Seymour’s Sandy Cohen is a match-up nightmare.
A 6-foot-5 guard that can rise up and shoot extremely well off the dribble, he’s tough for anyone to try and stop.
And on Saturday night, Cohen scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Thunder to a down-to-the-wire 62-61 win over Plymouth in a WIAA Division 2 regional final.
“He’s such a unique player,” Plymouth coach Jason Duff said, “because he’s so long. They run a lot of ball screens for him to start their offense, he’s such a good shooter off the dribble. It’s so rare, you just don’t see a lot of guys like that.”
After Seymour (20-4) opened the game on a 7-0 run, the Panthers responded with a 16-3 spurt of their own.
“I felt like it was two good teams going toe-to-toe,” Duff said. “I think both teams have good players, that can make tough shots. I thought people saw that tonight. The people that were there got their moneys worth. It was a great high school basketball game.”
Kollin Neils scored 21 points and Cory Unger added 20 to lead Plymouth (17-7).
“They were aggressive, they didn’t settle,” Duff said. “Seymour played a lot of zone. They were real aggressive throughout the game. That was the key, they’re good drivers of the basketball and they did it well.”
Seymour held a tenuous two-point lead at 60-58 with just seconds remaining and Brian Heiden at the line. Heiden missed both free throws, and the Panthers came down immediately and found Unger on the left wing for a good look at a go-ahead 3. However the shot wouldn’t fall and the Thunder knocked down two final free throws to seal it.
“(Cory) had a good look at it, it just didn’t go in,” Duff said.
Tom Jankowski added 11 points for Plymouth while Owen Henrikesen had six assists and five rebounds. Unger also pulled down five boards.
“I thought we played a pretty darn good game,” Duff said. “We just came up a little bit short in the end. I’m proud of the kids.”
Plymouth…18 9 17 17 — 61
Seymour…13 16 11 22 — 62
Plymouth — Unger 20, Neils 21, Henriksen 3, Mueller 4, Jankowski 11, Nygaard 2. 3-pt: Unger 2, Neils 3, Henriksen, Jankowski. FT: 12-16. Fouls: 20.
Seymour — Oskey 7, Cohen 25, Jefson 6, Powless 10, Heiden 10, Buchholtz 4. 3-pt: Oskey, Cohen 2, Jefson 2, Heiden. FT: 22-30. Fouls: 17.
Sheb. Lutheran 46, Suring 33
Jacob Jurss and Tyler Zastrow handled the scoring, and Ryan Scheele cleaned the glass as the Crusaders won a regional title on the road.
Jurss finished with 19 points and Zastrow added 14 while Scheele grabbed 10 boards for Lutheran (18-7).
After leading just 17-15 at halftime, the Crusaders put up 16 third-quarter points to open up a 33-25 lead.
“We were finally able to knock down a couple of 3s,” Lutheran coach Nick Verhagen said of his team’s second-half offensive explosion. “Tyler and Jake could drive the lane and dish it outside, and we knocked that 3 down. We were able to stretch the defense.”
A big key was Scheele, who provides Lutheran with a strong defensive presence inside.
“If we can get him to defend (the opponent’s) best big, it’s an absolute must for us,” Verhagen said. “He’s been doing such an excellent job for us. (His game) suits our style, it compliments our running game so well.”
In the fourth quarter, Lutheran held off Suring (21-4) at the line, connecting on 7-of-10 free throws.
“I talk a lot with these guys about winning quarters,” Verhagen said. “We won three quarters and tied the second quarter tonight. Getting out to a lead was so important.”
Sheb. Lutheran…11 6 16 13 — 46
Suring…9 6 10 8 — 33
Sheboygan Lutheran — Jurss 19, Scheele 3, B. Leibham 3, Hasenstein 3, Hess 2, P. Leibham 2, Ty. Zastrow 14. 3-pt: Jurss 4, B. Leibham, Hasenstein, Ty. Zastrow. FT: 7-14. Fouls: 17.
Suring — Jazwiecki 6, Strehlow 13, Christensen 7, Tienor 7. 3-pt: Strehlow 4, Jazwiecki 2. FT: 7-13. Fouls: 15.
Berlin 38, Sheb. Falls 30
The second-seeded Indians held on to down the third-seeded Falcons in Saturday night’s Division 3 regional final showdown.
Stats weren’t provided after the game.
Shiocton 60, Howards Grove 40
The Tigers dropped a regional final to the Chiefs at Seymour.
Howards finished its season at 16-8, while Shiocton improved to 21-3.
The Chiefs will face Reedsville in a sectional semifinal Thursday at Kaukauna.
No further information was available Saturday.