By Dan Truttschel-Sports Correspondent

There is no doubt the Burlington boys basketball team has had its way with Wilmot in recent years.

But at least for one night, the Panthers put everything together when they needed to and stayed in contention for the Southern Lakes Conference title at the same time.

Wilmot jumped out to a 13-5 first-quarter lead Feb. 14 and never looked back in a 60-48 win. The Panthers improved to 16-4 overall and 10-2 in conference play, one game behind Union Grove with two left on the schedule.

The Panthers are winners of seven straight and 10 of their last 12.

Wilmot coach Jake Erbentraut was pleased with his team’s effort Friday night.

“Certainly, it was a big win and another win to keep us rolling into this week and the playoffs,” he said. “Burlington is a well-coached and disciplined team, and for us to have the lead the entire game with solid performances by (everyone) was a good night.”

Getting off to a fast start against the Demons, the last team to beat Wilmot, was important, Erbentraut said.

“We were able to get going into the flow of our offense and got some key stops on adjustments we made that we didn’t do effectively against them the first game,” he said. “I thought we had good focus.”

Wilmot took a 28-16 lead into the locker room. Burling-ton cut two points off that deficit in the third quarter but couldn’t get any closer.

Erbentraut knew the Demons would make at least one push in the second half, which they did.

“Burlington is a good team, and we knew they’d come back into the game,” he said. “I thought they were getting into the middle of the floor where they weren’t earlier in the game. Fortunately, a few stops and big shots for us proved to be the key.”

Brandon Schattner led the Panthers with 16 points, fol-lowed by Nate Hensel and Trey Turner with 13 and Mike Lindeman with six.

Schattner made a return to the lineup after he missed a game earlier in the week with a badly sprained ankle.

Having the four-year varsity player back on the floor was critical to the Panthers’ success, Erbentraut said.

“The entire team looks to him and Nate (Hensel) as the leaders on the floor,” he said. “That being said, I think with our senior-dominated team, we could make the adjustments, but it’s always nice to see Brandon out there leading our team.”

Turner made a big impact in the first half, as he made all five of his field-goal attempts. He also had eight rebounds.

“He was outstanding,” Er-bentraut said. “We need an inside presence, and he pro-vided that Friday night. I’m hoping he can continue that performance.”

Wilmot closes its regular season Thursday night against visiting Badger at 7 p.m. The Panthers drew the No. 2 seed in the upcoming regional tournament and host the winner of No. 3 Greendale and No. 6 Westosha Central next Friday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m.

 

 

 
 

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