Rangers mount rout in French Lick

Photo by Hunter Tickel/The Herald
Junior forward Amber Tretter (15) of Forest Park surveys the frontcourt during the Rangers 51-33 drubbing of Springs Valley on Thursday in French Lick.


FRENCH LICK — There wasn't an inkling of hesitation from the Forest Park girls basketball team on Thursday.

No wavering from its third consecutive 2-0 start which coincided with coach Tony Hasenour's 80th in his sixth year at the helm.

The 51-33 drubbing of Springs Valley came against Marty Niehaus, who Hasenour replaced after her quarter of a century stint in Ferdinand.

No. 4 Forest Park should have more clinical nights like these on the slate.

The star-studded outfit was headlined by junior Amber Tretter.

Tretter's reach created chaos and when the ball was in her hands, she showed off a plethora of moves dictating fast breaks. She finished with a game-best 20 points, 14 in the opening half.

It's why Bellarmine University extended an offer.

For the first three quarters, she spearheaded a defense that kept Springs Valley in check with 15 points from multiple defensive looks (half-court traps and a full-court press).

"We did a real job with our press," Hasenour said. "Getting things covered up, and even a few times making things look open. We've got a lot of length up there. When (junior) Lydia (Betz) gets her arms and wingspan out there, it's difficult to pass over. Amber gets her wingspan out there, it's hard to pass around. We want to try to take advantage of that as much as we can."

The glut of talented juniors extends to point guard Betz, who utilized her length in addition to Tretter to keep Springs Valley rattled.

It wasn't until 3:30 left in the first quarter that the Blackhawks garnered a field goal for a five-point margin.

Betz said the rotations on the press still need to be refined.

On the other end, Betz kept the defense honest with a long-range basket. She maintained the tempo and powered the offensive sets.

Through two games, junior Carley Begle has joined Tretter in double-digit scoring with 12 points against the Blackhawks, sinking all four of her free throws.

"I just try to get open for my team," Begle said. "If I get open, I try to use my footwork to my advantage and score it. If I don't, most of the time I have someone like Amber to come back me up and rebound for me."

Her lower-body control and shiftiness make her a handful to contend with in the paint.

"If we are going to be successful, we need multiple people to step up," Hasenour said. "We can't be a one-, two-, three-girl show. It's going to have to be more than that."

Senior Ali Welp warmed up, but didn't check-in, in her stead junior Danielle Eckert made her second spot start. She handed out assists on the opening two buckets to finish with a team-high seven assists.

The Rangers sealed the game up early with a 12-0 spurt to close the period. A chest pass from junior forward Alivia Gehlhausen to Tretter produced a bucket to beat the horn.

The Rangers open their home slate on Saturday against Loogootee as this contingent looks to continue to make strides toward proving last postseason wasn't a one-hit sectional wonder.

"We've been fighting through an injury with Ali, just still being able to have those two wins is big for us," Betz said. "Just confidence and to know we can play good as a team."

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