By Nate Woelfel
February 25, 2013
Stevens Point–The Stevens Point Area Senior High boys basketball team trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters of its regional final game against Fond du Lac Monday night at the SPASH Fieldhouse.
But a fourth quarter rally helped the Panthers emerge victorious by a final count of 59-54 and advance to the sectional semifinals against Oshkosh North Thursday night in Oshkosh.
Max Schebel scored six of his team-high 15 points in the first to push the Cardinals get out to a 14-12 lead after one.
Panthers’ head coach Scott Anderson thought that a lack of time to prepare for the contest may have contributed to his club’s slow start.
“Not to make excuses, but we played Saturday night and had an emotional win. We weren’t able to practice yesterday because of the seven-day rule,” Anderson said. “I think that had something to do with the first half. We’ll never know, but I think that was part of it.”
A 5-7 shooting performance from field goal range helped Fond du Lac extend its edge to 24-19 heading into halftime.
Despite facing a deficit at the break, Anderson viewed the intermission as a turning point for his team. “I did think that we were able to kind of reboot the guys at halftime,” Anderson said. “I though in the second quarter we maybe lost our composure and poise a little bit. We were able to kind of gather our legs at halftime and get back in character.”
The Panthers fought back in the third, out-scoring the Cardinals 13-9 in the frame, but a late basket from Schebel helped Fond du Lac hold onto a one-point lead heading into the final quarter.
SPASH received the spark it needed when Trevor Anderson, its leading scorer, began to find his rhythm. Anderson was 1-7 from the floor through the first three quarters, but an early score in the opening moments of the fourth helped him find his stride.
Anderson was 4-6 from field goal range in the final eight minutes and tallied 11 points in the quarter. Sam Hauser notched a game-high 20 points for the Panthers.
“I just give our kids credit a lot of credit that they were able to gut this thing out against a very tough opponent,” Anderson said. Anderson knows that the Panthers are in for a battle when they travel to Oshkosh on Thursday night.
“They present a lot of good challenges for us. But we look forward to the opportunity to go over there and play in the sectional,” Anderson said. “We’re going to give it our best shot.”
Fond du Lac (54) 14 10 9 21
SPASH (59) 12 7 13 27
FDL: Wendt 12, Schorse 4, Kryzianowski 1, Andrew 2, Pickart 6, Luteyn 8, Windsor 6, Schebel 15
SPASH: Diekelman 7, Zelhofer 9, Barnes 6, Van Helden 2, Anderson 15, Hauser 20