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Sports

Girls Basketball: Panthers pull off pleasant surprise in regional opener

21st-seeded Oswego blows out Plainfield Central 61-37

Oswego's Jenell Rogers secures a rebound against Yorkville's Lindsay Harrison (right) during the annual Hoops for Hope girls varsity basketball game at Yorkville High School on Saturday, January 27, 2018. Steven Buyansky - For Shaw Media
Oswego's Jenell Rogers secures a rebound against Yorkville's Lindsay Harrison (right) during the annual Hoops for Hope girls varsity basketball game at Yorkville High School on Saturday, January 27, 2018. Steven Buyansky - For Shaw Media

Surprise, surprise.

Oswego's girls basketball team sure turned heads with the upset of the first night of regionals Monday. The 21st-seeded Panthers flipped the script from two double-digit regular-season losses to 10th-seeded Plainfield Central, blowing out the Wildcats 61-37 at the Class 4A Plainfield South Regional.

"I'm sure nobody expected us to beat the 10 seed," Oswego coach Dave Beebe said. "I told the girls 'You never know. That's why you play the game.'"

Jennelle Rogers scored 16 points to pace Oswego (3-22), but it was quite a balanced effort. Samara Bosman, Julia Henrikson and Angelina Schlinger added nine points apiece. Katie Beebe had eight.

"And McKenna [Engler] played well," Beebe said. "She only hit the one three, but she did so many other good things. She missed a free throw, tipped a ball and Samara got a layup. It doesn't have to be just about scoring – but we'll take that too."

Oswego led most of the way, taking a 33-22 lead into halftime.

It only got better after that. The Panthers outscored Plainfield Central 20-5 in the third quarter.

"I told them that now is the time, that we to put the foot on the accelerator," Beebe said. "That run basically sealed the game there."

Noteworthy, Oswego had the fewest turnovers of any game this season.

"We played a lot more as a team, we looked to pass the ball more and we got more assists than we normally do," Beebe said. "Our defense and just the way we took care of the ball stand out. We played 11 kids and every one contributed. To have that kind of balance, we haven't seen that in a while."

Win or lose Oswego's next time out, against Yorkville, it's good momentum for a young team going into the offseason.

'"We could have just caved in for the playoffs, but we have a good group. They didn't fold," Beebe said. "They came out with the intensity we asked of them. We're trying to win this year but with so many young kids we're trying to build stuff for next year too. I was really proud of the effort."

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