Strong first half sparks Panthers to win

by Matt Kraus Review correspondent


JORDYN PIEPER of Plymouth drives past Waupun’s McKenna Yedinak for a layup on a fast break in Friday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JORDYN PIEPER of Plymouth drives past Waupun’s McKenna Yedinak for a layup on a fast break in Friday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Kalei Hering scored a team-high 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Plymouth Panthers girls basketball team to a 57-44 East Central Conference victory over Waupun Friday night.

The Panthers improved to 1-1 in conference play (3-3 overall) while the loss dropped the visiting Warriors to 1-1 in the ECC (2-2 overall). Both teams figure to contend for the league title.

The Panthers used a 13-2 run in the final 5:22 of the first half to open up a 37-22 halftime lead but could not keep up the momentum entering the second half.

The opening five minutes of the second half saw both teams struggle offensively – combining for eight points and seeing Plymouth maintain a 41-26 lead.

The Warriors would not be deterred as they chopped the Panthers’ lead to 48-42 with 4:22 remaining, on the strength of junior guard Maiah Domask’s seven points. After two free throws by Hering, Domask was able to get inside the Panthers’ defense for her final points of the night. The six-point deficit was as close as the Warriors would get.


LEXI LAUTENSCHLAEGER of Plymouth attempts a shot against pressure from an unidentified Waupun player in Friday’s ECC basketball game. The Warriors’ Elyse Stelsel helps defend. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley LEXI LAUTENSCHLAEGER of Plymouth attempts a shot against pressure from an unidentified Waupun player in Friday’s ECC basketball game. The Warriors’ Elyse Stelsel helps defend. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley Lexi Lautenschlaeger drove to the hoop and scored to extend the Panthers’ lead to eight. Hering followed with a steal and pass ahead to Lydia Rhude for a layup to open up a 10-point Panther lead with 2:51 remaining.

The Panthers took possession of the ball following a blocked shot and as they worked the ball around the three-point arc, Hering found an open-lane to hoop. She was fouled on her drive to the hoop and converted two free throws for a 56- 44 lead.

A Jordyn Pieper free throw with 1:30 remaining concluded the Panthers’ scoring.

The Warriors opened the game with two made free throws by sophomore center Sydney Flier. The Panthers responded with an 8-0 run as Lautenschlaeger scored two baskets after grabbing offensive rebounds and Hering hit two shots in the lane on passes from Lautenschlaeger and Gwen Streblow.

Then junior guard Danielle Hopp took over the scoring duties for Waupun. In a span of four minutes, Hopp scored 13 of her game-high 17 points – converting three three-point baskets and two baseline drives .

“We switched from the 3-2 zone to the 2-3 because she [Hopp] was getting her shots from the corners. We also did a better job of recognizing where she was and shading to her,” said Panther head coach Shutter.

Hopp’s effort only cut the Panthers’ lead to three at 18-15. The Panthers extended the lead to 24-15 before Hopp hit a three-pointer and Flier scored in the lane to cut the Panthers’ lead to 24-20.

With 3:41 remaining in the half, Rhude hit a three and Hering followed with a 12-foot jumper to give the Panthers a 33-22. A steal by Pieper led to a Hering basket and Streblow ended the first-half scoring on a drive and lay-in.

Flier established herself as an inside presence for the Warriors as she led Waupun with nine rebounds. Offensively, the Warriors attempted to get the ball inside to her but Plymouth’s defense held her to nine points.

“The 2-3 zone limited her touches and put us in good rebounding position. Lexi did a great job of being physical with her and keeping a body on her. When she did catch it, we were quick to double her,” said Shutter.

“Kalei is a good, all-around player. We count on her scoring every game.”

Lydia Rhude paced PHS in rebounds with nine.

“Lydia is not big but she is long, and playing at the top of our zone with her ability to box out allows her to get a lot of long rebounds,” said the coach.

Emily Majerus paced the Panthers in assists with four, followed by Hering with three. Hering, Pieper and Morgan Lisowe had team-best two assists each.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME

Sophomore forward Jess Leider exploded for 31 points to ignite the Panthers to a 64-38 rout. PHS hiked its league record to 1-1 (5-1 overall).

Sommer Stoney contributed 10 points for PHS which shot 44 percent from the field and an outstanding 80 percent at the foul line. Leider also had a team-high eight rebounds and three steals.

Becky Haumschild and Hana Goeser pulled down five boards each for PHS. Carly Lilek and Gabi Mella had a team-high two steals each.

“We played with much more intensity tonight,” said PHS coach Mike Gumm.


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