Pinckneyville suffers first loss, settles for 3rd at Duster Thomas Hoops Classic
Grant Jausel was one of two Panthers named to the All-Tournament Team at the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic. (Doug Daniels photo)
Tanner Spihlmann had 13 points against Du Quoin on Saturday. Here are 8 of them in this video. (Doug Daniels video)
By Doug Daniels
1351sports.com / pinckneyvillesports.com
January 1, 2018
(Pinckneyville, Ill.) - There will be no unbeaten season for the Pinckneyville Panthers in 2017-18, as the Duster Thomas Hoops Classic tournament host dropped their semifinal matchup on Saturday with eventual champion Benton 51-41 before settling for third place by routing Du Quoin 72-45.
In the loss to the Rangers, the Panthers shot a dismal 39% from the field and just 50% from the free throw line while turning the ball over 21 times.
"Turnovers and missed shots (were the difference)," said PCHS head coach Bob Waggoner. "11 of those turnovers were unforced, and we didn't shoot it very well around the rim either. It was an off day. You have to tip your hat to Benton, and we'll get another opportunity at them here in a month (at the Benton Invitational Tournament)."
Pinckneyville started off well against the Rangers with a 7-0 run that included a three-pointer by Grant Jausel, who was later named to the All-Tournament team along with fellow Panther Kyle Luke.
But from that point on, the Panthers couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, and handed the ball over to Benton time and time again as their undefeated season went up in smoke.
After a timeout from coach Ron Winemiller, the Rangers rolled off nine straight points to take the lead, which they never let go of. Jausel spent considerable time on the bench in the first half in foul trouble and had to watch as Benton kept tacking on to their advantage and entered the break up 22-16.
The fifth Ranger three-pointer of the day midway through the third quarter extended the lead to 30-18 before the Panthers hit back-to-back threes by Devin Kitchen and Tanner Spihlmann to make it 30-24 with 1:45 to go in the period, but that was as close as Pinckneyville would get the rest of the way.
Benton had six threes in the ball game, three of them coming from DTHC MVP Hamilton Page, who led the Rangers with 17 points against the Panthers, who lost despite out-rebounding Benton 26-17.
J.C. Moll led PCHS in scoring with 13 points, Jausel had 10, Spihlmann 6, Dawson Yates 4, Kitchen and Luke each had 3, and Tyler Rice and Dustin Bartnicki each had 1.
The loss sent Pinckneyville into the third place game where they met up with cross-county rival Du Quoin. The rivalry game atmosphere may have been just what the Panthers needed to regain their composure, as they steamrolled the Indians 72-45 and held DHS's leading scorer, Lamontay Daughtery, to just one shot attempt and 3 total points.
"We wanted to wear out their guards," Waggoner said. "When you have a tournament like this where you have four games in two days, you want to make sure it's a battle of attrition, toughness, and I think our kids brought that tonight and were ready to play."
"I think it says a lot about the character of our kids. When you have a little adversity, you have two choices - you can hang your head, or you can respond and get better. Even though you don't want to lose, you don't want to have a situation where you learn from losing, I thought our kids adjusted and gave a really all-around good game tonight for 32 minutes."
The shooting, and the ball handling, were substantially improved from earlier in the day against Benton. Pinckneyville shot 51% from the field, 71% from the free throw line, and turned the ball over just 5 times while Du Quoin finished with 15 turnovers.
The Panthers also out-rebounded the Indians, 25-15, with the 5'10 Moll leading the way with 6 boards.
"We were very aggressive tonight," Waggoner said. "We talk about rebounding both offensively and defensively, that gave us a lot of opportunities to push the ball in transition. When (Moll) is rebounding the ball like that, we're going to get out and run it a little bit better."
Scoring-wise, it was Jausel doing the most damage, pouring in 23 points and making all 8 of his free throw attempts.
"Grant was extremely aggressive," said Waggoner, "but at the same time the presence of Spihlmann in there opened some things up for him to be able to get in there."
Moll finished with 17 points, Spihlmann had 13, Yates 7, Kelton Linze 5, Luke, Kyle Kreger, and Grant Tanner each had 2, and Rice finished with 1.
The Panthers played their way into the Gold championship bracket by beating Roxana and Olney on Friday, first dismissing the Shells 61-14, then putting away the Tigers 66-54 with the help of a 27-point third quarter.
Not a single Panther was in double figures against Roxana, but the game's outcome was never in doubt following a 25-0 first quarter.
Kitchen's 8 points were a team-high for PCHS, Luke had 7, Moll and Tanner both had 6, Yates 5, Rice, Jausel, Spihlmann, Bartnicki and Derek Rohlfing all finished with 4, Kreger, Noah Carter and Dylan Houghland each had 3.
PCHS was in command against Olney after a 17-8 first quarter, but the Tigers played the Panthers even in the second period to make it a ball game in the second half. Pinckneyville responded after the break, though, outscoring the Tigers 27-13 in the third quarter.
"I thought we had them on the ropes, and our kids didn't understand that Olney's not a team that's going to give up," Waggoner said. "They're well-coached, they're disciplined, and they made a run back at us to make it a ball game."
Jausel (18 points) and Luke (17) were in double figures for Pinckneyville, Tanner added 8 points, Moll 7, Rice 6, Yates 6, Kreger 3 and Kitchen 2.
Pinckneyville (13-1) returns to the floor on Friday with first place in the SIRR Mississippi Division on the line in Nashville when they take on the Hornets.
2017 Duster Thomas Hoops Classic
@ Pinckneyville Community High School
December 29 & 30
Pool A: Pinckneyville, Olney, Roxana
Pool B: Benton, Cissna Park, Greenville
Pool C: Wesclin, Carterville, Trico
Pool D: Jerseyville, Du Quoin, Elverado
Wesclin 68, Trico 43
Pinckneyville 61, Roxana 14
Cissna Park 58, Greenville 49
Jerseyville 82, Elverado 43
Olney 61, Roxana 44
Wesclin 44, Carterville 26
Du Quoin 49, Jerseyville 42
Benton 39, Cissna Park 38
Pinckneyville 66, Olney 54
Carterville 70, Trico 59
Benton 47, Greenville 32
Du Quoin 58, Elverado 35
Greenville 44, Roxana 29
Trico 64, Elverado 31
11th Place: Roxana 60, Elverado 55
9th Place: Greenville 71, Trico 52
Cissna Park 40, Olney 38
Jerseyville 65, Carterville 34
7th Place: Olney 42, Carterville 33
5th Place: Jerseyville 35, Cissna Park 23
Benton 51, Pinckneyville 41
Wesclin 47, Du Quoin 44
3rd Place: Pinckneyville 72, Du Quoin 45
Championship: Benton 41, Wesclin 28
MVP - Parker Williams, Benton
Nate Brede, Wesclin
Brandon Courtney, Wesclin
Lamontay Daughtery, Du Quoin
Grant Jausel, Pinckneyville
Kyle Luke, Pinckneyville
Christian Stadeli, Cissna Park
Mick Stevens, Wesclin
Blake Wittman, Jerseyville
Gehrig Wynn, Benton