Prep girls basketball: Fenwick seeks rhythm after third straight defeat

Oakwood’s Kaeley Beam (22) puts up a jumper during Monday night’s 66-50 victory at Fenwick. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
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Oakwood’s Kaeley Beam (22) puts up a jumper during Monday night’s 66-50 victory at Fenwick. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

MIDDLETOWN — Scott Dalton is still trying to bring everything together with his Fenwick High School girls basketball team this season.

The Falcons are a quick, athletic bunch, but they also took their third straight loss Monday night, a 66-50 setback at the hands of visiting Oakwood in nonleague play.

“We’re still trying to find our identity, who our leader is, who our scorer is in crunch time, and I know our defense wasn’t looking too good today,” Dalton said. “We’re making some strides. We’re just not there yet.”

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It was this kind of evening for Fenwick: The hosts took a 7-0 lead in the opening three minutes, then gave up 15 consecutive points.

Elena Daly scored 11 points, Hannah Beckman had 10, and Brooke Brunner and Emily Adams added eight apiece for the Falcons (2-3).

“They just kept making their shots and we didn’t,” said Beckman, a junior guard. “Since we’re a smaller team and don’t have a lot of bigs, we have to shoot a lot better. We should have a better transition throughout the game because we run faster.”

Fenwick shot 29 percent from the floor against Oakwood (3-3), and Dalton said his team has been under 30 percent in all three of its defeats.

The Falcons did make 6-of-9 free throws. They were shooting 38.5 percent from the line through their first four games.

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Fenwick’s Rachel Tebbe (10) guards Lauren Hapgood (14) of Oakwood during Monday night’s game at Fenwick. The visiting Jills won 66-50. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

Fenwick’s Rachel Tebbe (10) guards Lauren Hapgood (14) of Oakwood during Monday night’s game at Fenwick. The visiting Jills won 66-50. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
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Fenwick’s Rachel Tebbe (10) guards Lauren Hapgood (14) of Oakwood during Monday night’s game at Fenwick. The visiting Jills won 66-50. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

“It’s a different group of girls this year,” Dalton said. “I’ve got to find out what motivates them a little bit more than last year. But I’m not in panic mode. This is a process, and once we find our identity, we’ll be fine. I’m 100 percent sure of that.”

Adams grabbed seven rebounds for the Falcons. Brunner had five, and Beckman and Rachel Tebbe each snagged four.

Oakwood earned a sizable advantage on the glass behind the efforts of Kylie Neff, who hauled in 19 rebounds.

“Kylie’s an all-star at the job we ask her to do,” first-year Jills coach Matt Salyer said of Neff, a 5-foot-10 junior who scored just two points. “We don’t ask her to go score 20 a night. We ask her to be a physical presence inside and get rebounds. That’s what we’ve tried to sell here. Do your job, be great at what we ask you to do, and she’s a great example of that.”

Margie Conrath tossed in a career-high 25 points for Oakwood. Lauren Hapgood (17) and Ellie Duwel (10) also hit double digits, and Duwel and Conrath both had six boards.

Fenwick was within 49-41 after Daly’s 3-pointer started the fourth stanza, but could get no closer. The Jills were 13-of-16 from the charity stripe in the fourth period, 23-of-31 overall.

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Fenwick’s Brooke Brunner contests a shot by Oakwood’s Margie Conrath during Monday night’s game at Fenwick. The visiting Jills won 66-50. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

Fenwick’s Brooke Brunner contests a shot by Oakwood’s Margie Conrath during Monday night’s game at Fenwick. The visiting Jills won 66-50. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
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Fenwick’s Brooke Brunner contests a shot by Oakwood’s Margie Conrath during Monday night’s game at Fenwick. The visiting Jills won 66-50. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

“We knew we had to stop Hapgood and we knew about Conrath, and we didn’t do a very good job against either of them,” Dalton said. “We’ve got to improve our defense. It’s basic, fundamental stuff.”

Hapgood is a senior guard headed for Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Conrath, a sophomore guard, had 17 points by halftime.

“Margie’s a hard guard and she guards hard, so she’s 2-for-2 there,” Salyer said. “We count on her probably more than most teams would like to count on a sophomore, but she was battle tested last year as a freshman.”

The Falcons played without leading scorer Hannah Tebbe because of a concussion. Oakwood was missing two regulars, Kyndall Ketterer (knee) and Kylie Foos (concussion).

“We’ve had some lulls, some quarters where we kind of lose focus a little bit, and tonight I felt like we were engaged for all four,” Salyer said. “They keep coming in every day and working hard, and this is the result of that. It’s nothing secretive. It’s just hard work, do your job and be accountable. It’s nothing the coaches have done. We’re not gimmicking. It’s all them.”

Fenwick will travel to Ross on Tuesday. The Jills will host Brookville on Saturday afternoon.

Oakwood 16-18-15-17—66

Fenwick 9-14-15-12—50

OAKWOOD (3-3): Kylie Neff 0 2 2; Mia Gorman 1 0 2; Lauren Hapgood 3 11 17; Ellie Duwel 1 7 10; Margie Conrath 10 1 25; Olivia Caplette 2 2 6; Kaeley Beam 2 0 4. Totals: 19-23-66

FENWICK (2-3): Rachel Tebbe 2 0 4; Hannah Beckman 5 0 10; Brooke Brunner 3 0 8; Elena Daly 4 0 11; Emily Adams 3 2 8; Julia Capell 2 0 5; Natalie Connor 0 2 2; Brenna Cromwell 0 2 2. Totals: 19-6-50

3-pointers: O 5 (Conrath 4, Duwel), F 6 (Daly 3, Brunner 2, Capell)

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