Panthers back on track with conference win

by Matt Kraus Review Co respondent


EMILY MAJERUS of Plymouth tries to drive to the hoop between Winneconne’s Abby Gilman (20) and an unidentified teammate in Thursday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley EMILY MAJERUS of Plymouth tries to drive to the hoop between Winneconne’s Abby Gilman (20) and an unidentified teammate in Thursday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – Trailing 40-39 with 3:18 remaining in the game, the Plymouth Panthers’ girls basketball team used a 9-1 run over the next two minutes to build a seven-point lead. The Panthers held on to win, 48-45, over the Winneconne Wolves here Thursday night.

The Panthers improved to 7-3 in East Central Conference play (10-6 overall). The Wolves fell to 4-6 in conference (7-10 overall).

The win ended the Panthers’ two-game losing streak to the two teams they are chasing in the conference race – Kettle Moraine Lutheran (10-0) and Waupun (8-2).

“This win was important for the team’s confidence after the two losses,” said Panther head coach Brad Shutter.

Lydia Rhude hit a three-pointer with 5:27 remaining to give the Panthers a 39-34 after trailing 24-23 at halftime. With no scoring for the next 1½ minutes the Wolves called a timeout. Senior guard Morgan Horn responded with consecutive threepoint baskets to give Winneconne a 40-39 lead.

Kalei Hering hit two free throws, giving the Panthers a 41-40 lead. Sadie Kosciuk tied the game at 41-41 with a free throw but Rhude hit her second three, following an offensive rebound by Emily Majerus, to give the Panthers the lead for good at 44- 41.

Hering grabbed a steal after Rhude deflected a Wolves’ pass and the Panthers pushed the ball ahead to sophomore forward Lexi Lautenschlaeger. A pass back to Hering in the low post and a cut to the hoop by Lautenschlaeger for a layup gave the Panthers a 46-41 lead.

Emily Majerus followed with a steal on the defensive end and pushed the ball into the front court. She continued into the lane and scored on a runner for the Panthers’ final basket of the game and a 48-41 lead.

The basket resulted in Winneconne calling a timeout. Coming out of the break, a defensive foul by Jordyn Pieper was followed by two offensive rebounds and then basket by Jordyn Ellis.

The Wolves committed three quick, defensive fouls to put Plymouth into the bonus but a lane violation gave the ball back to Winneconne with 34 seconds remaining.

Kosciuk received a pass in the high post and delivered a perfect pass over the top of the defense to Makenzie Becker under the hoop for a lay-in, cutting the Plymouth lead to 48-45.

The Panthers then missed the front end of bonus free throws and Horn grabbed the defensive rebound.

The Wolves pushed the ball into the front court and called their final timeout with eight seconds remaining. The inbound pass found its way into the hands of Horn in three-point land along the right baseline. Lautenschlaeger extended her defense and blocked the shot as the final buzzer sounded.

“We didn’t play good defense in the first half on the high-low post. At halftime the girls suggested we switch to a 3-2 zone. The defense helped reduce their high-post passes,” said Shutter.

The Panthers opened a 6-0 lead two minutes into the game on layin baskets by Majerus, Hering and Rhude. A basket by Hering with 13:48 remaining gave the Panthers an 8-0 lead.

The Panthers opened a nine-point lead at 20-11, with five minutes remaining, but the Wolves responded with a 13-3 run to take a 24-23 halftime lead. The Panthers’ only basket during the run came on a three-pointer by Pieper with 3:40 remaining in the half.

Rhude led PHS in scoring with 16 points. Pieper grabbed a teamhigh eight rebounds.

Hering, Morgan Lisowe and Lautenschlaeger paced PHS in assists with three each. Majerus led in steals with four.

“We took quick shots in the first half. We started relying on the threepointer and stopped moving,” said Shutter.

“We struggle to score each game because most of our shots are contested due to being undersized against most teams. Tonight, our defense led to our offense,” said Shutter.

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME

The Panther junior varsity outscored the Wolves 30-16 in the second half en route to a 63-43 rout. Jess Leider led PHS in scoring with 16 points and Carly Lilek netted 10.

Gabi Mella paced the Panthers in steals with an impressive nine. Emma Jewell had a team-high seven rebounds, followed by Hannah Bishop and Mella with six each.

Lilek and Sommer Stoney led PHS in assists with four apiece.

“We played hard and everyone scored and had at least one rebound. It was a great team effort,” said PHS coach Mike Gumm.


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