Beaver Dam entered the WIAA state tournament as one of the highest-scoring teams in Wisconsin, averaging better than 77 points per game. For the first eight minutes of the Division 2 championship game against Cudahy, you wouldn't have guessed it however.
The Golden Beavers would right the ship though and go on to win 52-33 for the program's first state title.
Head coach Tim Chase's group did not score their first point until a three-pointer from Tara Stauffacher with 12:06 left in the first half, as Cudahy raced to an early 10-0 advantage.
The lead was still at eight points (17-9) with a little over seven minutes remaining in the half when Beaver Dam found its stride. An Afton Bartol layup with 7:34 left started a 10-0 run that saw Beaver Dam take a lead it would never relinquish. A big turning point during that run was a sequence that saw Cudahy star Bailey Eichner picked up her second and third fouls in a span of seven seconds, sending her to the bench for much of the half.
By halftime, the Golden Beavers led 30-22, thanks in large part to 16 Cudahy turnovers.
The second half was dominated by Beaver Dam as well, with a swarming defense holding Cudahy to just 21.1% shooting after intermission.
Tara Stauffacher scored 12 points, while reserve Aly Van Loo had a sozen as well on 6-for-8 shooting. Senior Kara Crowley added 11 points.
Nicole Ferch scored a game-high 14 points to lead the way for Cudahy.
Attendance for the evening D1/D2 session at the state tournament was 7,127, nearly 3,600 better than last year and the highest Saturday evening attendance since 2005. The preliminary three-day attendance for the girls tournament was 39,865. That figure will go up slightly once suite sales are added in, and there's a possibility the WIAA could break 40,000, something that hasn't been done since 2006.