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TOLONO — Led by yet another solid defensive performance, the Panthers improved to 16-0 with a 38-15 victory over Tolono Unity.
PBL took a 16-7 lead into the second quarter thanks in part to seven and six first-quarter points by Andrew Zenner and Dalton Coplea, respectively.
"I was really happy about the way we came and played," PBL head coach Jeff Sinn said. "We spent a lot of time overy the break just shooting and putting the guys into game-time situations. As a coach, you just worry that you did enough on the break to get these guys ready to go and not come out with a lot of 'ring rust.' When you jump on a team leke that early, you're just glad your players are listening to you and that they put the work in to get to this point after the break."
After the Panthers went into halftime up 24-9, they held Unity to six total points in the second half.
"I thought, once again, it was a real team effort tonight," Sinn said. "You don't hold a team to six points in the second half without playing collectively as a team. I continue to see players do things that they would have never done at the start of the year, and that is great to see as a coach. These guys are really working hard — all 15 of them — and it really makes it fun to watch and coach the guys."
Zenner would finish the game as the high scorer with 10 points for PBL. Coplea added eight points while Cole Eshleman added four points.
The Panthers will have their hands full this upcoming week with a home game tonight against Prairie Central followed by a visit to Rantoul Eater Thursday.
"We have a really big week ahead of us," Sinn said. "This was just the start, and I hope we bring that type of defensive intensity and execution with us to the next two games because we are going to need that."
PBL 38, Unity 15
Cole Eshleman 3-0-7, Louis Rodriguez 2-0-4, Kaleb Denault 0-0-0, Colton Kleinert 0-0-0, Ryley Follner 0-1-1, Dalton Coplea 1-6-8, Cooper Johnson 0-0-0, Carter Riecks 1-0-2, Michael Curry 0-0-0, Tyler Adkins 1-1-3, Brendan VanAntwerp 0-0-0, Luke Fitton 1-1-3, Andrew Zenner 4-0-10, Tom Henrichs 0-0-0. Totals 12-9-38.
Barnard 2-1-5, Heyen 0-0-0, Montgomery 0-0-0, Stevens 1-0-2, Newsomes 0-0-0, Wells 0-1-1, Chancellor 0-0-0, Spencer 2-0-4, Eisenmenger 0-0-0, Billmon 1-0-3, Hewig 0-0-0. Totals 6-2-15.
PBL 16 8 8 6 — 38
Unity 7 2 4 2 — 15
3-pointers — PBL 3 (Zenner 2, Eshleman). Unity (Billmon).