Panthers earn ECC win with big rally

BERLIN – Plymouth out- scored Berlin 34-12 in the second half to fuel a 58-42 comeback win in an East Central Conference girls basketball contest here Tuesday night.

The Panthers stormed back from a 24-9 deficit in the first half. PHS whittled the Indians’ lead to 30-24 at halftime.

Plymouth’s 1-2-2 trap sparked the Panthers’ outstanding defense in the second half as it forced some turnovers which led to points.

“We hit the boards hard, our defense put the clamps on them and we were more patient on offense in the second half,” said Shutter.

“We get down [on the scoreboard] and refuse to lose. We were 100-percent focused in the second half. I’m very proud of the them [Panthers].”

The Panthers raised their ECC record to 8-1 (14-3 overall) and stayed in a first-place tie with Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson) which defeated Waupun, 32- 24, on Tuesday night. PHS, which has won six straight, avenged a loss to Berlin earlier in the season.

PHS will host KML Friday night, Jan. 26.

Emma Jewell and Jessica Leider scored eight points each to lead the PHS attack in the second half. Leider was 8-for-8 at the foul line in the half. The Panthers were an impressive 15-for-16 at the charity stripe in the final half.

The Indians shot a blistering 60 percent from the field in the first half. Berlin finished the game shooting only 32 percent from the floor. Berlin’s full-court press bothered PHS and foul trouble hurt the Panthers in the opening half.

PHS had an outstanding 14 steals and dominated the boards with a 39-15 advantage. Lexi Lautenschlaeger led Plymouth in rebounds with 11, including an excellent six offensive. Leider grabbed seven rebounds.

Lautenschlaeger, Carly Lilek and Jewell had a team-high three steals each. Jewell paced PHS in assists with three.

“Lexi controlled the boards herself and played outstanding,” said Shutter.

“Sierra Grimm played one of her best games. She attacked their 1-3-1 trap, got some rebounds and made good decisions.”

Grimm scored nine points and had five rebounds off the bench.

Jewell led a balanced PHS offense with 14 points. Leider contributed 10 on 10-for-10 foul shooting.

PHS outscored Berlin 21-11 at the foul line.

Mari Beltran paced Berlin in scoring with 14, including a teamhigh 12 in the first half with two three-point goals.

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