PINCKNEYVILLE
BY JACK BULLOCK
The rebuilding (reloading) of the Pinckneyville Panthers' program doesn't ever take long.
In fact it is more like “next man up” each season as this school never seems to have a shortage of good basketball players.
Five seniors graduated, including first team ABV 2A pick Clayton Houghland, that have a void in the program.
Sam Simpson, Jackson Brand, Cale Jausel and Caulden Lazenby were others who graduated.
However head coach Bob Waggoner will retool the Panthers and have a new batch of Cats ready to “purr” in 2016-17.
The ones returning who played enough to get a “P” on the jackets will need to step forward.
JC Moll, a 5-foot-9 senior guard, was one of the key figures on the Panthers' 25-7 team that lost to rival Nashville at the 2A Pinckneyville Sectional.
Pinckneyville shared the SIRR Mississippi Division title with the Hornets and a last second shot by Nashville's Royce Newman doomed the Panthers last March, 47-45.
Grant Jausel, a 6-foot junior, also played quite a few important minutes and averaged 6.4 points a night.
Coach Waggoner mentioned two other returning players who figure to have more opportunities this season; Alex Howard, a 6-foot senior (3.0 p.p.g., 2.0 r.p.g.), and Kyle Luke, a 6-foot junior (2.0 p.p.g., 2.0 r.p.g.).
After those four, it will be inexperienced newcomers.
Seniors Miles Chandler, Tyler Rulevish, and Brady Louis are seniors.
Juniors Hunter Clark, Kyle Kreger, Will Martin, Ryan Brueggemann, Dustin Bartnicki, Tyler Rice and Bradley Kurtz.
One sophomore was mentioned, Dylan Houghland.
“We graduated five seniors from our program that were the heart and soul of our team last year including three all-conference selections. However, our overall team depth is very good,” said Coach Waggoner, who is 209-70 in nine seasons at Pinckneyville with five regional championships, a sectional and supersectional title and a fourth place finish to his credit. “We have several players that can play and defend different positions on the floor. Our first week of practice has been very competitive and the players have been eager to learn. We don't have a player over 6-foot-3 so rebounding will be a big key to our season. We our an inexperienced varsity team but have four players returning that saw significant varsity time. We always play a competitive schedule and will be tested early and often.”
2016-17 VARSITY SCHEDULE
N21 West Frankfort J12 Carterville

N26-D2

Carlyle "Kaskaskian Classic" J15-20 Benton Invitational Tournament
D8 Sparta J26 @ Sparta
D9 St. Louis (MO.) MICDS "Shootout" J27 Pinckneyville "Panther Showcase"
D15 @ Du Quoin F2 O'Fallon (IL.) "Shootout"
D16 @ Herrin F3 Du Quoin
D22 Anna-Jonesboro F9 @ Anna-Jonesboro
D29-30 Duster Thomas "Hoops Classic" F10 Nashville
J5 @ Nashville F16 @ Carterville
J6 Vandalia F19-23 IHSA Regional TBD