Panthers Roll Past Old Abes
By Ken McKenzie
The SPASH Panthers remained undefeated on Tuesday, moving to 5-0 rather easily in handing visiting Eau Claire Memorial their second loss of the season by a score of 81-41.
The Panthers established themselves early and steadily advanced their will on the Old Abes in scoring 21,21 and 22 points respectively over the first three quarters; then added 17 to finish off the visitors with a running clock for the third time this year ending the game.
Scoring by the host Panthers was spread over a dozen players with Sam Hauser and Trev Anderson pacing the effort with 18 apiece while Jake Hofmeister drained three treys and Joey Hauser added nine points.
Stevens Point used a series of lane drives to carve up the Old Abes defense early; then added treys by Jamison Kryshak, Trev Anderson and Sam Hauser to stake out a 21-8 lead after eight minutes. The overall game effort pleased Coach Scott Anderson who couldn’t argue that a 40-point win is hard to fault but exclaimed that giving up 19 points in the third quarter will give his team something to look to improve upon.
The maturing Panther squad has not gone unnoticed as they are ranked atop the Division 1 WisSportsNet Boys Basketball Coaches poll this week with three-time defending state champ Germantown and Kimberly ranked second and third respectively. Aggressive scheduling and head to head contests by many of the top teams in the state now through the holidays will help sort out rankings before teams settle into conference play.
The Panthers now host highly regarded DePere Saturday night in another non-conference tilt at the SPASH Fieldhouse in a 7:30 p.m. battle. DePere comes in also undefeated after successfully handling Manitowoc Lincoln on Tuesday 77-70. The Cardinals feature the heralded shooting guard and UW Badger recruit, Breven Pritzl, who has averaged some 31 points per game so far this season, some ten over his junior class average.
After enjoying a brief reprieve to enjoy the Christmas holidays, the Panthers get right back to the hardwood, appearing in the Sentry Classic at UWSP Quandt Fieldhouse on Sunday, December 28 in a 7 p.m. game with Milwaukee area Sussex Hamilton who currently is 5-1.
SPASH then closes out the 2014 portion of the calendar schedule on Wednesday, December 31 when they take part in the WBY (Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook) Shootout held at Concordia University in Mequon, WI in a 1:30 p.m. game against Oshkosh North in their inaugural visit to this 24-game ‘hoops extravaganza’ spread over three days. The Spartans are 4-1 so far this season after dropping a 40-39 decision at Kimberly while annihilating their other foes by a combined 298-109 point total.