Listen to this article

PAXTON -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda varsity boys basketball team started its 2019-20 campaign with a 49-43 victory over Tri-Valley on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

“It’s a good win against a good team," said PBL senior guard Trey VanWinkle, "and it always feels good to win your first game of the season.”

The season-opening win required a fourth-quarter comeback as PBL outscored 19-7 in the final quarter to overcome a 36-30 deficit.

"We showed some guts and some competitiveness there in the fourth quarter," PBL head coach Adam Schonauer said. "We were able to manage to get enough points to get the lead and make enough free throws down the stretch.”

Both teams would be held scoreless through the first 2:45 of the fourth quarter before VanWinkle drew a foul after recording a steal. He made 1-of-2 shots from the free-throw line to cut PBL's deficit to 36-31 with 5:14 left in the fourth quarter.

Jarred Gronsky made two more free throws with 4:44 remaining in the game before VanWinkle drained a game-tying 3-pointer 29 seconds later. VanWinkle then drew a foul on James Butler with 3:38 left in the game before making a go-ahead free throw.

“I got hot there in the fourth quarter, and that was big," VanWinkle said.

Dalton Busboom then recorded a steal and scored on a fastbreak layup with about three minutes remaining in the game to make the score 39-36. After Patrick Williams made a couple of free throws for Tri-Valley with 2:48 left in the contest, VanWinkle -- who would finish with a game-high 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting, including 4-for-10 from beyond the arc -- scored on a driving layup and drained another 3-point shot to extend PBL's lead to 44-38.

“We had really good looks, and Trey was able to get a couple knocked down," Schonauer said. "He was very aggressive tonight. That’s what we needed.”

A free throw by Sam Penicook further extended the Panthers' lead to 45-38 with 1:13 remaining in the game. After Jack Moore drew VanWinkle's fourth foul made two free throws for the Vikings, Colton Coy -- who grabbed 11 rebounds while also scoring five points on 1-of-3 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 shooting from the free-throw line -- drained two foul shots with 51.9 seconds remaining, and made another shot from the charity stripe after drawing Butler's fifth foul with 35.4 left in the game to extend the Panthers' lead to 48-40.

T.J. Norman made a 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left for Tri-Valley before a free throw by Drake Schrodt concluded the game's scoring.

The Panthers led 26-19 at halftime before the Vikings outscored PBL 17-4 in the third quarter.

“We had a rough third quarter," VanWinkle said. "We didn’t play very hard, and then we came out in the fourth quarter and showed how hard we can play and how good we can be.”

Two baskets by Dylan Connor and another two-point field goal by Braden Zenor to cut Tri-Valley's deficit to 26-25 before Schrodt -- who finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting -- made a basket. Zenor scored two points before Alex Rueck -- who also finished with seven points as he shot 3-for-3 from the field -- grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball into the basket to make the score 30-27 with 3:13 left in the third quarter.

From there, PBL was held scoreless for the rest of the quarter.

Sam Anderson made a game-tying 3-pointer for Tri-Valley before a basket by Butler gave the Vikings a 32-30 lead. Two baskets by Jack Moore extended Tri-Valley's advantage to 36-30.

“I thought some guys kind of played a little bit complacent, the way they kind of backed everything off defensively," Schonauer said. "We didn’t make shots, and it kind of gave our guys some hesitation tonight. We just want our guys playing with confidence and being aggressive because they’re good basketball players. As they get their legs underneath them and get back into a rhythm, those shots are going to fall regularly on game nights.”

The Panthers outscored Tri-Valley 16-8 in the second quarter to overcome an 11-10 deficit.

Moore scored a basket before Rueck did the same. Zenor and Rueck exchanged buckets before VanWinkle made a go-ahead 3-pointer before another trey by Gronsky -- who finished with five points on 1-for-1 shooting -- extended PBL's lead to 20-15 with 2:29 left in the first half. After Moore made a basket, Schrodt and VanWinkle each tallied a two-point bucket to extend the Panthers' advantage to 24-17.

Zenor and Gavin Coplea -- who finished with two points on 1-for-4 shooting -- exchanged buckets to make the halftime score 26-19.

A 3-pointer by Butler gave Tri-Valley an early 3-0 lead before VanWinkle drained a game-tying 3-point shot. Connor and VanWinkle exchanged two-point baskets before Moore made two free throws with 5:03 left in the first quarter. Schrodt made a basket and Rueck tallied a foul shot to give PBL an 8-7 lead with 3:43 left in the first quarter.

Zenor and Coy exchanged go-ahead buckets before a two-pointer by Piercen Rice gave Tri-Valley its first-quarter ending 11-10 lead.

