game how we’re going to respond. We played with great energy all night long.
“A lot of our depth is unknown, and we weren’t sure what to expect coming in. We got a lot of production from a lot of different places.”
The Trojans (1-0, 1-0 RVC) shot 52.1 percent from the field and made 10 3-pointers. Mara Fowler scored 12 points and Elise Metzger added 10 points in the win, while combining for seven 3s.
When those two found their rhythm, it created even more space inside for Nitz to operate.
“We did a great job with our secondary players knocking down shots, all the sudden creating gaps for her (Nitz), and we took advantage,” Faralli said. “Carson did a great job getting to the rim tonight.”
Sharpshooter Jessica Danks hit five 3-pointers to lead Edgerton (1-1, 0-1 RVC) with 19 points, and Bethany Oren added 17 points.
The Tide, tough, didn’t have the legs to keep up with the Trojans, shooting just 26 percent after the break.
“We played our butts off for 32 minutes. We’ve just gotta play 36 minutes,” Edgerton coach Mike Schmidt said. “When they subbed, it was like it wasn’t even noticeable. They were fresh, and we were dragging a bit.”
Turner opened the second half on an 8-0 run. Ally Bosetti scored inside, Nitz completed a three-point play and then drew several defenders on a drive to the basket before kicking the ball to a wide-open Fowler, who connected to put the Trojans up 36-28 with 16 minutes left.
“We always say that the first three minutes of the second half are the most important,” Nitz said. “And we just came out and kept the intensity high.”
Turner’s indeed played with intensity most of the night, running out to a 10-7 lead early in the first half.
Edgerton pulled ahead, 16-15, on Danks’ 3-pointer with 5:52 until halftime, but Olivia Tinder, Fowler, and Nitz hit three straight 3s and Turner never trailed again.
The Tide, though, finished the half on a 12-2 run—Danks sparked the charge with a pair of 3s—to tie the game 28-28. The second half belonged to the Trojans.
Both teams continue Rock Valley play Tuesday. Edgerton travels to McFarland, while Turner welcomes Whitewater to Beloit.
TURNER 67, EDGERTON 51
Turner (67)—Bosetti 4-0-8, Wash 0-2-2, Fowler 4-0-12, Nitz 9-3-24, Fobes 1-0-2, Metzger 4-0-10, Tinder 2-2-7, Njoo 0-2-2. Totals: 24-9-67.
Edgerton (55)—Oren 7-3-17, Stamm 2-0-5, Demrow 1-2-4, Shaw 1-0-2, Schuman 1-0-2, Danks 7-0-19, Cleveland 0-2-2. Totals: 19-7-51.
Turner 28 39—67
Edgerton 28 23—51
Three-point goals—Turner 10 (Fowler 4, Nitz 3, Metzger 2, Tinder 1), Edgerton 6 (Danks 5, Stamm 1). Free throws missed—Edgerton 4, Turner 2. Total fouls—Edgerton 16, Turner 13.