Strong second half fuels Panthers’ victory

BERLIN – Plymouth fought back from a seven-point deficit midway in the second half to defeat host Berlin, 77-64, in a girls basketball game Friday night.

The Panthers upped their second place East Central Conference record to 6-1 (9-4 overall) and stretched their winning streak to four. PHS will entertain first-place Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson) Thursday night in a key ECC contest. The Chargers, who defeated PHS earlier in the season, are 7-0 in league play.

Berlin slipped to 2-5 in the ECC (5-7 overall).

Free-throw shooting proved crucial in the outcome. The Panthers outscored the Indians 24-12 at the foul line and were 18-for-25 in the second half. Plymouth’s aggressiveness on offense led to several free throws in the final half.

“We did a good job of attacking the basket and we got into the bonus [at the foul line] in the second half. We had the lead and they had to foul at the end,” said Panther head coach Brad Shutter.

Shutter said his team’s 20-11 rebounding edge in the second half was also a key to the win. PHS outscored Berlin 43-27 in the second half after trailing 37-34 at halftime.

“It was a well-played game and a fast-paced game by both teams. It was a team effort,” said Shutter.

Junior guard Gwen Streblow sparked the Panthers’ attack with 23 points, including a team-high 11 in the second half. Streblow was 7-for-8 at the free-throw line in the second half and 11-for-13 for the game.

PHS had a very balanced offense with four players scoring in double figures. Kalei Hering contributed 15 points, followed by Emily Majerus with 12 and Lexi Lautenschlaeger, 10.

Majerus and Hering tallied nine points each and Lautenschlaeger hit eight in the second half. Hering was 5-for-5 at the foul line in the final half.

“Berlin came out and played very well in the first half. They hit six of their eight three-pointers in the first half,” said Shutter.

Senior guard Julia Silloway ignited the Berlin offense with 27 points, including 17 in the second half.

“We still focused on No. 3 [Silloway] in the second half but did a better job on everyone else,” said Shutter about his defense.

Outside of Silloway, the Indians scored only 10 points in the second half.

“Lexi, Emily, Gwen and Kalei did a very good job in the second half. Jordyn Pieper had eight boards which were huge and she did a good job, defensively,” said the coach.

Pieper was Plymouth’s top rebounder, followed by Lautenschlaeger’s seven. Streblow led in assists with four and Majerus dished out three. Hering, Lautenschlaeger and Majerus had a team-high two steals each.

PHS won the junior varsity game by forfeit because Berlin doesn’t have a JV team.

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