Panthers survive scare
Jausel scores with :02 left in overtime; Pinckneyville edges Du Quoin

PINCKNEYVILLE – When teams are in a tight situation, especially late in the game, they always want the ball in the hands of their “go-to” guys.

With a possession in the final seconds of overtime on Saturday night at home with the game tied, the Pinckneyville Panthers two best play makers made the difference in a 59-57 win over Du Quoin.

Running a set play after a timeout, head coach Bob Waggoner ran the play for his two seniors (J.C. Moll and Grant Jausel) and the pair stepped up with a big time finish for an important conference win over their Perry County rival.

Moll made a move near the top of the circle to his left and his back door pass found Jausel cutting to the basket from the left baseline.

Jausel caught the ball in stride and his lay in with :02.5 left gave the Panthers an important Southern Illinois River-To-River Conference Mississippi Division victory in front of a large crowd at Duster Thomas Gym.

The Panthers improved to 23-3 overall and remained unbeaten in the division at 7-0.

Jausel led Pinckneyville with 16-points while Moll added 13.

The two combined to make 8-of-8 free throws (4-of-4 each) while Moll added three of Pinckneyville's four 3-pointers.

Jausel, after being held to just two-points in the first half, and just four-points through three quarters, scored 10-points in the fourth quarter and the game-winner in OT.

The 6-foot-2 senior lefty went over 1,000-points for his career in the victory.

Kyle Luke, a 6-foot-2 senior, added 11-points for Pinckneyville.

“We're not going to make any excuses about the way we played. We played a game late last night and we played tonight and both are big time learning experiences,” said Coach Waggoner. “Last night we came up on the short and of the stick on a last second play. Tonight we did a much better job of attacking on the inside and getting the ball to the rim in a tie ballgame.”

It was a disappointing end for the Indians (3-4, 12-13) and head coach Justin Barrington as they lost for the third time in as many tries against the Panthers this season even though they played well.

Six-foot-seven sophomore Lamontay Daughtery led the Tribe with 15-points, including a couple of big 3-pointers in the second half to help force the extra session.

Junior guard Josh Heape added 12-points for Du Quoin on the night while senior forward Will Woodside and senior guard Hank Stewart each put in 11.

“We talked about it with the kids, it's going to come down to one or two possessions and we were one stop away from winning it in regulation. And they got the last true possession in overtime. And they converted,” said Coach Barrington. “Our kids have nothing to hang their heads about. We played a good basketball game tonight. It was a sectional level atmosphere and both crowds were into it. Our guys laid it on the line, their guys laid it on the line but we came up a little bit short.”

The Panthers survived in spite of their own mistakes, especially in the first half.

Coach Waggoner's crew coughed up 10 first half turnovers and scored just two-points in the second quarter as they trailed DQ 21-17 at the break.

But Pinckneyville cleaned up the offense in the second half while their defense kept them close throughout.

Pinckneyville got off to an early lead on the strength of their ability to hit the offensive glass.

Three of the Panthers' scores in the opening frame came on rebound baskets, two of which came from 6-foot-6 senior Tanner Spihlmann.

Spihlmann scored six of his nine-points in the quarter and Moll added a 3-pointer to close the first at 15-11 Panthers.

Moll took and inbounds pass into the backcourt and he launched a shot from beyond the halfcourt line that found the mark for the four-point lead.

Du Quoin scored the first eight points in the second quarter to take the lead.

Woodside, senior guard Ashton Smith and sophomore Braeden Pursell all scored in the run with Pursell burying a 3-pointer from the top of the arc for a 17-15 lead.

A rebound basket by Smith forced a Pinckneyville timeout at 19-15 with 2:53 left.

Luke scored the only points for the Panthers in the second quarter on a steal and fast break lay in.

A rebound basket by Stewart closed the half at 21-17.

In spite of a 1-for-7 from the field quarter and five additional turnovers, Pinckneyville was down just four at the half.

The Panthers opened the second half with three consecutive scores to take back the lead.

Luke scored two of the three baskets in the run, and Jausel added a jumper on the baseline.

The second Luke score came on a goal tending call on Daughtery as Pinckneyville led 23-21.

The Indians got back the lead at the end of the frame with 3-point bombs by Daughtery and Stewart.

But a Luke score on an inbounds play and Moll's second 20-footer of the stanza gave the home team a 35-32 advantage heading to the fourth.

Daughtery netted nine of his points in the fourth quarter, which included a four-point play.

He was fouled on a 3-point attempt from the right wing by Pinckneyville sophomore Devin Kitchen.

