Relentless Panthers cruise in regional semis

by Greg Ceilley of The Review Staff

PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers were in the attack mode on both ends of the court to pave the way for a 68-50 win over Kewaskum in the Division 2 boys basketball regional semifinals Friday evening at the PHS gym.
Plymouth's was relentless on offense – scoring several points by taking the ball to the hoop and either scoring or drawing fouls. PHS attempted an incredible 41 free throws and made 25. The Indians were only 1-for-6.
The Panthers' full-court press and half-court traps gave Kewaskum fits – forcing several turnovers, many of which led to points. PHS had 14 steals, led by sophomore guard Kollin Neils and junior guard Owen Henriksen with three each.
“Everyone helped [win the game]. Our student section helped a lot. We showed a lot of hustle on offense and defense,” said Panther junior guard Cory Unger.
“A lot of guys did a lot of good things. Our offense was really balanced. Defensively, we forced turnovers,” said PHS head coach Jason Duff.
“We worked to put them in pressure situations and make them play fast, and we made it tough on them.” The No. 2-seeded Panthers improved to 18-5. Kewaskum, a No. 10 seed, ended its season at 6-18. The Indians lost to PHS twice during the Eastern Wisconsin Conference season.
Unger and senior guard Parker Kastelic keyed a balanced PHS offense with 14 points each. Five players scored at least nine points.
The Panthers gained control of the game with a 10-4 run in the final 5:00 of the first half to build a 31-22 lead. Unger led the way with four points on a driving layup and two free throws.
Unger and Kastelic ignited the Panthers' offense in the opening half with 10 points each – mostly as a result of taking the ball hard to the hoop.
Kewaskum got into foul trouble in the first half as three players picked up three fouls apiece. The Indians committed a whopping 15 fouls in the half and the Panthers cashed in with 12 free throws on 22 attempts.
After a slow start in the third period, the Panthers unleashed a 19-2 run to turn the game into a rout at 58-35 with 5:30 left to play. Kewaskum had cut Plymouth's lead to 39-33 after Corey Burdick nailed a threepointer before the Panthers went on their tear.
Neils and Henriksen sparked the PHS run with seven points each. The Panthers clicked on all cylinders during the stretch – attacking the basket off good ball movement, and forcing several turnovers that led to transition points.
PHS was red-hot from the field in the second half as it missed only three shots.
“After the first couple of minutes in the third quarter, we had a very good stretch and made really good decisions,” said Duff.
“We kept floor space and moved the ball crisply. We were able to penetrate and pass the ball off. Parker did a good job of penetrating and passing off.”
Henriksen led and Eric Nygaard PHS in assists and rebounds with three each. The Panthers had an excellent 16 assists.
“Kewaskum played really hard. They have some guys who can put the ball in the basket,” Duff said.
Senior guard-forward Brett Nuernberg paced the Indians' scoring with 13.

BOYS BASKETBALL

KEWASKUM 50
PLYMOUTH 68

 

Score by Quarters    
Kewaskum   14 8 11 17 – 50
Plymouth   14 17 18 19 – 68

 

Kewaskum scoring: Brett Nuernberg 13, Tony Gonring 9, Eric Perkins 9, Brad Boegel 8, Nate Stockhausen 5, Corey Burdick 3, Kyle Tessar 2, Roy Beaupre 1.
Plymouth scoring: Parker Kastelic 14, Kollin Neils 10, Owen Henriksen 9, Cory Unger 14, Brett Erdmann 2, Eric Nygaard 3, Jordan Mueller 2, Brady Peterson 9, Matt Rhude 5.
Three-point goals: Burdick 1, Gonring 1, Nuernberg 1, Perkins 1, Stockhausen 1, Kastelic 1.
Field goals: Plymouth 21-41, 51%. Free throws: Kewaskum 1-6, 17%; Plymouth 25-41, 61%.
Rebounds: Plymouth 16. Turnovers: Plymouth 11.


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