Wilmot’s Latrell Glass dribbles the ball past an aggressive Elkhorn defender during the March 2 regional semifinal. Glass, a senior, scored a game-high 21 points in the Panthers 67-52 loss to Elkhorn (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

Glass concludes historic career

By Jason Arndt

Entering the WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal at Elkhorn Area High School, the Wilmot Union High School boys basketball looked to avenge a 68-64 regular season loss to the Elks on Feb. 16, but Elkhorn denied the Panthers of a chance for redemption March 2.

The Panthers, who won four of their last five games with the lone loss coming against Elkhorn, trailed 25-21 at halftime before the Elks outscored Wilmot 42-31 in the second half to hand the Panthers a 67-52 loss.

Panthers coach Jake Erbentraut, whose team defeated Elkhorn 79-68 in its first meeting, said Elks tightened up their defense and found ways to penetrate the inside lane since the Jan. 12 clash.

“They are a tough, physical team that has talent,” he said. “They’ve gotten better defensively and did a good job both games getting the ball into the paint and exploiting our defense.”

Latrell Glass, a senior, finished with a game-high 21 points.

Through three games, Glass scored 73 total points against the Elks, including 24 in Wilmot’s Jan. 12 victory against Elkhorn.

Since then, according to Glass, the Elks made adjustments.

“I think that they figured out how to play with the players they have,” he said. “They are at their best when they are pressuring the ball, and I believe that when they speed up the other team they are going to play at their best.”

Junior Kevin Brenner scored 12 points and collected three rebounds.

Although the Panthers season came to an end, they produced their best season (13-9) since 2014-15, when they finished 15-10.

Last year, when the Panthers reached the sectional semifinal, they end their season 8-17.

Erbentraut credits the senior nucleus for this year’s improvement.

“We had a lot of experience back including nine seniors,” he said. “I think that certainly helped. We also had a group of good shooters that, I believe, helped because we were able to have multiple contributors offensively.”

Along with Glass, who eclipsed 1,000 career points for the Panthers, seniors Kyle Gendron and Jeremy Bruton served as captains and showed leadership during their final year.

“We went where the captains went and I thought they provided a great amount of leadership,” said Erbentraut. “We were very fortunate to have them lead because of their large amount of playing experience, talent and the character of each of them.”

In the regional semifinal loss to Elkhorn, Gendron had three steals and three rebounds, while Bruton chipped in four assists.

“We wanted (Kyle) shooting as much as possible and Jeremy could do it all on offense,” said Glass. “He can shoot, get to the rim, find the open man.”

While the Panthers relied on the senior captains, Erbentraut said the other six seniors offered reinforcements, like Jacob Gerzel, Justin Paasch, Quintin Girardi, Colby Barker and Colten Pearson.

Glass shines
For Glass, he leaves the Panthers program as one of five players who surpassed 1,000 career points, finishing with 1,288 in four seasons.

Glass, however, said the career milestone was not his primary focus, noting the team places higher importance.

“Basketball is a team sport, and my focus every time I step on the court is winning,” said Glass, who looked back at the Dec. 29 contest against St. Joseph Catholic Academy. “We celebrated the 1,000 point milestone, but we as a team, we focused on getting better.”

The team focus, according to Erbentraut, did not come as a surprise.

“I was amazed at some of the things he did on the basketball court and he loved his team,” he said. “He played for the team to the best of his ability and I don’t think you can ask for much more.”

For Erbentraut, he will miss Glass’ charismatic personality, noting he was around for more than half of his coaching career.

“He has such an infectious personality about him and you can’t help but love him,” Erbentraut said.

Glass, meanwhile, credits Erbentraut and the coaching staff for their unconditional support through his four years.

“I’ll miss my coaches the most, especially coach Erbentraut, he’s been there for me when things have been hard for me,” said Glass, who will also miss his fellow seniors, whom he calls his brothers.


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