Panthers’ late surge keys EWC win

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff

BRADY GRAPENTINE, Plymouth guard, attempts to drive the baseline against Kewaskum’s Michael Prochnow (middle) and Jason Hanson in Tuesday night’s EWC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley BRADY GRAPENTINE, Plymouth guard, attempts to drive the baseline against Kewaskum’s Michael Prochnow (middle) and Jason Hanson in Tuesday night’s EWC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers stepped up their defensive pressure in crunch time which paved the way for a 67-54 triumph over Kewaskum in boys basketball play here Tuesday night.

PHS raised its Eastern Wisconsin Conference record to 2-0 (3-2 overall). The Indians dropped to 0-2 in the EWC (1-2 overall).

The game was tied 51-51 with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter when the Panthers went on a 16-0 tear to build a 67-51 lead. Plymouth used a swarming defense, including excellent ball pressure and help-defense, to force six turnovers during its run.

PHS converted several of the turnovers into points. Senior forward Zac Cain and senior point guard Dominic Bocchini keyed the Panther offense during the run with seven and six points, respectively. The Panthers were 8 of 10 at the foul line in the final period which helped seal the win. For the game, PHS was an outstanding 17 of 20 at the charity stripe.

“We played with more energy and urgency down the stretch than Kewaskum did. Our defense stepped up, got into the passing lanes and harassed them,” said Panther head coach Butch Cain.

“A tight game will build character for us and add to our composure.

“This was good experience for us. Our pride really showed up late in the game. We were in the right places and were doing the little things,” said coach Cain.

Bocchini led a balanced PHS attack with a season-high 18


Score by Quarters
Kewaskum.............15 17 15 7 – 54
Plymouth…............13 20 12 22 – 67

Kewaskum scoring: Cory Stern 2, Dean Schlice 7, Joshua Baker 12, Charlies Witek 15, Brady Hanson 5, Devyn Zillmer 2, Jason Hanson 6, Michael Prochnow 5. Three-point goals: Schlice 1, Baker 4, Witek 1, Prochnow 1.

Plymouth scoring: Alex Shutter 2, Dominic Bocchini 18, Zac Cain 14, Brady Grapentine 8, Gage Nischke 2, Drew Schwieiger 3, TJ Moegenburg 4, Matt Olig 16. Three-point goals: Bocchini 2, Cain 1, Grapentine 1.

Field goals: Plymouth 22-62, 35%. Free throws: Kewaskum 7-13, 54%; Plymouth 17-20, 85%.

Rebounds: Plymouth 25. Turno_ vers: Kewaskum 19, Plymouth 12. points, followed by Matt Olig with 16 and Cain, 14. Cain grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds and Olig had seven.

PHS had an impressive 18 steals, led by Cain with four. Bocchini and Olig contributed three apiece. Bocchini led in assists with four and Brady Grapentine dished out three.

Kewaskum nailed seven threepointers but made only one in the fourth quarter as PHS did a better job of getting out on the shooters in the period.

“It was a good game. We executed real well in the fourth quarter,” said Grapentine, a senior guard.

“We played really good defense at the end and turned the defense into offense. We were keeping our composure at the end which was really important,” he said.

Bocchini thought the PHS defense did a good job playing uptempo and defending against Kewaskum’s size inside.

“We knew coming in that they were very physical and that we had to step up our game. At the end, we knocked down free throws and got the job done,” he said.

“When we got the momentum [in the fourth period] they tried to slow us down and then we ran them right into the ground. We had a lot of help over the top against their big guys,” he said.

“Matt was very active. He fought hard and shot the ball well,” said coach Cain.

“Dominic activated our offense well. He created a lot of things for us with his energy.

“It was a great team effort at the end,” added the coach.

Junior forward Charles Witek led the Indians in scoring with 15.


The Panther junior varsity improved to 2-0 in the EWC (2-2 overall) with a 65-21 rout over Kewaskum. PHS built a 38-5 halftime lead.

Josh Beeck and Derek Schweiger paced PHS in scoring with 11 each and Matt Richards hit 10. Richards led in assists with seven and Cody Kuhn had a team-high seven rebounds.

Thursday night, the host Panthers defeated New Holstein, 63-53, behind Kuhn’s 19 points. Richards added 14, plus a teambest eight boards.

In freshman action, PHS won, 54-32, to go to 2-0 in the EWC (2-2 overall). Cade Knaus and Holden Reilly keyed the Panther offense with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Mason Guell led in steals with six and Adam Smith had a team-best six assists. Brandon Keller led in boards (total unavailable).

The Panther freshmen rolled to a 57-16 win over New Holstein Thursday night. All 14 PHS players scored, led by Derek Novotny with nine and Knaus, eight.

Brady Petrie and Kody Hitsman led PHS in rebounds with five apiece. Alex Kelly had a team-best four assists.

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