Hard-working Panthers have strong season

by Greg Ceilley
of The Review staff

JESSICA LEIDER (right) and Lexi Lautenschlaeger (23), helped lead Plymouth to a strong 2017-18 basketball season. – Review file photo JESSICA LEIDER (right) and Lexi Lautenschlaeger (23), helped lead Plymouth to a strong 2017-18 basketball season. – Review file photo PLYMOUTH – The Plymouth girls basketball team was a bunch of battlers and it contributed heavily to a stellar 2017-18 season.

The Panthers chalked up an 18-5 overall record and finished second in the East Central Conference with a 12-2 mark. PHS handed ECC champion Kettle Moraine Lutheran (Jackson) its only league defeat of the season.

“I thought we had a very successful season. Considering we lost four starters from last year’s team [which won the ECC title], we had a lot of scoring to replace,” said PHS head coach Brad Shutter.

Shutter was asked what he will remember the most about this past season.

“Just how hard these girls battled game in and game out. There were many times I felt the game was slipping away but they more often than not were able to make a run and find that next gear to keep us in games,” he recalled.

Shutter pointed out the keys to the successful season:

“Our ability to get the ball inside, limit turnovers, shoot it well enough from three to keep teams honest and be solid on the defensive end of the floor. Also, our ability to get to the free-throw line.”

The coach said the highlights of the season were winning at KML and earning an overtime win each over Kiel and Waupun.

“Emma [Jewell], Jessica [Leider] and Lexi [Lautenschlaeger] were huge for us all-year long but it was really a team effort. All the girls had moments during the season where they stepped up and contributed.”

Leider, a post player, and Jewell, a point guard, were named to the All-ECC first team and Lautenschlaeger, a forward, made the second team.

Shutter thanked everyone who supported the team this past season, including Bill Barber the bus driver, Randy Schmitz for keeping the scorebook, athletic trainer Yoshi Ono, assistant coaches Travis Streblow and Scott Milslagle, the parents and the players.

Shutter looked ahead to next season.

“Once again we are faced with replacing a lot of important people, starting with five senior starters and three all-conference performers. I like the talent we have returning and we have a nice freshman class coming in as well,” he noted.

“If the girls make the commitment to work hard this summer and improve, we will be competitive.”


Leider led the Panthers in scoring with a 14.6 points-pergame average; rebounding, 8.2 average; overall field-goal shooting, .59.6 percent; and three-point shooting with 40.9 percent (9-for- 22).

Jewell paced the team in three-point goals with 23, assists at 2.7 per contest and steals with a 3.4 average.

Meyer was the top free-throw shooter with 70.0 percent. She received the Panther Pride Award.

The Panthers’ varsity letter winners include: seniors – Carly Lilek, Jewell, Meyer, Lautenschlaeger and Leider; juniors – Hana Goeser, Christiana Hoyt, Gabi Mella, Jenna Iserloth and Lauren Nicholson; and sophomores – Alesha Kaat-Fohr and Kalani Smith.

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