Hard work, dedication highlight PHS season

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – Despite posting a losing record, the Plymouth boys basketball team was very competitive and had many bright spots this past season.

“I don’t feel our final overall record was a true indication of our season. Our conference and non-conference schedules were very challenging,” said Panther head coach Tim Schultz.

PHS finished 11-13 overall and tied for fifth in the East Central Conference at 6-8. Six of the Panthers’ losses came against four state-ranked teams, including two defeats against ECC champion Ripon which was ranked No. 1 in Division 3 and was a state qualifier.

“We also had many games which were very close, with six of our losses coming by a combined 35 points. The difference in many of the games were missed scoring opportunities from both the floor and the free-throw line,” said Schultz.

PHS shot only 58.3 percent from the foul line, compared to the opposition’s combined 67.0.

“Looking back at the season, the things I will remember most is the day-to-day interaction with each of the players and how they truly embraced the concept of hard work and doing everything with a proper attitude, solid effort and enthusiasm,” said Schultz.

Schultz pointed out the highlights of the season.

“As a team, our home game against Berlin [a PHS win] where we played a complete game on both ends of the floor and our three games [PHS wins] against Kewaskum were all highlights,” he said.

PHS defeated Kewaskum in a D-2 regional opener and lost to perennial power Brown Deer in the semifinals.

“From a coaching perspective, the growth of Matt Richards, Brandon Keller, Cade Knaus, Mason Guell and Cole Booth during the season, combined with the leadership of Alex Shutter, Derek Schweiger, Cody Kuhn, Jake Steinhardt and Adam Smith, along with the team spirit shown by Mack Mella, Alex Kelly, Holden Reilly and Gabe Olsen were highlights for me,” the coach.

“Our five seniors – Steinhardt, Shutter, Kuhn, Richards and Schweiger – were leaders and a great example of hard work and dedication for the younger players.

“Brandon Keller played with increasing confidence as the season progressed and worked very hard during the season to improve his all-around game. Cole Booth played with confidence and poise as a freshman on varsity,” Schultz noted.

Schultz thanked his coaching staff for its hard work, and the fans and PHS administration for their support this past season. He gave special thanks to manager Luke Schneider for all of his time and effort.

Schultz gave his outlook on next season.

“We need to improve our shooting percentages. We also need to maintain and continue to embrace the concept of hard work and doing everything with a proper attitude, solid effort and enthusiasm,” he stressed.

“Similar to this season, next season it will be very competitive for roster spots and playing time. We finished the season with 15 players on the varsity roster and graduate only five of them.

Competition from the junior varsity-1 players and possibly some players who were on JV-2 for varsity roster spots next season should be motivation for everyone to improve,” said Schultz.

The team’s award-winners and final statistical leaders will be in Wednesday’s sports section.

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