Panthers’ fast start keys rout in regional debut

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff


ALEX SHUTTER, Plymouth guard, attacks the rim against an unidentified Kewaskum player in Tuesday’s regional basketball opener. — Photo by Tyler Luedtke ALEX SHUTTER, Plymouth guard, attacks the rim against an unidentified Kewaskum player in Tuesday’s regional basketball opener. — Photo by Tyler Luedtke PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers came out fast and furious Tuesday night and never let up as they pounded Kewaskum, 67-43, in a Division 2 boys regional basketball first-round game at the PHS gym.

PHS bolted to a 14-0 lead only 4:30 into the game and were in command the rest of the way. Senior forward Derek Schweiger sparked the run with two three-point goals and Matt Richards had one.

The Panthers’ man-to-man defense pressured Kewaskum all over the court from the outset and gave the Indians little room to breathe. PHS forced Kewaskum into four turnovers in the first five minutes of the contest.

PHS, the No. 6 seed, improved to 11-12. The Panthers advance to the semifinals March 3 at No. 3-seeded Brown Deer (17-5)witha7p.m.tip-off.

Kewaskum, the 11th seed, finished 3-20. The Indians lost twice to PHS during the East Central Conference season.

“We wanted to start fast, attack the rim and play pressure defense, and we did all of that. This really put them on their heels,” said Panther head coach Tim Schultz.

“Our ball movement was good, we were finding guys [for open shots] and we shared the ball well.”

The Panthers were very effective scoring inside, from the perimeter and on fast breaks. They hammered the glass – scoring several points on putbacks and allowing few second shots by the Indians. PHS led 32-24 in rebounding and had eight offensive boards.

Schweiger, a senior forward, scored a career-high 22 points, including four treys, to lead a PHS offense which had 11 players in the scoring column.

“We came out with a lot of energy. It’s the playoffs and we didn’t want to lose on our home floor. It’s hard to beat a team three times the coach told us,” said Schweiger.


BRANDON KELLER of Plymouth tries to score under pressure from Kewaskum’s Brady Hanson in Tuesday’s regional basketball game. — Photo by Tyler Luedtke BRANDON KELLER of Plymouth tries to score under pressure from Kewaskum’s Brady Hanson in Tuesday’s regional basketball game. — Photo by Tyler Luedtke “If you bury a team early and get the momentum, it’s hard for them to come back. We moved the ball well and found the right guy all the time.

“I found kind of a rhythm and I got my confidence back [shooting], and I’m happy with that,” said Schweiger.

Junior forward Brandon Keller, who broke into the starting lineup recently, led PHS in rebounds with seven and also had nine points, keyed by aggressive play inside.

“The seniors came out with good leadership. I think we played well and had balanced scoring,” said the 6-foot-7 Keller.

“I wish I would’ve made more bunnies. I was attacking the hoop well and I got some good passes from my teammates.”

Senior Matt Richards paced PHS in assists with five, followed by Schweiger and Alex Shutter with three each. Richards and Shutter had a teamhigh two steals apiece.

“Derek and Brandon played extremely well and rebounded well. Derek played probably one of his best all-around games of the season,” said Schultz.

“Everyone contributed the whole game.”

The coach thought his team defended Kewaskum’s leading scorer, senior forward Brady Hanson, very well. Hanson, who is averaging 18.4 points per game, was held to 13. Schultz credited Cody Kuhn, Adam Smith and Mason Guell for guarding Hanson.

Schultz thinks his team matches up well with Brown Deer as far as quickness and size.

“They are an athletic, quick team and experienced. We just need to play our game, play strong and play confident,” he said.

The PHS-Brown Deer winner will face the West Bend West-Cedarburg semifinal victor in the finals Saturday at the higher seed. Cedarburg is seeded No. 2 and West Bend, No. 7.


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