Stuttgart plays grinch in Hohenfels
December 12, 2015
HOHENFELS, Germany – Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but getting revenge is so delightful.
A day after losing a heartbreaker in the final moments, the Hohenfels Tigers got a little yuletide payback Saturday, knocking off the Stuttgart Panthers, 44-36.
With the holiday break coming up, the cross-division series between the Panthers and Tigers the past two days served as the final set of DODDS-Europe basketball games until January. Friday, the Panthers got the upper hand in the series with a 39-37 victory.
On Saturday, the game remained tight until the Tigers pulled away in the final two minutes.
Senior Marhsal Eddie lead the charge, scoring 12 points, and was perfect from the line. His on-the-court leadership was also key. His maneuvering of his squad’s offense helped to both fluster the Panthers, as well as bleed much needed time off the clock.
The difference between the two games was little more than sticking to one simple game plan, he said.
“Do the same thing, change nothing and play better defense.”
That defense was helped out tremendously by strong under-the-rim play by Jordan Kelly and Jacob Desersa. Both created unfavorable matchups. Desersa also scored seven.
Stuttgart’s Noah Layton and Daniel Wetlesen led their team with 13 and 11 points respectively, but the rest of the team was unable to get much rhythm going.
The Panthers said they’re not too worried about dropping a game this early in the season.
“It’s only the first games of the season, so I’m not really worried about it. We’re a great team and we’re going to develop. That’s what happens to good teams,” said Stuttgart’s Joshua Souders. “Good teams win and lose.“
The girls series was much less a competition. The Panthers won convincingly in back-to-back games. On Friday, they ran away with the game, 62-14. The Tigers fared a little better on Saturday, but still fell to the Panthers onslaught, 58-17.
“They’re a good team, they do play with a lot of heart, which is something we also need to do too,” said Hohenfels’ Siera Standifer after the game.
Stuttgart’s Marissa Encarnacion had a fantastic showing on both days, scoring 11 on Friday and 18 more on Saturday. She backed up the scoring binge in Saturday’s contest with eight steals and six assists.
“I’m proud of the way we played. Obviously, there are a lot of things we need to work on … but I’m proud of the way we played,” she said after the game.
Encarnacion in particular seemed to gel well with Abby Zipperer, the other half of what is turning out to be quite the dynamic duo.
Zipperer had 17 points and nine rebounds on Saturday, following up on an impressive 16 point, five-rebound and five-steal showing the day prior.
While some players would consider that a job well-done, both Zipperer and Encarnacion say they’re not content with their performances just yet. Wary of falling to overconfidence, both players say they know the team has a long road ahead of them.
“We don’t want to peak now and not do so well throughout the season,” Encarnacion said.
Even so, the Panthers have every reason to be filled with holiday cheer as they head onto the winter break. Along with eating and opening presents, the Panthers said they’ll be on the court putting in work to refine their play.
“I think we need to work on a little more organized offense,” Zipperer said. “We’ll definitely be in the gym.”