Panthers roll past Green Bay East

by Matt Kraus
Review Correspondent


CADE KNAUS of Plymouth launches a shot over Green Bay East’s Rafe Whalen (21) and an unidentified teammate in Thursday’s basketball game. – Photo by Jason Hassel CADE KNAUS of Plymouth launches a shot over Green Bay East’s Rafe Whalen (21) and an unidentified teammate in Thursday’s basketball game. – Photo by Jason Hassel PLYMOUTH – Looking at the team’s statistics following the Plymouth Panthers’ 60-39 nonconference boys basketball rout over the Green Bay East Red Devils here Thursday night, PHS head coach Tim Schultz was surprised to see the team-high 17 points scored by senior Cade Knaus and the 11-point, 12-rebound performance by senior Mason Guell.

Schultz explained, “It happened within the natural flow of the game and nothing happened that made you expect to see those stats.”

Schultz’s comments could be made about the Panthers’ victory as well. The Panthers opened with a 4-0 lead before East’s Rafe Whalen hit a three-point basket to cut the lead to 4-3. That was as close as the Red Devils would get to the Panthers.


COLE BOOTH of Plymouth drives to the hoop past an unidentified Green Bay East defender in Thursday’s basketball game. – Photo by Jason Hassel COLE BOOTH of Plymouth drives to the hoop past an unidentified Green Bay East defender in Thursday’s basketball game. – Photo by Jason Hassel PHS improved to 3-1 and East fell to 2-2.

Cole Booth drove to the hoop and Knaus hit a three-pointer to give the Panthers a 9-3 lead.

Trailing 14-6, the Red Devils switched from their high-pressure, man-to-man defense to a 1-3-1 zone defense but the Panthers did not slow down. The Panthers were able to move the ball on the offensive end – finding the open player inside and out, and being in position for offensive rebounds.

The Panthers were able to open a 23-11 lead on a three-pointer by Knaus with 6:40 remaining in the first half. For the balance of the half the Panthers and Red Devils exchanged hoops and free throws with the Panthers lead moving between eight and 11 points, ultimately ending with a Panthers’ halftime lead, 31-22.

In the first half, the Red Devils were able to drive and penetrate the lane, but the height of the Panthers caused shots to be changed. The Panthers dominated on the boards – outrebounding Green Bay 42-22.

“Our size frustrated them. I am happy with the way we played defense. We wanted to get Whalen [Red Devils’ leading scorer this season] off of the three-point line and we were able to do that, holding him to 20 points,” said Schultz.

The Panthers opened a 15-point lead on two free throws by Nick Falls with 9:31 remaining, but Bennett Farrell hit a three for the Red Devils, cutting the lead to 43-31.

Knaus, who sank a game-high five threes, followed with a basket from under the hoop and Cole Booth hit a three but the biggest cheer of the night came when Johno Aschenbach hit a deep three from the left wing to give the Panthers a 51-31 lead.

“JohnO played well tonight. Since last season he built himself as a player. He was in the weight room during the off-season and worked hard to improve his game to the point where he is a part of our rotation and gets regular minutes,” said Schultz.

Nine Panthers combined for 14 assists, led by Guell with three. Booth added two assists to lead the team. Booth had a team-high two steals.

“Tonight was a good comeback after the disappointment of the loss to Slinger [on Dec. 5].”

“We had good rebounding tonight. Mason had 12 [led PHS] and Adam Smith had seven. Their size caused problems from Green Bay.”

“Right now we have a rotation of nine players, I wouldn’t mind having 11 players rotating. We are working on finding who plays well with one another.”

“We have three sophomores, Cole Booth, Cooper Gosse and Aiden Reilly, who are confident and solid players.”

“The offense and defense go through Cole [a guard], even though he is only a sophomore. Tonight, he played a complete game. He stayed out of foul trouble which was a problem in our first three games.”

JV GAMES

The Panthers rolled to a 63-17 win in the junior varsity-2 game to even their record at 2-2.

Michael Troka led the PHS attack with 13 points, followed by Joel Williams with 12 and Zach Zeeveld, 10. Zeeveld led in boards with eight.

Sawyer Hering paced PHS in assists with four and steals, six. Jack Luedtke led in blocked shots with two.

PHS won the JV-contest, 49- 36. Matteo Troka led the Panthers in scoring with eight.

“The team had great energy and hustle, and got to the rim,” said PHS coach Brad Smudde.


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