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MOMENCE – The PBL junior varsity squad ended its season Friday with a 44-24 victory over Momence.
“It was a good year with a fun group of kids,” PBL head coach Adam Schonauer said. “I enjoyed it.”
The Panthers’ defense allowed five points in the first and second quarters each against the Redskins. As a result, they led 18-5 after the first quarter and 32-10 at halftime.
With the victory, PBL concluded its season with a 16-5 record.
“I thought that was pretty good,” Schonauer said. “We let a couple of games get away that we could have won, but we had some freshmen playing at the sophomore level and some sophomores who were getting their feet wet for the first time playing at the level with the intensity and speed of the game, so I was happy with the way we competed in almost every single game this year.”
Freshman Nick Porter led the Panthers with 14 points, including 11 in the first half and seven in the first quarter. Another freshman, Hunter Weber, added 10 points -- including eight via free throws.
Corbin Riecks contributed seven points while Johnny Walder (five points), Kirk Vesely (four), Tal Harms (three) and Paul Bigham (one) each scored as well.
“We’ve got some guys with some potential, but all that matters is the offseason now,” Schonauer said. “We’ve got to get stronger. We’re going to work on our ball handling and our shooting and just improving because everybody else in the area is going to continue to get better.”
MOMENCE – The PBL freshman team recovered from a 37-31 loss Thursday to Milford with a 45-30 win in its season finale over Momence Friday.
Jordan Kietzman and Jake Stevenson each led the scoring for the Panthers with nine points against the Redskins.
“It was a fun group to be around,” PBL head coach Tom Rubarts said. “They’re a really great group. Everybody had a good head on their shoulders. They came into practice and worked hard. In the first eight games, they were without Nick Porter, Corbin Riecks and Paul Bigham, so it was a different opportunity for them. I really enjoyed the way that they were able to grow this season and work hard.”
With the win over Momence, PBL finished with a winning record of 10-8. Rubarts said there is a lot of potential with this group of freshman.
“I think Nick Porter and Corbin Riecks – when they came down to play with us, they took charge,” Rubarts said. “They’re advanced for their level. They’re pretty good players. Also Jordan Kietzman, Wes Ricketts, Peyton McClure and Josiah Martin were all really solid players as freshmen. I will enjoy seeing them grow in the future.”