At the game's end, Busboom finished with six rebounds and four assists while scoring two points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field while Penicook tallied one point on 0-for-6 shooting from the field and 1-for-4 shooting from the free-throw line. As a team, PBL shot 17-for-45 from the field -- including 5-for-19 from beyond the arc -- and 10-for-27 from the charity stripe.

“Sometimes, the ball doesn’t go in the basket. We didn’t shoot well at the free-throw line," Schonauer said. “(It was) both teams’ first game, getting their legs underneath them. I felt like we took some really good shots in the first half. We created some good shots. Maybe we rushed them a little bit, but those are the shots we want our guys taking. We’re not going to tell them to quit shooting.”

The Panthers will host Hoopeston Area next Tuesday before playing in their Sangamon Valley Conference debut at home against Dwight on Friday, Dec. 6.

“(Hoopeston's) had a pretty good run in the last few years. They've got a new coach, a new system. We’ll be kind of walking in on short notice, but we’re just going to keep on preparing throughout the year so hopefully, come January and February, we’ve seen a lot of different styles of basketball and we’re prepared for anything," Schonauer said.

"We’re going to shoot some free throws in practice tomorrow and keep on working on some things we need to improve. We still haven’t got a lot of stuff in just because we haven’t had much practice time with everybody, so every little minute we get is precious for us right now.”

Junior varsity

The Paxton-Buckley-Loda junior varsity boys basketball team won in overtime 43-39 Tuesday, Nov. 26, over Tri-Valley.

The Panthers outscored Tri-Valley 9-5 in the overtime period as Kayden Snelling tallied four points during that period while Keagan Busboom made a two-point field goal, Brandon Knight made two free throws and Mason Bruns added a foul shot.

In the fourth quarter, PBL outscored Tri-Valley 13-12 to overcome a one-point deficit as Knight had seven points while Jeremiah Ager, Bruns and Busboom each had two points.

Knight finished the game with 15 points while Bruns had nine points, Busboom had six points, Snelling had five points, Ager had four points, Tyler Smith had three points and Aiden Johnson had one point.


PBL 49, Tri-Valley 43

TV 11 8 17 7 -- 43

PBL 10 16 4 19 -- 49


Sam Anderson 1-0-3, Logan Wombles 0-0-0, Patrick Williams 0-2-2, James Butler 2-0-5, T.J. Norman 1-0-3, Braden Zenor 5-0-10, Jack Moore 4-4-12, Dylan Connor 3-0-6, Piercen Rice 1-0-2. Totals 17 6-14 43.


Drake Schrodt 3-5 1-4 7, Gavin Coplea 1-4 0-0 2, Trey VanWinkle 7-18 2-6 20, Jarred Gronsky 1-1 2-2 5, Colton Coy 1-3 3-4 5, Sam Penicook 0-6 1-4 1, Brett Giese 0-0 0-3 0, Dalton Busboom 1-5 0-0 2, Alex Rueck 3-3 1-4 7. Totals 17-45 10-27 49

3-pointers -- Tri-Valley 3 (Anderson, Butler, Norman). PBL 5-19 (VanWinkle 4-10, Gronsky 1-1).

Rebounds -- PBL 30 (Coy 11, Busboom 6, Rueck 4, Gronsky 3, Coplea 3, VanWinkle 2, Schrodt).

Assists -- PBL 11 (Busboom 4, Coy 3, Penicook 2, Schrodt, Gronsky).

Steals -- PBL 10 (Coplea 2, VanWinkle 2, Gronsky 2, Coy 2, Schrodt, Busboom).


PBL 43, Tri-Valley 39

TV 4 10 8 12 5 -- 39

PBL 7 11 3 13 9 -- 43


Ben Dischert 3-1-9, Elliot Johnson 4-0-10, Lucas Amend 4-0-8, Nathan Simon 1-0-2, Andrew Petrilli 1-0-2, Braiden Elliott 0-0-0, Kyle Krzeminski 2-0-4, Brett Kelly 2-0-4. Totals 17-1-39.


Ty Graham 0-0-0, Keagan Busboom 2-2-6, Mason Bruns 3-2-9, Tyler Smith 1-0-3, Garrett Sanders 0-0-0, Jacob Gronsky 0-0-0, Jeremiah Ager 1-2-4, Mason Medlock 0-0-0, Kayden Snelling 2-1-5, Allen May 0-0-0, Aiden Johnson 0-1-1, Brandon Knight 4-7-15, Kendall Swanson 0-0-0. Totals 13-15-43.

3-pointers -- Tri-Valley 4 (Dischert 2, Johnson 2). PBL 2 (Bruns, Smith).