WPIB radio covered the Put-in-Bay Panthers Basketball Team in a live television broadcast on Saturday, 7 December 2019. The girls team won the championship and the boys harvested the Mackinac vs. Put-in-Bay Rock. Coach Shuffenecker provides the following write-up:
Put-in-Bay Panthers had a very successful Great Lakes Islands Tournament! The girls repeated as the champions with three thrilling games. The Panther Girls started the tournament versus Beaver Island and had a tough back-and-forth game. With less than a minute to go the Panthers found themselves down three; during a timeout coach Schuffenecker drew up a play for senior Hannah Lentz and she nailed a three pointer to tie the game. After a change of possession, Kate Byrnes got a loose ball and raced down and hit a buzzer-beating shot to secure
the victory. It was the boys’ turn against Beaver Island next. Beaver Island proved too powerful for the Panthers and the boys were defeated. The girls then took on the Washington Island Bucks from Wisconsin. The girls took the lead early and did not look back. They finished the day 2-0 and in control of their destiny. The boys played the Bucks next and fell in defeat, despite some hot shooting from the three-point line. The boys were 0-2 and still had the rivalry game versus Mackinac Island. Later that night the teams enjoyed an evening of games together.
The Panthers woke up Saturday with just one game each. Both teams would play their rival, Mackinac Island. The Rock Trophies were on the line. The trophies were created by the late Voice of the Panthers, Patrick Myers. Both teams wanted to maintain the trophies. The girls also had the tournament championship to play for.
The boys would play first. Earlier in the day the Islanders won the boys tournament with an undefeated record. Although not being able to win the championship, the boys were determined to finish strong in the final contest. Jacob king led the Panthers to an early lead. He scored all 19 first-half points and the Panthers led at the break, 19-16. The Panthers held a comfortable lead throughout the second half. The pesky Lakers of Mackinac never gave up, but when the clock hit zero the Panther boys were victorious and “The Rock” stays on South Bass Island.
The final game of the tournament was set up for all the marbles. The girls knew if they won, the championship would be Put-in-Bay’s. Panthers led by two at the break, 6-4, and after a back-and-forth game the panthers found themselves down three again with a timeout and less than ten seconds to go. The Panthers leaned on Hannah Lentz once more, and Coach Schuffenecker drew up a play at her spot. Hannah performed in the clutch and nailed a three-point shot to force overtime at 20-20. In OT, with five seconds to go, Elena Schroeder, from the deck of the boat, nailed the game-winning, rock winning, and tournament-winning shot. The girls finished 3-0 and back-to-back Great Lakes Islands Tournament Champions. What a set of games and a great finish to the four-school competition!
For next year, Put-in-Bay has extended an invitation to our Great Lakes foes to continue the series. The Put-in-Bay School basketball program thanks Mackinac Island for being great hosts.
The Panthers return to action tomorrow for a boys game at Genoa. The beat goes on!