Panthers win OT thriller, up ECC lead

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


JESSICA LEIDER of Plymouth looks for an open teammate under pressure from Waupun’s Sydney Flier (32) and Tiana Gaubatz in Tuesday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JESSICA LEIDER of Plymouth looks for an open teammate under pressure from Waupun’s Sydney Flier (32) and Tiana Gaubatz in Tuesday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers fought back from a fivepoint deficit in overtime to win, 66-65, over Waupun in a key battle between East Central Conference girls basketball leaders here Tuesday night.

The win increases the Panthers’ lead in the ECC to 1½ games over second-place Waupun. PHS, ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press Division 2 poll, improved to 7-0 in the league (12-2 overall). The Warriors, who lost to PHS earlier in the season, slipped to 6-2 in the ECC (10-5 overall).

“It was a great game to be a part of. I’m proud of the girls. Everyone who played contributed,” said Panther head coach Brad Shutter whose team stretched its winning streak to six.

PHS used a 9-3 run in the final 1:44 of the overtime period to erase a 62-57 deficit. Lydia Rhude made two free throws and Lexi Lautenschlaeger scored inside to pull PHS within 62-61 with 53 seconds left.

On the Warriors’ next possession Rhude got a steal in Waupun’s backcourt and PHS called timeout with 48 seconds showing. Plymouth set up a play for senior guard Gwen Streblow who drilled a three-pointer from the right corner which put PHS ahead 64-62 with 43 seconds left.

Waupun missed both ends of a double-bonus at the foul line on its ensuing possession but the ball went out of bounds off a PHS player after the second miss and the Warriors kept possession. Rhude came up with a steal with 20 seconds remaining and was fouled.

Rhude sank both double-bonus free throws to up Plymouth’s lead to 66-62 with 14.3 seconds left and make it a two-possession game. The free throws proved huge because Waupun’s Peyton McGinnis drained a three-ball at the buzzer.

The Warriors were only 2-for-8 at the foul line in overtime.

PHS led by as many as 14 in the first half and was up 35-25 at halftime. Streblow keyed the Panthers’ attack in the first half with 10 points.

Waupun, sparked by an aggressive defense, went on a 10-0 run to start the second half which tied the game, 35-35. PHS had six turnovers in the first five minutes of the second half. The Panthers didn’t score in the half until 13:45 left when Rhude hit a three-pointer which gave the Panthers a 38-35 lead.

The lead seesawed back and forth the rest of the second half.

“I’m really proud of our team. Everyone stepped up and did what we needed to do, kept it together and pulled out a great win,” said PHS senior guard Kalei Hering.

“The effort [by both teams] was outstanding. It was really a fun game to be a part of. It was a great team effort.”

Streblow and Rhude led PHS in scoring with 18 points each. Jessica Leider had a team-high 13 rebounds.

Hering paced PHS in steals with three. Skyler Gosse, Rhude and Streblow led in assists with three each.

Post player Sydney Flier was Waupun’s top scorer with 20 – 16 after the first half. The Warriors’ Maiah Domask, who scored 16, left the game with about 13 minutes remaining in regulation due to a sprained ankle and was unable to return.

“It came down to making stops and making shots when they were available for us. We wanted it more than they did at the end,” said Shutter. “We did a great job, defensively, at the end.”

JUNIOR VARSITY GAME

Gabi Mella’s steal late in the game sealed the Panthers’ 42-40 win in the JV 1 game. PHS raised its ECC record to 6-1 (13-1 overall).

Mella’s steal came with seven seconds left and PHS up 42-40. She finished the game with a team-high three steals, three assists and 10 points.

Hana Goeser and Kalani Smith tallied nine points each for PHS. Jenna Iserloth led in rebounding with an impressive 17.

“We played the game hard but couldn’t shoot,” said PHS coach Mike Gumm.


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