Panthers miss chance to clinch title share

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


OWEN HENRIKSEN of Plymouth drives down the lane past Two Rivers’ Ethan Willman (4) in Tuesday night’s EWC basketball game. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley OWEN HENRIKSEN of Plymouth drives down the lane past Two Rivers’ Ethan Willman (4) in Tuesday night’s EWC basketball game. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Two Rivers used a 22-7 run in the final six minutes to earn a 61-53 comeback win over the Plymouth Panthers in a crucial Eastern Wisconsin Conference boys basketball game Tuesday night at the PHS gym.

The loss kept the Panthers from clinching at least a share of their second straight EWC title. PHS, 11-2 in league play (15-6 overall), is tied for first with Waupun which routed New Holstein Tuesday night, 81-50, to gain a share of the top spot.

The Purple Raiders improved to 7-5 in the EWC (13-7 overall).

PHS and Waupun each have one EWC game remaining. The Panthers play at New Holstein and Waupun travels to second-place Sheboygan Falls on Friday night.

The Panthers took a 46-39 led after Owen Henriksen hit a perimeter shot with 6:15 left. The Purple Raiders answered with a 15-3 spurt to go up 54-49 with about 1:30 remaining. Senior guard Brett Linzmeier sparked the run with eight points. PHS committed three turnovers during the stretch.

Two Rivers was 7-for-8 at the foul line in the final 44 seconds, led by Dexter Smith’s 6-for-6, which sealed the win.

“Two Rivers can make shots. That’s what they do best. They made a little run in the middle of the fourth quarter and we didn’t respond well,” said Panther head coach Jason Duff.

Two Rivers sank 10 three-point shots, including seven in the first half, and was a scorching 6-for-8 from three-point range in the second quarter. Smith drilled all four of his treys in the second quarter, including one at the buzzer which gave his team a 27-21 halftime lead.

PHS led 9-7 after one quarter. The Purple Raiders outscored the Panthers 20-12 in the second period. The Panthers missed several high-percentage shots in the opening half.

The Panthers came out strong in the third quarter, keyed by an aggressive defense which clamped down and by attacking the basket for inside points. Senior center Jordan Mueller sparked the Panthers’ offense in the period with six of his team’s first eight points. Kollin Neils drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to give PHS a 40-36 lead going into the fourth period.

Henriksen led PHS in scoring with 16 points. Linzmeier paced a balanced Two Rivers offense with 16.

Henriksen played a strong overall game as he also contributed a team-high six assists and two steals to go with six rebounds. Kevin Friederichs led in boards with seven.

Linzmeier paced his team in assists with an outstanding eight. Smith led in rebounds with 11.

“Plymouth is such a quality team and to come in here and get a win is a big momentum-builder for us going into the postseason,” said Two Rivers head coach Randy Fredrikson.

“The three-pointers kept us in the game in the first half. We kept coming off stagger screens. Plymouth is so aggressive, so you just have to keep working and moving the ball.

“We handled their pressure pretty well. Everyone really contributed and you need that agaisnt a team like Plymouth,” said Fredrikson.

“I thought we came out of halftime and played well,” said Duff.

Another key was how we handled their run in the third quar- ter.,” said Fredrikson. “Quality teams always make a run and we had to respond.”

“This time of year, things can change very quickly,” said Duff. “We are going to do what we know how to do – work hard and play together. If we do that, things will get better in a hurry.”

FRESHMAN GAME

Gage Nischke popped in 20 points to spark the PHS freshmen to a 57-39 win. The Panthers im- proved to 13-0 in the EWC (18-1 overall).

David Hassel added 10 points and a team-high eight boards for PHS. Samuel Staehling led in assists with five. Ryan Holec played well off the bench said PHS coach Scott Richards.

TWO RIVERS 61

PLYMOUTH 53

Score by Quarters

Two Rivers...............7 20 9 25 – 61
Plymouth…..............9 12 19 13 – 53

Two Rivers scoring: Dexter smith 14, Ethan Willman 12, Cameron Greene 5, Brett Kasper 12, Brett Linzmeier 16, Erik Wiegand 2.

Plymouth scoring: Cory Unger 2, Kollin Neils 9, Owen Henriksen 16, Clay Henning 3, Jordan Mueller 8, Collin Denzin 5, Tom Jankowski 6, Eric Nygaard 2, Kevin Friederichs 2.

Three-point goals: Smith 4, Willman 2, Greene 1, Kasper 2, Linzmeier 1, Neils 2, Henriksen 1, Henning 1.

Field goals: Two Rivers 20-55, 36%; Plymouth 21-55, 38%. Free throws: Two Rivers 11-13, 85%; Plymouth 6-10, 60%.

Rebounds: Two Rivers 37, Plymouth 34. Turnovers: Two Rivers 9, Plymouth 8.


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