Panthers stay atop ECC with key victory

by Matt Kraus
Review Correspondent


JESSICA LEIDER, Plymouth senior, tries to score inside as Winneconne’s Ashley Brooks looks on in ECC basketball play Thursday night. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke JESSICA LEIDER, Plymouth senior, tries to score inside as Winneconne’s Ashley Brooks looks on in ECC basketball play Thursday night. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth Panthers’ girls basketball team used a game-opening 12-0 run to cruise to a 59-43 victory over the Winneconne Wolves in an early-season battle between East Central Conference leaders.

The Panthers improved to an ECC-best 4-1 record (10- 3 overall), while Winneconne fell to a 3-2 conference mark (9-3 overall). PHS is tied for first with Kettle Moraine Lutheran (4-1). Winneconne is in a three-way tie for second with Waupun and Berlin.

Winning the opening tip, the Panthers went right inside. Carly Lilek opened the scoring with two free throws after grabbing an offensive rebound and drawing a Wolves’ foul on the put-back attempt.

Lilek’s defensive rebound, on the Wolves’ first possession, led to a baseline drive and basket by Emma Jewell.


LEXI LAUTENSCHLAEGER of Plymouth attacks the hoop against an unidentified Winneconne player in Thursday’s ECC basketball game. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke LEXI LAUTENSCHLAEGER of Plymouth attacks the hoop against an unidentified Winneconne player in Thursday’s ECC basketball game. – Photo by Tyler Luedtke After a missed shot and turnover by the Panthers on their next two possessions, Lexi Lautenschlaeger received the ball in the low post. Without hesitation she made a move to the hoop, scoring the basket and drawing a defensive foul. A made free throw gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead.

The Panthers’ defensive trap forced a traveling call against Winneconne and the Panthers were back at it. This time, pounding the ball inside to Jessica Leider for a 9-0 lead.

Leider grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and the Panthers were back on the attack, ending with a threepointer by Lilek.

At the 14:45 point of the first half the Panthers led 12-0, forcing a Winneconne timeout.

The teams played scoreless until the 12:08 mark when senior guard Ashley Brooks made two free throws to break the Wolves’ scoring drought. The 10-point deficit, at 12- 2, was as close as the Winneconne would get for the remainder of the game.

Seventeen seconds later, Jewell answered with a threepointer and the Panthers defense forced three consecutive turnovers before Winneconne was able to score again, with two free throws by Jordyn Ellis.

Ellis, who entered the game with as the Wolves’ leading scorer at 13 points per game and second-leading scorer, Abby Gilman, 10, points per game, were held to six points each.

Coming off the bench, Brooks led the way with 14 points and four rebounds for Winneconne.

“We were focused on their two leading scorers, and we were able to take them away,” said Plymouth head coach Brad Shutter.

“Brooks did a nice job attacking our defense. She played well. She did not start tonight but she is very athletic and challenged us.”

Over the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Panthers outscored the Wolves 13-10 to open a 30-14 lead at the break.

Throughout the first half, the teams committed a combined 33 turnovers – Winneconne 19 and 14 for Plymouth.

“Our press bothered them and we were able to score 14 points of the turnovers [in the first half],” said Shutter.

“I thought we played really well in the first half, although we had a problem with early turnovers.”

The Panthers were able to extend their lead to 25 points at the midpoint of the second half, but the Winneconne was able to whittle the final deficit to 16 points, 59-43.

Jewell and Leider each scored 14 points to lead the Panthers.

Leider grabbed a team-high six rebounds for the Panthers, with Sierra Grimm, Hana Goeser and Lautenschlaeger grabbing five each.

Lautenschlaeger dished out a team-high four assists. PHS had 19 steals, led by Jewell and Lautenschlaeger with five each, and Gabi Mella had four.

“We needed to play inside tonight, and we were able to do it. I think Lexi and Jessica could have scored 20 each if we would have kept going inside throughout the second half,” said Shutter.


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