Oswego sophomore Jenelle Rogers has been a call-up to varsity at times this season.
Now, it appears she’s here to stay.
The Panthers could use whatever kind of boost that Rogers can give the team as they dropped their 14th consecutive game to open the season, falling to Sycamore, 48-34, in the first round of the Oswego East Holiday Classic on Tuesday.
Rogers scrapped her way to a team-high 11 points, but it was not enough as the Panthers lost their 11th game by double digits.
"She’s pretty much going to be up here the rest of the way after this,” Oswego coach Dave Beebe said. “She’s got a lot of potential and doesn’t seem to get bothered by the typical garbage that other kids do.”
With the outcome all but officially settled with Sycamore leading 43-23 after three quarters, Rogers delivered, scoring all 11 of her points, including a pair of baskets after offensive rebounds.
“She always seems to find the ball,” Beebe said. “And she plays hard all the time.”
Freshman McKenna Engler added seven points and Katie Beebe had six points and nine rebounds for the Panthers.
“McKenna has a lot of energy and when she want to, she can score for us,” Dave Beebe said. “Sometimes she puts too much pressure on herself and forces some things, but if we can have a freshman like that looking to make a difference, I’ll take that. Now we just have to have her pick her spots and not force so much. The best is yet to come from her, but now let’s get the best out of her.”
As far as best goes, there was no one even close to Sycamore’s Kate Majerus in the second quarter.
The senior swished five of her six 3-pointers in the second quarter, turning a modest 11-6 lead after one quarter into a 31-16 advantage at the half.
Majerus hadn’t scored in the first quarter.
“My shots weren’t falling at the start and my assistant coach [Andrew Stacy] kept reminding me that I’m one of those shooters who can go off at any moment so keep shooting,” she said. “It was just one of those moments where it just clicked and my teammates were awesome finding me with all the passes. It was a fun quarter for sure.”
Fans began hollering, “You need to find No. 11,” but Majerus, claimed she didn’t hear them.
“When I’m playing, I don’t here a thing except for my teammates and my coach,” she said. “I was in my rhythm. Once you get there you try to stay as long as you can. It’s a good place to be in, for sure.”
While Majerus delivered from long-range, her sophomore teammate Kylie Feuerbach was dominant all over the floor, scoring 16 points and collecting 10 rebounds. Freshman Faith Klemm added seven points in the winning effort.
“I don’t want to take anything away from them, but we knew [Majerus] could shoot but we didn’t do a good job defending her,” Beebe said. “They’re a solid team and we played hard in moments, but in others we stood there and let them shoot and you can’t do that at the varsity level.”
The Panthers resume tournament action at home at 1:30 p.m.Thursday. Their opponent is yet to be determined.