His made free throw gave the Indians a 46-44 lead with 2:26 left in regulation.

The Panthers appeared headed to a win in regulation as Jausel and Moll each hit two free throws while Jausel also scored on a drive in the lane.

The two Moll charities gave Pinckneyville a 52-51 lead with :38.5 left.

On the Indians next chance, Heape converted yet another 3-pointer.

His bucket from the arc gave back the lead to DQ with :16 left at 54-52.

But the Panthers didn't panic and got the ball to Luke who drove into the lane.

His spin move produced a shot that evened the score at 54.

DQ managed to get a timeout called and set up an out of bounds play the length of the floor away.

But Heape missed a long 3-point attempt as time expired, sending the two rivals to overtime.

Luke (1-of-2) and Moll (2-of-2) scored from the free throw line and Woodside hit a 3-pointer to get the two teams to 57-all in the extra session.

Du Quoin had a possession where they ran some clock and got a shot in the lane by Stewart.

But the shot wouldn't fall and Spihlmann gathered the rebound for the Panthers.

After Coach Waggoner got a time out, Pinckneyville ran their set play with three Panthers standing on the right sideline away from the play.

That left Moll and Jausel to make the right move at the end.

“What has been fun for me is to watch him (Jausel) develop from being just a spot shooter to a driver that can read the defense and make plays. He is even a better defender,” said Coach Waggoner. “His favorite two-points (of his 1,000) were his last two. I'm pretty proud of him. He has been on some pretty good teams and I hope he has a few more (games) in front of him.”

A desperation shot after a timeout by the Indians fell way short as the Panthers escaped with an important conference win.

After having missed a shot at the buzzer that would have won their game Friday night at the O'Fallon Shootout against Missouri power Whitfield, Coach Waggoner's club got the job done late at home Saturday night.

The Panthers played the game without sophomore guard Dawson Yates, who is out with a hip injury.

“I want to give credit to Du Quoin for battling. I thought that they played a very competitive game on both ends of the floor,” said Coach Waggoner. “Our rotation is a little different without (Dawson) Yates in there. That effects our flow both offensively and defensively.”

Du Quoin finished the game 16-of-38 overall from the floor but 7-of-18 from the 3-point line with five different players hitting 3-point shots.

The Indians committed just eight turnovers but were out rebounded 27-16 overall.

DQ hit 15-of-20 free throws on the night, a place that Coach Barrington hopes his team can get to more often.

“We wanted to get the (free throw) line tonight and now that we are playing better, we are shooting free throws better,” said Coach Barrington. “We were right where we wanted to be at the end. It didn't go our way tonight. We will be able to build on this. We have won three of our last four and they say you want to be playing your best basketball in February and we are playing a lot better now than we were in November and December.”

After the Panthers committed 10 turnovers in the first half, they settled down and only have four more for 14 total.

Pinckneyville hit 22-of-44 overall, but just 4-of-17 from long range with Moll hitting three of those long range shots.

The Panthers ended up 11-of-15 from the foul line.

“I thought we were a little bit ragged. I knew we were tired today in the walk through. But I give our guys credit. They found a way to come out with a win,” said Coach Waggoner.

Pinckneyville will travel to Anna-Jonesboro on Friday night and then host Nashville on Saturday in two critical conference games this week while Du Quoin will host Sparta on Friday and A-J on Saturday.

“I can't be any more proud of out guys tonight the way we competed. We will be ready to get back to work on Monday,” said Coach Barrington. “And finish the regular season strong.”

Du Quoin
Du Quoin (57) – Heape 2 2 2-2 12, Smith 1 0 1-2 3, Adams 0 0 2-2 2, Winters 0 0 0-0 0, Woodside 3 1 2-2 11, Pursell 0 1 0-0 3, Daughtery 1 2 7-10 15, Donoghue 0 0 0-0 0, Stewart 2 2 1-2 11.
2FG-9, 3FG-8, FT-15-20, PF-21.

Pinckneyville (59)
– Kreger 0 0 0-0 0, Moll 0 3 4-4 13, Clark 0 0 0-0 0, Tanner 0 0 0-0 0, Luke 5 0 1-2 11, Rice 3 0 0-0 6, Jausel 6 0 4-4 16, Spihlmann 4 0 1-3 9, Bartnicki 0 0 1-2 1, Kitchen 0 1 0-0 3.
2FG-23, 3FG-3, FT-13-17, PF-19.

Fouled Out
Technical Fouls
– None.