Berlin rallies to edge Panthers in ECC play

by Matt Kraus
Review Correspondent


JESSICA LEIDER (left) and Alesha Kaat-Fohr of Plymouth try to trap Berlin’s Myah Jodarski in Thursday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley JESSICA LEIDER (left) and Alesha Kaat-Fohr of Plymouth try to trap Berlin’s Myah Jodarski in Thursday’s ECC basketball game. – Review photo by Greg Ceilley PLYMOUTH – The Berlin Indians rallied past the Plymouth Panthers to earn a 52-51 win in East Central Conference girls basketball action here Thursday night.

Mackenzie Kurczek drove to the hoop for Berlin with six seconds remaining and was fouled. She made two free throws to give the Indians a 52-51 lead. The Panthers had a final opportunity to win but missed a three-pointer in the final second.

With the Panthers trailing 50- 48, Plymouth’s Alesha Kaat-Fohr was fouled on a three-point shot. She made the three free throws to give the Panthers a 51-50 lead. PHS trailed 46-37 with 2:50 remaining.

The Panthers, who led 30-22 at halftime, fell to 1-1 in ECC play (6-2 overall). Berlin moved to 1-1 in the conference (5-2 overall).

The Panthers worked hard to get the ball inside to Jessica Leider and Lexi Lautenschlaeger but struggled to convert baskets. Berlin’s defense packed in the lane – making entry passes difficult and susceptible to being knocked away.

At times the Panthers were able to score in the lane. Baskets by Lautenschlaeger and Leider, and a Leider free throw gave the Panthers a 13-7 lead with 12:00 remaining in the first half.

The Panthers were able to maintain a three- to five-point lead for the remainder of the half until Alesha Kaat-Fohr hit a threepointer seconds before the halftime buzzer to give the Panthers an eight-point lead.

Myah Jodarski almost singlehandedly kept the Indians in the game – hitting three three-pointers in the first half. She ended with a game-high 17 points.

The Indians took advantage of the halftime break to outscore the Panthers 10-0 over the first four minutes to gain a 32-30 lead. During a timeout break, PHS head coach Brad Shutter could be heard telling his team, “They’re not afraid of you anymore.”

Shutter later said, “We did not come to play. We beat Waupun last week but tonight we were not ready to play.”

The Indians continued to build their lead to 37-30 before Emma Jewell drove to the hoop for a basket which ended Berlin’s 15-0 run. The Panthers followed with a turnover and four missed free throws.

The Indians called a timeout and decided to run a delay-style offense. Plymouth answered with a trap defense. Initially, the defense did not force a turnover but eventually Jewell got a steal. She missed a layup, but Leider was able to rebound and convert for a basket.

Jewell drove to the hoop on the next possession and cut the Indians lead to 39-36 but Emily Klawitter answered with a basket of her own for Berlin.

Berlin scored the next six points to take a 46-37 lead with 2:50 remaining.

Kaat-Fohr answered with a three-pointer from the left baseline and Leider followed with a put-back to cut the lead to 46-42.

Kaat-Fohr led the Panthers with 11 points and Leider grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.

As a team the Panthers had 12 steals and Jewell led the way with seven. She and Hana Goeser each dished out a team-high two assists.

“They [Indians] made some shots early and became more confident as they went along,” said Shutter.

JV GAMES

In junior varsity-2 play, PHS routed Berlin, 32-16. Courtney Casper led PHS in scoring with eight. Dallas Kreisa and Addie Plate had a team-best seven boards each. Cammi Nicolaus led in steals with three.

PHS throttled visiting Green Bay West, 56-4, on Dec. 12. Casper keyed the Panthers’ attack with 16 points and Alexis Hol loway hit 10. Casper had a teamhigh seven steals.


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