Big second half lifts Falls over Panthers

by Greg Ceilley of The Review Staff

OLIVIA JANKOWSKI of Plymouth is fouled on a shot inside by an unidentified Sheboygan Falls player in Thursday’s EWC basketball game. Jankowski made both free throws. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley OLIVIA JANKOWSKI of Plymouth is fouled on a shot inside by an unidentified Sheboygan Falls player in Thursday’s EWC basketball game. Jankowski made both free throws. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – In an amazing turnaround, the Sheboygan Falls Falcons stormed back from an 11-point halftime deficit with a dominant second-half effort which keyed a 53-43 girls basketball win over the Plymouth Panthers here Thursday night.

The Falcons, who trailed 31-20 at halftime, outscored PHS 33-12 in the second half, fueled by a tenacious defense and an attacking offense. PHS was unable to match Falls’ intensity in the third quarter which saw the visitors hold a 13-0 scoring advantage en route to seizing a 33-31 lead.

The loss dropped the Panthers into a tie for the Eastern Wisconsin Conference lead with Kiel at 6-2. PHS (10-3 overall) came into the game ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press Division 2 poll. The Falcons (9-6 overall), who have won six straight, improved to 5-3 in the EWC.

“Sheboygan Falls came out with a lot of intensity and put on a lot of ball pressure in the second half. On offense, they did a good job of attacking the basket,” said Panther head coach Brad Shutter.

“They came out and decided they wanted to take it to us [in the second half]. They played hard and played at an intensity level that we may not have been ready for.

GWEN STREBLOW of Plymouth drives to the basket as Sheboygan Falls’ Nicole Preder converges in Thursday’s EWC basketball contest. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley GWEN STREBLOW of Plymouth drives to the basket as Sheboygan Falls’ Nicole Preder converges in Thursday’s EWC basketball contest. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley

“We didn’t match their intensity in the third quarter and it carried over into the fourth,” said Shutter.

“I told the girls at halftime that we gotta play and that’s what we did. We just played hard,” said Falcon head coach Leroy Hamilton.

“We were very aggressive in the second half. You can’t write off these girls.

“Plymouth came out guns blazing and we just had to weather the storm and calm ourselves down and we did that. We had a bunch of girls step up,” said Hamilton.

The Falcons’ scrappy, pres- sure defense forced 10 turnovers in the third quarter, including five on steals. Two of the steals led to baskets. Junior Becky Raeder sparked the Falls offense in the period with seven points.

In the second half, the Falcons were relentless in attacking the hoop and had excellent ball movement which led to several layups. Also, Falls ran its fast break very well which led to points.

Hannah Mauk ended the Panthers’ dry spell in the second half with a follow-up basket at the 7:00 mark in the fourth quarter which cut Falls’ lead to 36-33. Erika Van Engen answered for the Falcons with a fast-break layup to make it 38-33.

Mauk drained a three-pointer which cut Falls’ lead to 38-36. The Falcons had turnovers on their next two possessions but PHS was unable to capitalize.

The Falcons put the game away with a 10-0 run to go up 48-36 with 1:50 left. Van Engen scored six straight points on three-point plays which kickstarted the spurt. Raeder hit four free throws which finished off the run. Raeder was 7-for-8 at the foul line in the final period which helped seal the win.

Van Engen, a junior, and Raeder combined for 44 points to ignite the Falcons’ offense. Van Engen poured in 24, including 10 in the second quarter. Raeder popped in 20, including 17 in the second half.

The Panthers had a strong start as they set the tone early with a hounding defense and an aggressive offense. Plymouth’s defense forced six turnovers in the opening period as the Panthers built a 14-5 lead going into the second.

Kalei Hering hit five points, including a three-point play off a fast-break layup, and Emily Majerus tallied four on two driving layups to key the Panthers’ attack in the first quarter.

The Panthers continued to click on offense in the second period, keyed by good ball movement which resulted in several open shots. Sophomore guard Lydia Rhude sparked the PHS attack with eight points off the bench, including two treys. PHS led by as many 12 on three occasions in the quarter.

“We played a very good first half. Our shots were falling and we were getting the shots we wanted,” said Shutter.

“We played a terrible third quarter but were still right in the game.”

PHS shot only 28 percent (7 of 25) from the field in the second half.

Streblow, a sophomore guard, led PHS in scoring with 11 points and Rhude had eight. Majerus had a team-high six assists.

Olivia Jankowski paced the Panthers in rebounding with seven. Streblow, Majerus, Hering and Morgan Lisowe had a team-high two steals apiece.

Van Engen also led Falls in rebounds with eight and assists, three. Raeder also had three assists. Nicole Preder had a teambest four steals.

Hamilton started Annelise Sommerfeld in place of Brittny Thackray to begin the second half in order to better match up with Plymouth’s quick guards and he thought Sommerfeld did a good job.

“We played straight man-toman defense in the second half and challenged every shot. We were patient and were able to break their defense down,” said Hamilton.

“Our bench helped us get to this point. They helped us prepare for this game. This is an important win and the team deserves this.”


Lexi Lautenschlaeger scored 18 points to spark the Panther junior varsity to a 63-26 rout. PHS upped its EWC mark to 8-0 (11- 1 overall). Skyler Gosse added 13 points for PHS, followed by Brooke Frederickson with 12 and Sophie Albert, 10.

“Our defense has carried us all year. We played hard,” said PHS coach Mike Gumm.

Gwen Nytes paced PHS in rebounds with eight. Gosse had a team-high four steals. Albert led in assists with four.

Falls’ top scorers were Lauren Louko, Nicole Van Engen and Rachel Wilke with six each.

The PHS freshmen cruised to a 54-21 win over Falls to improve to 7-0 in the EWC (14-0 overall). Jessica Leider keyed the Panthers’ attack with 15 points, followed by Hannah Bishop with nine and Ellie Potrykus, six.

Leider also grabbed a teamhigh nine boards. Samantha Meyer led in assists with seven and steals, four.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important our bench players are to the success of this team. I am very proud of how Katie Pocian, Ellie Potrykus, Emily Lavine and Hannah Bishop played tonight,” said PHS coach Elliott Friedel.

Breanna Hausler led the Falcons in scoring with 17.

In their previous game, the PHS freshmen routed Cedar Grove-Belgium, 46-22, on Tuesday night. Leider and Sommer Stoney led Plymouth in scoring with 14 and 11, respectively.


Score by Quarters
Sheboygan Falls….5 15 13 20 – 53
Plymouth…............14 17 0 12 – 43

Sheboygan Falls scoring: Erika Van Engen 24, Nicole Preder 5, Alyssa Sommerfeld 2, Payton Benzschawel 2, Becky Raeder 20. Three-point goals: Raeder 1.

Plymouth scoring: Kalei Hering 7, Jordyn Pieper 4, Lydia Rhude 8, Hannah Mauk 7, Emily Majerus 4, Gwen Streblow 11, Olivia Jankowski 2. Three-point goals: Rhude 2, Mauk 1, Streblow 3.

Field goals: Sheboygan Falls 17- 44, 39%; Plymouth 16-50, 32%; Free throws: Sheboygan Falls 18-25, 72%; Plymouth 5-5, 100%;

Rebounds: Sheboygan Falls 29, Plymouth 28. Turnovers: Sheboygan Falls 15, Plymouth 21.

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