Panthers earn hard-fought win

BOYS BASKETBALL
by Matt Kraus
Review Co respondent


DOMINIC BOCCHINI of Plymouth plays tight defense against Campbellsport’s Connor Kissinger in Thursday night’s EWC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley DOMINIC BOCCHINI of Plymouth plays tight defense against Campbellsport’s Connor Kissinger in Thursday night’s EWC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Two conference wins did not deter the Campbellsport Cougars from giving the Plymouth Panthers’ boys basketball team all it could handle here Thursday night.

“Campbellsport always plays Plymouth tough. Even with only two wins, they played with a purpose. They are playing hard and are getting ready for the tournament [the WIAA playoffs],” PHS head coach Butch Cain said.

Ultimately, the Panthers pulled away from the Cougars and improved their Eastern Wisconsin Conference record to 9-3 (13-6 overall) with a 59- 45 victory while Campbellsport dropped to 2-10 in conference (5-13 overall).

Waupun clinched the outright EWC title with a 55-46 win over Kewaskum Thursday night to raise its league record to 12-0. PHS is in second place in the EWC.


BRADY GRAPENTINE of Plymouth tries to penetrate the Campbellsport defense, including Ty Schmidt (10), at Thursday night’s EWC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley BRADY GRAPENTINE of Plymouth tries to penetrate the Campbellsport defense, including Ty Schmidt (10), at Thursday night’s EWC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley Campbellsport came out of the locker room and established an inside presence to open the game with a 5-0 lead that they built to six points at three different times during the quarter. The Panthers tied the game at 13-13 following Brady Grapentine’s basket with 30 seconds remaining.

A three-point basket by Campbellsport’s Tyler Gassner with three seconds remaining in the first period gave the Cougars a 16-13 lead heading into the second frame.

The Panthers’ Gage Nischke opened the second period with a three-pointer to tie the score. After Campbellsport’s offense patiently worked for a quality shot and took a minute off of the game clock, they could not score and the Panther’s took advantage. Grapentine drove the baseline and scored on a reverse layup to give the Panthers their first lead of the game with 6:13 remaining.

An exchange of turnovers led to Campbellsport’s Jordan Dreikosen hitting a jumper to tie the game. The Panthers followed with a 7-0 run to take a 25-18 lead with 2:12 remaining. During the run, Nick Casper drove to the hoop for a layup, Dominic Bocchini hit a three-point basket and Zac Cain scored from the lane.

Campbellsport responded with a basket and two free throws to cut the Panthers lead to 25-22, but Cain drove to the hoop and hit a 5-foot shot to give the Panthers a 27-22 lead. Cain preserved the five-point halftime lead with a blocked shot at the buzzer.

Even though the Panthers outscored the Cougars by eight points in the second quarter and took a five-point lead to the locker room at halftime, coach Cain was not completely complimentary of the team’s play.

“Campbellsport got all of the loose balls in the first half. They wanted it a little bit more,” said Cain.

“I don’t know if we took them from granted, but we needed a wakeup call and we got it in the first half,” added Cain.

The Panthers blew the game open in the fourth quarter, scoring the first seven points culminating in a three-point play by Nick Casper. TJ Moegenburg grabbed a defensive rebound and threw an outlet pass to Casper who drove to the hoop and converted the layup and a free throw earned, giving the Panthers a 49-36 lead two minutes into the quarter.

Plymouth’s run began with its trapping defense, forcing the Cougars to call a timeout and creating a turnover after the timeout break.

Matt Olig opened the Panthers’ fourth-quarter scoring after grabbing the loose ball following a blocked shot by Campbellsport’s Koy Walsh and scoring from the lane. Olig made two free throws on the next Panthers’ possession, giving Plymouth a 44-35 lead.

Another Campbellsport turnover as a result of the Panthers’ trap did not result in a Panthers’ basket but the defense continued to cause the Cougars to scramble on offense.

“We were able to wear them down in the second half. Our pressure created confusion,” said coach Cain.

Casper, who aggressively attacked the basket during the entire game for the Panthers, took a hard fall after being fouled on a reverse layup attempt. He was able to get up and convert two free throws. A Casper steal on the Cougar’s next possession resulted in a pass to a wide-open Olig and a layup to extend the Panthers lead to 51-39.

“Nick has been getting more confident and he’s attacking the basket,” said coach Cain.

As good as the Panthers’ trap was, the defense gave up a layup to a wide open Austin Narges as the Cougars made quick passes to break the Panthers’ pressure.

The Panthers outscored the Cougars 8-6 in the final three minutes of the game and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line during that stretch.

“We played with more urgency in the second half. We worked the ball around and took better shots in the second half,” coach Cain commented.

“Scoring-wise, we reached our goal. We were balanced. Nine players scored for us,” said the coach.

Leading the way for the Panthers, Olig and Casper scored 12 points each. Olig, Nischke and Zac Cain grabbed a team-high five rebounds each. Bocchini led in assists with three.

FRESHMAN GAME

Brandon Keller netted 18 points to lead the Panther freshmen to a 59-42 win. PHS improved to 10-2 in the EWC (14-4 overall).

Cade Knaus and Holden Reilly added 13 points each for PHS. Mason Guell had a team-high eight rebounds. Adam Smith led in assists with seven.

The junior varsity results were unavailable at press time.

CAMPBELLSPORT
45
PLYMOUTH
59

Score by Quarters
Campbellsport.......16 6 13 10 – 45
Plymouth.…...........13 14 15 17 – 59

Campbellsport scoring: Ty Schmidt 2, Tyler Ramthun 7, Koy Walsh 7, Austin Narges 10, Aaron Hopp 2, Jordan Dreikosen 12, Connor Kissinger 2, Tyler Gassner 3. Three-point goals: Ramthun 1, Walsh 1, Gassner 1.

Plymouth scoring: Gage Nischke 5, Zac Cain 7, Matt Olig 12, Nick Casper 12, Dominic Bocchini 7, Brady Grapentine 6, TJ Moegenburg 6, Will Hunter 2, Carter Krzyzaniak 2. Three- point goals: Bocchini 1, Casper 1, Nischke 1.

Field goals: Campbellsport 18- 52, 35%; Plymouth 22-51, 43%. Free throws: Campbellsport 6-8, 75%; Plymouth 12-13, 92%.

Rebounds: Campbellsport 29, Plymouth, 28. Turnovers: Campbellsport 11, Plymouth, 11.


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