MONTICELLO -- Paxton-Buckley-Loda led the entire way in its Monticello Holiday Hoopla debut on Thursday en route to a 72-56 win over Neoga.
The Panthers (7-1) started the game with a 26-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, but were outscored by Neoga 18-16 in the second quarter before PBL outscored the Indians 15-13 in the third and fourth quarters each.
"We came out and really had an edge to us," PBL head coach Adam Schonauer said. "We got the ball up and down the floor. We turned them over. We got good looks and knocked them down. That's the way we want to play for 32 minutes. We did it for the first three or four minutes, so we've just got to get more consistent."
Colton Coy made two baskets and a free throw before Trey VanWinkle made a 3-pointer and a basket and Sam Penicook made two baskets and Drake Schrodt made a free throw with 4:18 left in the second quarter. Trevor Roy made a basket after Paci McClure made a 3-pointer, cutting Neoga's deficit to 32-19 from 32-14.
Another 3-pointer by McClure and a trey by Chase Banning cut the Indians' deficit to 33-25 before PBL ended the first half with a 42-28 lead.
After McClure made a 3-pointer, Penicook stole the ball and made a basket off the turnover to make the score 44-31 before VanWinkle made a two-point basket and a trey to extend PBL's lead to 49-35. Alex Rueck converted on a three-point play with 4:24 left in the third quarter to further extend the lead to 52-35.
A basket by Dalton Busboom was followed a by a steal by VanWinkle that led to a foul by Banning. VanWinkle made a free throw to extend PBL's lead to 55-37 with 3:32 left in the third quarter.
The Panthers' defense finished the game with 17 steals, compared to four for Neoga, led by VanWinkle with four steals and Penicook and Brett Giese each with three steals. The Indians committed 26 turnovers, compared to 14 for PBL.
"We want to turn teams over and try to get extra possessions and win that turnover battle," Schonauer said. "Where we're struggling right now is just getting some stops when teams don't turn it over. When we turn teams over and we can get out and run, we're really good, but when you come down to some games, you're going to have to be able to execute your halfcourt defense and offense, and that's where we've got to grow. Our kids will do it. They're hard-workers and smart kids. They want to be really good, so we just need to get more practice time and be better in games with it."
After PBL ended the third quarter with a 57-43 lead, VanWinkle tallied eight points in the fourth quarter. VanWinkle finished the game with 30 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.
"Trey was very efficient tonight," Schonauer said. "He was able to get good looks. His teammates got out in transition and got him some open looks early. He does a really good job of attacking. He's doing a nice job of reading the defense and seeing what they're giving to them, and he's finding holes and gaps. He's increased his athleticism with his hard work in the weight room, so now, he's able to go up and finish when he gets around the rim."
Penicook also scored in double figures for the Panthers with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor while also recording two assists.
Coy had nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor -- and 3-of-5 from the free-throw line -- while also recording two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Drake Schrodt had eight points on 2-of-4 shooting from the floor -- and 4-of-7 from the charity stripe -- while also recording three assists, two rebounds and one steal.
Rueck had seven points on 3-of-5 shooting along with three rebounds and one assist while Busboom had six points on 3-of-4 shooting along with four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Matthew Miller had one point.
Monticello 51, GCMS 42. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley lost its first two games of the Monticello Holiday Hoopla by a combined 13 points, losing by nine to a Monticello team that is 6-3 after losing by four to an undefeated Tuscola team on Thursday morning.
"In both games, we did good things," GCMS head coach Ryan Tompkins said. "We saw some good things. We're continuing to work to get better. We've just got to continue to try to get better at the little things, and we have in the last week. We haven't been rewarded with any wins, but in the last week, we've started to do some better things, especially on the defensive end. We just have to continue to grind."
Monticello finished the game making 19-of-38 shots from the floor, including 6-of-12 from beyond the arc.
"They shot it well," Tompkins said. "They're a good team that's going to win some games."
After Braden Roesch scored six points and Tanner Cribbett added two points for GCMS (2-8) in the first quarter as the Sages led 14-8, Cribbett made a basket and Ethan Garard made two free throws with 5:17 left in the first quarter before offensive-rebounds putbacks by Spencer Meenen and Roesch tied the game at 16-16. With 3:14 left in the second quarter, a jump shot by Cribbett gave GCMS an 18-16 lead.
From there, however, two 3-pointers, a fastbreak layup, a free throw and another basket by Garrett Kepley helped the Sages regain the lead at 29-20 en route to Monticello going into halftime leading 31-20.
"We had a bad stretch at the end of the first half tonight, and a little bit of a tough stretch in that third quarter (against Tuscola), but otherwise, the guys played hard and battled," Tompkins said.
Alex Minion had four points while Garard made a 3-pointer, Roesch added a basket and Nathan Kallal made a free throw to help cut GCMS's deficit to 39-30 by the end of the third quarter. After Roesch posted up for a bucket that made the score 44-37, Nathan Kallal drained a 3-pointer to cut GCMS's deficit to 44-40 with 2:16 left in the game.
