By Rich Winter
Well, as we head towards the end of the regular season, here come Frank Cutler’s Platte/Geddes Black Panthers. On Jan. 25 the Panthers were just 4-6…But, after reeling off 5-consecutive wins including a 51-47 win over Freeman-Academy/Marion in Mitchell today, Cutler’s guys are 9-6 and playing superb basketball.
On Tuesday, P/G ran into a solid Todd County squad. Close throughout, and with Falcon senior Aiden Bizardie splashing down treys, P/G trailed TC, 49-44 heading into the final stanza. Executing like a well oiled machine, Cutler’s guys outscored Kellan Herman’s guys, 24-14 over the final eight minutes, for a 68-63 win.
Alright, so last night, a massive Region 5A showdown as P/G traveled to take on a 10-6 Bon Homme squad.
The result, Cutler’s guys pulled away from a 25-20 halftime lead and earned a 54-37 win over the Cavaliers.
Six-foot-4 sophomore Kelby VanDerWerff 14 points/7 rebounds with Caden Foxley having 11 points and Kade Starr had 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Just one senior on Cutler’s squad, the multi-sport talented Hayden Stluka (Those ally oop, out-of-bounds plays…DAYUM) pictured at right. At center, No. 44 Kelby VanDerWerff seems to be coming on strong as the playoffs approach, and at left, Will Miller, another sophomore that is growing by leaps and bounds every time he sets foot on the court.
Alright, so after last night’s game, P/G went home, rested quickly and then jumped on the bus this morning as they had the early game (9:30) at the Culver Classic in Mitchell vs. FAM.
Trailing by two entering the final quarter, the Black Panthers put the clamps on FAM, outscoring Austin Unruh’s Bearcat squad 12-6 over the final eight minutes to pick up that 51-47 win…
Five in a row and now standing at 9-6 …P/G is rolling…
After tangling with Scotland on Monday, P/G has a nice little litmus test Tuesday as they travel to Winner to take on Brett Gardner’s 10-4 Warriors.
Get by that test…and a Round-of-16 possible opponent better bring cuz you know Cutler’s kids will.