Oostburg staves off Panthers

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

ZAC CAIN, Plymouth forward, leads a fast break as Oostburg’s Jacob Hurlbutt (42) defends in Saturday night’s basketball game. Plymouth’s Eric Nygaard trails Cain. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley ZAC CAIN, Plymouth forward, leads a fast break as Oostburg’s Jacob Hurlbutt (42) defends in Saturday night’s basketball game. Plymouth’s Eric Nygaard trails Cain. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley OOSTBURG – Clutch freethrow showing down the stretch lifted Oostburg over the Plymouth Panthers, 42-38, in a defensive battle between area boys basketball powers here Saturday night.

The nonconference game was the season opener for both teams. The Flying Dutchmen were 9-for-11 at the foul line in the final 1:48 which helped seal a hard-fought win.

Parker Gabrielse hit both foul shots on a double-bonus with 15 seconds remaining which gave Oostburg a 39-35 lead. The Panthers answered with a three-pointer by Tom Jankowski to pull within 39-38 with eight seconds left.

Jacob Hurlbutt was fouled with 6.8 seconds remaining and made 1 of 2 foul shots which upped Oostburg’s lead to 40-38.

The Panthers inbounded the ball in their backcourt but junior guard Lukas Meerdink took a charge against a PHS player who had received the pass, giving the ball back to Oostburg. Meerdink was then fouled and he hit two free throws which made it 42-38 with 4.3 seconds left which cemented the win.

“I thought both teams played hard and competed,” said Dutchman head coach Kevin Bruggink.

“I was pleased that we were able to hold our own rebounding with a big and strong Plymouth team. I was also pleased that we were able to respond after they took it to us in the third quarter.”
DREW SCHWEIGER of Plymouth tries to drive past Oostburg’s Jacob Hurlbutt during Saturday night’s basketball game. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley DREW SCHWEIGER of Plymouth tries to drive past Oostburg’s Jacob Hurlbutt during Saturday night’s basketball game. — Review photo by Greg Ceilley

The Panthers, who trailed 18- 12 at halftime, outscored Oostburg 16-8 in the third period to seize a 28-26 lead. PHS was sparked in the quarter by a tenacious, trapping defense which forced five turnovers – all by steals.

Three of Plymouth’s steals in the third quarter led to baskets. Kollin Neils’ steal and layup off a trap put PHS up 26-24 late in the period. Neils scored on a baseline drive which gave his team a 28-26 advantage. He scored a team-high six points in the quarter.

Kyle Swart’s follow-up basket tied the game for Oostburg at 28-28 with 6:40 left. The Dutchmen took the lead for good, 29-28, on a free throw by Gabrielse at the 4:15 mark.

Turnovers and cold shooting hurt the Panthers in the final period. PHS was scoreless in the quarter until Neils hit a driving layup with 2:30 left which shaved Oostburg’s lead to 31-30. Plymouth committed four turnovers in the last period.

Gabrielse’s three-point play off a drive in traffic boosted his team’s advantage to 34-30 with 1:48 left. After a PHS turnover, Swart made two bo- nus free throws to make it 36-30.

Neils scored Plymouth’s next five points, including a layup off his steal, and PHS trailed 37-35 with 18 seconds remaining.

Neils gave PHS a 4-0 lead early in the first quarter but the Panthers struggled on offense the rest of the opening half as they were outscored 18-8 and trailed 18-12 at halftime. The Panthers were hurt by turnovers, poor shooting and foul trouble in the first half.

Oostburg played well on defense, had strong rebounding and good ball movement in the half. The Dutchmen also handled the Panthers’ half-court trap well in the first two quarters.

“We got into some foul trouble in the first half. We had four players with two fouls by halftime. Other than that we just made a ton of mistakes,” said Panther head coach Jason Duff.

“We didn’t attack intelligently on offense, the ball didn’t move from side to side, we overdribbled and we didn’t get enough offensive rebounds.

“On defense we fouled too much and we had some mental lapses that cost us.

“Oostburg deserved to win. They played better than us. They were very good on defense and on offense they were patient,” Duff said.

Neils, a senior guard, scored a game-high 19 points. He also had a team-high three steals and two assists. Jankowski led in rebounds with six and Eric Nygaard had five.

Andrew Telschow paced Oostburg in scoring with 12 and Gabrielse netted 10. Telschow led in assists with three.

Swart had a team-high two blocked shots and seven boards. Meerdink led in steals with four.

“I felt Kyle Swart’s rebounding and interior defense was a key factor for us along with the three charges that were taken by Lukas Meerdink, and Andrew Telschow’s ability to handle Plymouth’s pressure,” said Bruggink.

“Jason does a great job of getting his kids to play hard. They play the game the right way and we were fortunate to sneak out a win versus their quality squad.”

“We played very well in the third quarter,” said Duff.

“The mistakes we made are all correctable and if we can learn from thisend.””it will make us better in the

Both teams struggled from the field – PHS shooting 30 percent overall (2-for-10 on threes) and Oostburg with 33 percent (1-for- 15 on threes).


The Panthers outscored Oostburg 29-4 in the fourth quarter en route to a 72-41 romp in the JV game. PHS led 43-37 through three quarters and then wore down the Dutchmen in the final period with good depth.

All 12 of the PHS players scored, led by Jack Sacket with 14 points. Carter Krzyzaniak and Tyler Moegenburg added eight each. Gage Nischke had a teamhigh four assists and four steals. Sacket and Jake Schneider led in rebounds with four each.

In freshman play, the Panthers rolled to a 59-41 victory. Alex Shutter sparked Plymouth’s offense with 19 points, followed by Jake Willeford with 12 and Jake Steinhardt, 11.

PHS coach Scott Richards said Cody Kuhn played well off the bench.



Score by Quarters

Plymouth…................8 4 16 10 38
Oostburg..................108 81642

Plymouth scoring: Dominic Bocchini 2, Kollin Neils 19, Clay Henning 5, Brady Grapentine 2, Collin Denzin 4, Tom Jankowski 3, Eric Nygaard 3.

Oostburg scoring: Andrew Telschow 12, Parker Gabrielse 10, Kyle Swart 9, Jacob Hurlbutt 5, Lukas Meerdink 4, Justin Molter 2.

Three-point goals: Henning 1, Jankowski 1, Telschow 1.

Field goals: Plymouth 13-44, 30%; Oostburg 13-40, 33%. Free throws: Plymouth 10-13, 77%; Oostburg 15-22, 68%.

Rebounds: Plymouth 19, Oostburg 19. Turnovers: Plymouth 12, Oostburg 11_.

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