Bulldogs upset Panthers in regional title game

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


GWEN STREBLOW of Plymouth lines up for a shot against Cedarburg in Saturday night’s regional basketball finals. Also pictured are Plymouth’s Jessica Leider, and Cedarburg’s Kalli Murphy (52) and an unidentified teammate. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley GWEN STREBLOW of Plymouth lines up for a shot against Cedarburg in Saturday night’s regional basketball finals. Also pictured are Plymouth’s Jessica Leider, and Cedarburg’s Kalli Murphy (52) and an unidentified teammate. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – A very quick and athletic Cedarburg team ended the Plymouth Panthers’ outstanding season with an impressive 62-44 win in a Division 2 girls regional basketball final here Saturday night.

The No. 2-seeded Panthers, who had a 15-game winning streak snapped, finished 21-3. PHS is ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press D-2 poll. The No. 3-seeded Bulldogs raised their record to 18-6.

Cedarburg advances to the sectional semifinals Thursday against Beaver Dam at Hartford Union at 7 p.m. Beaver Dam, 24-0, is ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press D-2 poll.

“Our kids really executed well. It was probably the best game we’ve played all year,” said Bulldog head coach Dave Ross.

“We tried to attack them and we hit outside shots. We had Plymouth on their heels in the first half. It was one of those games where the ball didn’t land for them. They missed early outside shots. If they hit them, it’s a different ball game.”

The Panthers, who trailed 27- 16 at halftime, missed several open shots from the perimeter in the first half which allowed Cedarburg’s combination zone/man-to-man defense to squeeze the lane area, making it hard for PHS to attack the rim.

“They kind of set the tone early by being physical with us and outhustling us for loose balls,” said Panther head coach Brad Shutter.

“We kind of rushed things [on offense] in the first half. We needed to be more patient. We had to take advantage of the open shots. They just weren’t falling.”

The Bulldogs were strong attacking the basket and it resulted in several points. Cedarburg’s defense displayed very quick hands, especially

_ in the first half when the Bulldogs forced seven turnovers.

Cedarburg grabbed a 5-0 lead on a short jumper and three-point goal by Kennedy Ross (coach Ross’s daughter). Gwen Streblow’s followup basket tied the game for PHS at 7-7 with 11:35 left in the first half.

Kalli Murphy’s driving layup gave Cedarburg the lead for keeps at 9-7. The Bulldogs used a 6-0 run to close out the half. Quinn Prom converted a three-point play off a drive, followed by Ross’s trey at the buzzer.

The Panthers’ offense improved in the second half as they were able to work the ball inside for baskets, and by hitting outside shots and scoring on fast breaks. Streblow and Kalei Hering led PHS in scoring in the half with 10 and eight points, respectively. Senior forward Lexi Lautenschlaeger came off the bench and contributed seven points in the final half.

Cedarburg was able to stay comfortably ahead in the second half by hitting 15 of 20 at the free-throw line.

The Bulldogs handled the Panthers’ press and traps well most of the game which was a key to the outcome because PHS usually thrives on scoring off turnovers. Cedarburg controlled the boards which made it harder for PHS to run the fast break.

“In the first half we didn’t get to the 50/50 balls – the hustle plays – and our shots weren’t going in either. They kind of packed the lane and we couldn’t get inside,” said Streblow, a senior guard.

“We were just off [shooting]. When you’re not hitting outside and they’re clogging the inside, it makes it tough. They played real tough, man-to-man defense.”

PHS was only 1-for-13 from three-point range.

“It’s super disappointing [losing the game] but we’ve done great things and I’m proud of them [teammates],” said Streblow.

Streblow led PHS in scoring with 17 points. Lautenschlaeger had a team-high six boards. Emma Jewell led in assists with three and Hering had a team-best three steals.

“The effort by everyone was very good. We never gave up,” said Shutter.

He thought Streblow, Hering, Jessica Leider and Lautenschlaeger played well.

Murphy was Cedarburg’s top scorer with 18.


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