Pinckneyville tops Midgets
Panthers roll to 87-48 win; Rockets edge Indians, 45-42
Okawville/Pinckneyville title game rematch set for Saturday

CARLYLE – The Pinckneyville Panthers can do a lot of things really well.

On Thursday night at the Carlyle Kaskaskian Classic in their game against Freeburg, Coach Bob Waggoner's club proved just how good they can be when everything is clicking.

After a struggling in the first quarter against an aggressive 3A school, the 2A Panthers started hitting the target from long range and the defense stepped up to match the offensive intesity.

It all added up to a dominating performance as Pinckneyville rolled up numbers against Coach Matt Laur's squad.

When the dust had settled, the Panthers owned an 87-48 victory that wasn't really even that close at the end.

After hitting just 2-of-10 3-pointers in the opening stanza, Pinckneyville connected on 9-of-17 the rest of the game.

“They (Pinckneyville) do all the things that nobody wants to do. They dive for loose balls, they have effort, they defend, they rebound, they take charges. They do all of the things that you need to do to be a great team,” said Coach Laur. “They do all of those things that have to be done to be good. They do those things and they do them well.”

After giving up a few easy rebounds in the early going, the Panthers got selfish around the glass, keeping Freeburg from many second chances.

Pinckneyville ended up with a 48-22 rebounding edge while holding Freeburg to just 16-of-43 shooting overall and just 2-of-11 from the arc.

Added to this landslide of a numerical victory, Pinckneyville forced 19 turnovers with its pressure defense.

Senior guard JC Moll led the way with a game-high 25-points while Grant Jausel, a senior swingman, added 17.

Moll hit four 3's while Jausel added a trio of treys.

Sophomore Dawson Yates tossed in 11-points while senior Kyle Luke and junior Dylan Houghland added eight points each in the victory as eight different Panthers scored.

“I thought we passed the ball around really well tonight. We shot the ball well tonight in rhythm and hit some shots,” said Coach Waggoner. “The shots we missed early were good shots. We did a good job going inside and then back out. When the shots started falling then it snowballed.”

The Midgets had just one player in double-digits; sophomore Luke Ervie with 16-points.

Junior Carson Smith added eight points for Freeburg, who started out pretty sound.

They had some good early possessions and they switched up defenses that confused the Panthers in the in the beginning of the contest.

Two baskets by senior Quinn Haug and Smith and two free throws by Ervie gave the Midgets an early 6-2 lead.

They even managed to hang close for most of the quarter.

But Jausel and Moll got the offense going for the Panthers as they took a 19-15 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Jausel hit back-to-back 3's and Moll scored on three drives to the basket on consecutive possessions.

The second quarter belonged to the Panthers.

After forcing seven first quarter turnovers by Freeburg, they added five more to the Midgets' woes before halftime.

Moll found himself open several times in the second quarter and he didn't disappoint.

Moving the ball around the floor in the halfcourt offense, Moll canned three more 3-pointers for the Panthers, all part of a 13-3 run that pushed the advantage to 34-20 with 5:11 left.

In the run the Panthers hit five-consecutive field goals to begin the frame and led 42-27 at intermission.

If there was any doubt about the outcome of the matchup, it ended in the first minutes of the third quarter.

Jausel and Yates added to the outside shooting accuracy and even 6-foot-6 senior Tanner Spihlmann got in on the fun.

After a brief scramble for an offensive rebound, Spihlmann found himself open on the left wing.

His attempt found the bottom of the net for a 55-32 lead.

A 12-2 run to close the quarter out ended the drama.

Moll made another long range shot and Yates added two more trifectas.

A fast break by Moll proceeded the second Yates bomb as the Panthers led 67-38 at the horn.

“We threw the 'Kitchen Sink' at them defensively to try and keep them on their toes. They just kept making shots,” said Coach Laur. “They stayed with what they do well. They wore our guys out. They play 10 or 11 guys consistently and we don't have the depth to withstand the kind of pressure that they can bring.”

The fourth quarter was spent with mostly reserves on the floor for both teams.

“Our bench guys come in and they know their roles. They want to keep the intensity going. The whole idea is that we are going to play our ten against your six or seven and see how it goes. As long as the bench guys stay up with that intensity we can keep doing that,” said Coach Waggoner.

The Panthers finished 32-of-64 overall for the game but ten of the missed shots were in the fourth quarter by the reserves after the outcome had been settled.

Coach Bob Waggoner's club is now in the title game on Friday night after they went 3-0 in Pool A.

They will face Okawville, who won Pool B, also going 3-0.

The Rockets topped host Carlyle 45-42 in the second game Thursday night.

Friday night's games between Greenville and Woodlawn and then Hillsboro and Flora will help determine the other trophy games on Saturday.

“I told the kids that this is the toughest team we've played this year. They're competitive, they're long and athletic and Coach Laur runs a ton of sets but I thought tonight our defensive pressure was the difference,” said Coach Waggoner. “I thought they (Freeburg) had trouble running their offense.”


Freeburg (48)
– Muir 1 1 1-2 6, Bunman 0 0 0-0 0, Ervie 5 0 6-9 16, Haas 0 0 3-4 3, Smith 0 0 2-2 2, Lickenbrock 0 0 0-2 0, Mack 0 0 0-0 0, Diecker 1 1 0-0 5, Haug 1 0 0-0 2, Meng 2 0 0-0 4, C. Smith 4 0 0-1 8, Cockrell 0 0 2-5 2.
2FG-14, 3FG-2, FT-14-25, PF-14.

Pinckneyville (87) – Kreger 0 0 0-0 0, Moll 6 4 1-2 25, Yates 0 3 2-2 11, Clark 0 0 0-0 0, Linze 0 0 0-0 0, Tanner 0 0 2-2 2, Luke 4 0 0-0 8, Rice 3 0 1-3 7, Jausel 2 3 4-5 17, Sphilmann 0 1 2-2 5, Bartnicki 0 0 0-0 0, Houghland 4 0 0-0 8, Rohlfing 1 0 0-0 2.
2FG-21, 3FG-11, FT-12-16, PF-23.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.
The Rockets moved into the championship game for the third consecutive year at the Kaskaskian Classic with a narrow, low-scoring decision over the host Indians.

Caleb Frederking and Payten Harre each scored 12-points in the victory while senior Luke Hensler added 10-points as Coach Jon Kraus saw his club improve to 3-0 on the season with the victory.

The Rockets will face Pinckneyville in the title game on Saturday night, a rematch of last season's title tilt won by the Rockets.

Carlyle (1-2) was led by Tyler Siever with 14-points.

Okawville outscored the Indians 14-6 from the foul line in the game.


Carlyle (42)
– Reinachel 3 0 0-0 6, Boatright 0 2 0-0 6, Taylor 1 0 0-0 2, Siever 5 0 4-6 14, Heinzmann 0 0 0-0 0, Becker 0 2 1-4 7, Darr 3 0 1-2 7.
2FG-12, 3FG-4, FT-6-12, PF-18.

Okawville (45) – Harre 2 1 5-7 12, Frederking 1 2 4-4 12, Aubel 2 0 0-0 4, Krohne 0 1 3-4 6, Hensler 3 1 1-2 10, Schilling 0 0 1-4 1.
2FG-8, 3FG-5, FT-14-21, PF-13.

Fouled Out – None.
Technical Fouls – None.