Kepley stole the ball and scored on a fastbreak layup with 1:58 left in the game before Roesch made a shot in the lane. After Ethan Miller made a free throw with 56 seconds left in the game, Kepley stole the ball from Cade Elliott and scored while he was fouled by Elliott with 32.3 remaining.
Kepley converted on the three-point play to extend Monticello's lead to 50-42.
"We really challenged them in the second half tonight, and they got themselves back in it," Tompkins said. "We just couldn't get any closer."
Roesch finished the game with 16 points on 8-of-18 shooting from the floor while recording seven rebounds. Garard had eight points on 2-of-6 shooting from the floor along with two rebounds, an assist and a steal while Cribbett and Minion each had six points.
Cribbett shot 3-for-4 from the field while Minion shot 2-for-3. Minion also had two rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot while Cribbett had one rebound, two assists and a steal. Kallal had four points on 1-of-3 shooting from the floor along with one rebound and one assist while Meenen had two points on 1-of-3 shooting and three rebounds.
Elliott had two assists and two steals.
Tuscola 56, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 52. A 21-10 scoring advantage in the third quarter helped the Warriors work around the Falcons in a competitive opener for both sides. Jalen Quinn mustered 26 points and eight rebounds for Tuscola, shooting 8 of 11 from the field and 3 of 5 from distance. Jacob Kibler’s 11 points and four rebounds also pushed the Warriors. Cade Elliott soared to 20 points for GCMS, hitting six shots from beyond the arc. Braden Roesch contributed 16 points and seven rebounds in the losing effort.
PBL 72, Neoga 56
PBL 26 16 15 15 -- 72
NEO 10 18 15 13 -- 56
Drake Schrodt 2-4 4-7 8, Trey VanWinkle 13-17 1-2 30, Colton Coy 3-4 3-5 9, Sam Penicook 5-7 0-0 11, Dalton Busboom 3-4 0-0 6, Gavin Coplea 0-4 0-0 0, Jarred Gronsky 0-1 0-0 0, Hank Harms 0-1 0-0 0, Levi Frichtl 0-0 0-0 0, Drew Diesburg 0-1 0-0 0, Matthew Miller 0-1 1-2 1, Brett Giese 0-0 0-0 0, Gunner Belt 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Rueck 3-5 1-1 7. Totals 29-50 10-17 72
Chase Banning 7-9 0-0 16, Nick Titus 1-4 4-5 7, Trenton Moore 2-2 0-0 4, Paci McClure 4-8 1-3 13, Trevor Roy 8-18 0-1 16, Adam Fearday 0-0 0-0 0, Kade Dunn 0-0 0-0 0, Kaden Young 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Correll 0-0 0-0 0, Luke Romck 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-41 5-9 56.
3-pointers -- PBL 4-14 (VanWinkle 3-4, Penicook 1-1). Neoga 7-16 (McClure 4-7, Banning 2-4, Titus 1-2).
Rebounds -- PBL 22 (Busboom 4, Rueck 3). Neoga 23 (Roy 6, Fearday 5, Banning 4, McClure 3).
Assists -- PBL 12 (Schrodt 3, Coy 2, Penicook 2, Gronsky 2). Neoga 9 (Roy 4, Banning 2).
Steals -- PBL 17 (VanWinkle 4, Penicook 3, Coplea 2, Gronsky 2). Neoga 4 (Roy 3).
Blocks -- Neoga (Banning).
Monticello 51, GCMS 42
MON 14 17 8 12 -- 51
GCMS 8 12 10 12 -- 42
Briggs Fultz 2-2 0-0 4, Garrett Kepley 9-16-2-4 23, Ethan Miller 3-9 2-4 11, Ryan Reeder 2-5 0-1 4, Nick Vogelzang 1-3 0-0 2, Jake Edmondson 1-2 3-4 5, Cooper Mitze 0-0 0-0 0, Andrew Rudolph 0-0 0-0 0, Joey Sprinkle 1-1 0-1 2, Brett Macak 0-0 0-0 0, Dylan Ginalick 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-38 7-14 51.
Tanner Cribbett 3-4 0-0 6, Cade Elliott 0-4 0-0 0, Braden Roesch 8-18 0-1 16, Ethan Garard 2-6 2-2 8, Alex Minion 2-3 2-2 6, Spencer Meenen 1-2 0-0 2, Nathan Kallal 1-3 1-2 4, Jordan Lee 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-40 5-7 42.
3-pointers -- Monticello 6-12 (Kepley 3-4, Miller 3-6). GCMS 3-14 (Garard 2-4, Kallal 1-3).
Rebounds -- Monticello 28 (Fultz 5, Kepley 5, Miller 3, Reeder 3, Vogelzang 3). GCMS 21 (Roesch 7, Meenen 3).
Assists -- Monticello 11 (Miller 4, Kepley 2). GCMS 8 (Cribbett 22, Elliott 2, Minion).
Steals -- Monticello 5 (Kepley 3). GCMS 4 (Elliott 2).
Blocks -- Monticello 2 (Miller, Reeder). GCMS (Minion).