Nischke leads PHS to season-opening win


OSHKOSH – Junior Gage Nischke popped in 20 points to ignite the Plymouth Panthers to a 63-59 win over Oshkosh West Friday night in the Oshkosh North Classic boys basketball tournament.

The contest was the season opener for the Panthers under new head coach Butch Cain. Senior Nick Casper contributed 12 points for PHS. Senior Matt Olig had a team-high 10 rebounds and six assists.

In their second game of the tourney, the Panthers were routed by perennial powerhouse Oshkosh North, 86-41, Saturday night. Place-winners weren’t decided in the four-team event which also included Milwaukee Madison. Each team played two games.

“For the first game of the season, we came out energized and intense,” said Cain.

“We played with confidence. We staved off their rally which was good to see. The kids showed composure [down the stretch] and never relinquished the lead.”

PHS, keyed by its fast break, built a 29-12 lead in the second quarter but the Wildcats used an 8-2 run to shave the deficit to 31- 20 at halftime.

“We got good looks and beat them up and down the court and moved the ball real well in the first quarter,” said Cain.

West, keyed by Jake Guenther’s 13 points, outscored PHS 23-17 in the third period to pull within 48-43 heading into the fourth.

The Panthers went on a 10-2 run to start the fourth quarter and extended their lead to 58-45. The Wildcats were unable to close the gap to fewer than four points the rest of the way.

“Gage gave us scoring punch [including two three-point goals] Nick attacked the basket well. Matt had a nice all-around game. Brady Grapentine ran the point [guard] effectively,” Cain pointed out.

The coach was pleased with how players stepped up after starting senior forward Zac Cain left the game with a sprained ankle in the first half and didn’t return. Cain sat out the North game and is expected to be sidelined for about a week.

Guenther led the Wildcats’ attack with 28 points.


The Spartans were on fire from three-point range – sinking 13 of 18 attempts for 72 percent. Blake Marquardt led the barrage with four treys.

North exploded for 29 points in the first quarter and were in command the rest of the game. Marquardt and Philip Flory led a balanced Spartan offense with 18 points each.

“They were hot from the outside and give them credit. We have to defend shots better on the perimeter,” said coach Cain.

“You have to learn from that [loss to North]. It will help motivate us and help us be more focused and more determined.

“They dictated the tempo and their pressure disrupted our confi dence and kind of took us out of our game,” said the coach.

The Panthers were plagued by 26 turnovers.

Nischke and junior TJ Moegenburg paced PHS scorers with 12 each. Nischke was named to the all-tournament team. Olig led the Panthers in rebounds with eight and assists, four.

“TJ finished around the basket well. Matt rebounded well. Gage shot well from the outside [in both games] which opened up shots for him inside,” said the coach.

He said the team will work on playing more consistently and taking care of the ball better.


The Panthers lost both of their games in the North Classic JV tourney, 61-30 versus West and 65-54 against North.

Jake Steinhardt led PHS in scoring in the West contest with 10 and Cody Kuhn added eight. Kuhn had a team-high five steals.

Plymouth’s high scorers versus North were Steinhardt with 14 and Derek Schweiger, 12. Matt Richards had a team-best three assists and Kuhn led in rebounds with 10.


Score by Quarters
Plymouth…............18 13 17 15 – 63
Oshkosh West.......10 10 23 16 – 59

Plymouth scoring: Alex Shutter 6, Nick Casper 12, Zac Cain 5, Brady Grapentine 6, Gage Nischke 20, Drew Schweiger 4, TJ Moegenburg 3, Matt Olig 5. Three-point goals: Nischke 2, Cain 1, Casper 1.

Oshkosh West scoring: Guenther 28, Johnson 11, Gabrielson 7, Courchene 9, Zuleger 2, Vils 2. Threepoint goals: Guenther 4, Gabrielson 1, Johnson 1.

Field goals: Plymouth 24-48, 50%; Free throws: Plymouth 11-20, 55%; Oshkosh West 15-29, 52%.

Rebounds: Plymouth 35. Oshkosh West 32. Turnovers: Plymouth 21, Oshkosh ___________________________ West 12.


Score by Quarters
Plymouth…..............10 16 10 5 – 41
Oshkosh North........29 22 30 5 – 86

Plymouth scoring: Shutter 4, Casper 5, Grapentine 6, Nischke 12, Schweiger 1, Moegenburg 12, Dayton Krueger 1. Three-point goals: Nischke 3, Grapentine 2, Casper 1.

Oshkosh North scoring: Taylor 17, Flory 18, Marquardt 18, Madut 6, Trochinski 2, Hassman 4, Haliburton 3, Bauer 5, Sundstrom 5, Ellestad 4, Gabriska 4. Three-point goals: Marquardt 4, Taylor 3, Flory 3, Bauer 1, Gabriska 1, Haliburton 1.

Field goals: Plymouth 15-39, 38%. Free throws: Plymouth 5-8, 63%; Oshkosh Nort 5-12, 42%.

Rebounds: Plymouth 23, Oshkosh North___________________________ 34. Turnovers: Plymouth 26.

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