Panthers fall shy in conference showdown

by Greg Ceilley of The Review staff


JORDYN PIEPER, Plymouth guard, attempts to drive past Kettle Moraine Lutheran’s Lyndsey Soderbeck in Thursday’s ECC basketball showdown. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JORDYN PIEPER, Plymouth guard, attempts to drive past Kettle Moraine Lutheran’s Lyndsey Soderbeck in Thursday’s ECC basketball showdown. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers and Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson) engaged in a high-intensity, fast-paced battle here Thursday night with the state-ranked Chargers escaping with a 57-52 win in an East Central Conference girls basketball showdown.

The Chargers increased their lead in the ECC to two games over the Panthers who needed a win to tie KML for first place. KML, ranked No. 7 in last week’s Associated Press Division 3 poll, upped its ECC record to 8-0 (12-3 overall). PHS (9-5 overall) is tied for second with Waupun at 6-2.

Despite the loss, Panther head coach Brad Shutter was pleased with his team’s performance against a team which competed in the D-3 state tournament the past two seasons and won the title in 2014.

“We played really well, It was a good battle between two good teams. Both teams played very hard,” said Shutter.

“This game shows we can play with anyone in Division 2 if we are on our game.”

In a game of runs, the Chargers made the final one which keyed their win. A 9-0 spurt gave KML the lead for good, 47-41, with 6:48 remaining. Sydney Rossow led the run with four points on two fast-break layups.

PHS responded with a 6-2 stretch, led by Lydia Rhude’s three-pointer, to pull within 49- 47 at the 5:15 mark. The Panthers were unable to come any closer the rest of the game.

Alyssa Shipley’s layup with 20 seconds remaining sealed the win for the Chargers as it gave them

Score by Halves Kettle Moraine…........….....24 33 – 57 Plymouth............................25 27 – 52

Kettle Moraine Lutheran scoring: Sharla Boehlke 2, Annika Eller 3, Amanda Porth 8, Payton Schneider 4, Sydney Rossow 10, Kimberly Zimmel 3, Lyndsey Soderbeck 6, Alyssa Shipley 21. Three-point goals: Eller 1.

Plymouth scoring: Kalei Hering 6, Morgan Lisowe 3, Jordyn Pieper 2, Skyler Gosse 2, Lydia Rhude 13, Lexi Lautenschlager 2, Emily Majerus 10, Megan Goeser 2, Gwen Streblow 12. Three-point goals: Rhude 3, Majerus 2, Streblow 1.

Field Goals: Kettle Moraine 20- 55, 36%; Plymouth 18-65, 28%. Free throws: Kettle Moraine 16-31, 52%; Plymouth 10-16, 63%.

Rebounds: Kettle Moraine 41, Plymouth 47. Turnovers: Kettle Moraine 14, Plymouth 20. a 57-50 advantage. PHS scored only one field goal in the last five minutes and that was a follow-up basket by Skyler Gosse with five seconds left.

In the final 10 minutes, the Chargers limited the Panthers’ transition game and drives to the basket and controlled the defensive glass as PHS was held to one shot on most of its possessions.

The Panthers started the game with a bang – bolting to a 14-3 lead with 12:40 left until halftime. PHS scored on fast breaks, a drive to the hoop and from the outside. Rhude capped off the surge with a three-ball, followed by a fastbreak layup. The PHS defense forced three turnovers during the stretch.

The Chargers answered with an 11-2 tear which cut Plymouth’s lead to 16-14 at the 8:02 mark in the opening half. Shipley’s two baskets inside and Annika Eller’s trey sparked the rally. PHS was hurt by four turnovers during the span.

Payton Schneider tied the game for KML, 22-22, with a fast-break layup at the 2:40 juncture.

Gwen Streblow’s rebound basket gave PHS a 25-24 halftime lead.

Shutter thought his team played well on defense, allowing 19 fewer points than in the Panthers’ first meeting with KML early in the season which they lost, 76-57.

Rhude led PHS in scoring with 13 points, followed by Streblow with 12 and Emily Majerus, 10. Streblow had a team-high 12 rebounds and four steals.

Majerus paced the Panthers in assists with five and Streblow had four. Lexi Lautenschlaeger and Megan Goeser contributed seven boards each.

Shipley, a strong, 6-foot-1 senior center, had an impressive night with a game-high 21 points and 15 rebounds. Shipley was nearly unstoppable in the low post where she scored most of her points. She scored several baskets off passes from teammates on drives to the hoop.

“Our main goal was to protect the basket, so we played behind Shipley, and we didn’t want to give them drives to the basket. She really hurt us. She was a tough match-up,” said Shutter.

“We played hard. We gave 100 percent and that’s all that matters,” said Streblow, a junior guard.

“We came out with the mentality that we were going to play better defense than the last time we played them. Our help defense was better this time,” she said.

“It was a real good, competitive girls basketball game. The intensity was evident,” said Charger head coach Jason Walz.

“Plymouth was the aggressor in the first half and we sat back and we weren’t as aggressive as we needed to be. They did a nice job of getting down the floor and finding the open girl in the first half.

“In the second half we did a better job of transition defense and making them [try to] score against our set defense. We think we are a pretty good defensive team when we are able to get back,” said Walz.

“Shipley is a tough gal for them to defend. She has some nice post moves and is strong.

“Our seniors have been through a lot of battles. When we got down [early in the game], we didn’t panic. We played one possession at a time.

“Plymouth is very athletic. They have the ability to score from any position. They have good balance and good shooters,” added Walz.

“They played good help man to-man defense in the second half and they took away our driving, and we missed shots from the outside,” Shutter observed.

PHS shot only 28 percent from the field.

“Lydia Rhude played a very good game off the bench. Emily Majerus played very well,” said Shutter.

The PHS coach said reserve center Megan Goeser played well inside when starting forward Lexi Lautenschlaeger had to go out due to foul trouble. Lautenschlaeger sustained an ankle injury with 2:34 left and didn’t return.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME

In junior varsity play, KML had to stave off a second-half rally by PHS to earn a 50-43 win. The Panthers, who trailed by 13 at halftime, whittled the deficit down to three with 11 seconds left.

“We made a great comeback but we ran out of gas. KML is a good team,” said PHS coach Mike Gumm.

Jess Leider led PHS in scoring with 18 points, rebounds, 10 and steals with three. Gabi Mella also had three steals. Sommer Stoney had a team-high three assists.


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