Bulldogs upset PHS in regional play

by Matt Kraus Review Co respondent


ZAC CAIN of Plymouth attempts to shoot over Cedarburg’s Matt Barber in Friday night’s regional basketball game. – Photo by Barb Hunter ZAC CAIN of Plymouth attempts to shoot over Cedarburg’s Matt Barber in Friday night’s regional basketball game. – Photo by Barb Hunter PLYMOUTH – March Madness arrived in Plymouth Friday night as the No. 6-seeded Cedarburg Bulldogs’ boys basketball team upset the No. 3-seeded Panthers, 71-52, in Division 2 regional semifinal action.

The Panthers’ season ended with a 14-9 record. The Bulldogs lost to No. 2-seeded Beaver Dam, 58-49, in the finals Saturday night and finished 12-12.

The Bulldogs shot 8-for-11 from the field and 2-for-2 from the freethrow line in the first quarter to open a 20-12 after the first eight minutes.

“They came out on fire. You have to give them credit. They got the ball to the rim,” said Plymouth head coach Butch Cain.

Cedarburg’s freshman forward, John Diener, scored six of his gamehigh 30 points in the first quarter and as the second quarter began Diener scored Cedarburg’s first eight points to lift the Bulldogs to a 28-14 lead three minutes into the quarter.

Plymouth’s lone basket during the run came from Zac Cain after the Panthers trailed 24-12. Jared Short added a basket and Diener a free throw to open a 31-14 lead.

Brady Grapentine drove to the hoop to convert a layup and begin a 7-3 Panther run to end the quarter and cut the lead to 34-21 at halftime. During the run, Cedarburg went 4-for-4 from the free throw line while Cain added two free throws for the Panthers and Dominic Bocchini

_____ hit a three-pointer with 20 seconds remaining.

Plymouth opened the second quarter with seven empty offensive trips before Bocchini hit a three-pointer to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 40-24 after the Bulldogs opened the quarter on a 7-0 run with a basket from Alex Kluck and two baskets from Diener, including a three-pointer.

The Panthers’ pressure defense caused two Bulldog turnovers and the need to a timeout because of the Panthers’ trap of a Cedarburg ballhandler but the Bulldogs outscored the Panthers 6-3 in the last four minutes of the quarter – making 4 of 4 free throws and scoring a layup to end the quarter with a 46-27 lead.

Four Panthers scored during the Panthers’ run to open the final period and cut the Bulldogs lead to 52- 41 with 3:42 remaining. Bocchini opened the scoring with a drive to the hoop, Nick Casper followed with a reverse layup and Bocchini added another layup.

Cain then hit a three-point shot, followed by TJ Moegenburg scoring from under the hoop. Cain added to three-point play after converting a put back on an offensive rebound and free throw.

“We didn’t lack any energy or effort tonight. We did a good job fighting back in the second half,” said coach Cain.

The Panthers’ defense began to foul the Bulldogs but down the stretch the Bulldogs went 17-for-20 from the free-throw line to take the victory.

“In my 30 years of coaching, this team may have made the biggest improvement throughout the season. We learned to trust each other and tonight we got good looks,” said Cedarburg head coach Tom Diener regarding the youth of his team.

The Bulldogs’ roster only has one senior along with three sophomores, and two of the three freshmen are starters.

Cain led the Panthers in scoring with 19 points and, along with Matt Olig, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

“We knew No. 5 [Cain] was tough and would be a load but [Matt] Barber and the entire team played good defense,” said Diener.

“Tonight we didn’t have the patience we have had in the past. We settled for some looks and didn’t work the ball inside like we needed to,” said coach Cain.

“They got us back on our heels because they were hitting their shots and they had an answer for every one of our runs.”

CEDARBURG 71 PLYMOUTH 52

Score by Quarters Cedarburg..............20 14 12 25 – 71 Plymouth................12 9 625–52 Cedarburg scoring: Zack Skorik 4, John Diener 30, Jordan Johnson 16, Mitchell Stroebel 1, Jared Short 7, Matt Barber 4, Clayton Van Tassel 2, Alex Kluck 6, Max Race 1; Three-point goals: Johnson 1. Plymouth scoring:, Zac Cain 19, Matt Olig 2, Nick Casper 8, Dominic Bocchini 13, Brady Grapentine 4, TJ Moegenburg 5, Gage Nischke 1. Three- point goals: Cain 3, Bocchini 2, Casper 2, Moegenburg 1. Free throws: Cedarburg 30-35, 86%; Plymouth: 8-12, 67%. Field goals: Cedarburg 20-37, 54%; Plymouth: 18- 60, 30%. Rebounds: Plymouth 24. Turno_ vers: Cedarburg 12, Plymouth 8.


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