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Panthers place second in 2AA North

The Glencoe-Silver Lake sports calendar officially flipped from winter to spring on Monday, March 11, as the Panther boys’ basketball campaign came to a close with an 81-61 loss to Jordan in the Section 2AA North subsection finals.
GSL, which rode a season-high four-game winning streak into the North final, finished the season with a 15-14 overall record.
Hubmen 81, GSL 61
It was a battle of Nos. 1 vs. 2 seeds in the North final as the Panthers hit the Bresnan Arena floor at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
While GSL had not lost since Feb. 22, Jordan had been defeated only three times during the campaign – just once since Dec. 18.
The Hubmen’s 20-1 run included a 74-58 defeat of the Panthers to begin the New Year on Jan. 3.
Unfortunately, Monday night’s North final went much the same way that the early January matchup did.
Jordan led from the start, taking a 6-0 lead before forward Mitchel Jaskowiak got GSL on the board two-and-a-half minutes into the game.
Forward Gabe Roepke scored the next five points for the Panthers. However, while GSL mustered up seven points in the game’s first six-plus minutes, Jordan scored 18 points.
The Panthers suffered a seven-minute scoring drought from Roepke’s three-pointer that made the score 13-7 until a pair of three-pointers by forward Jaden Uecker made the score 24-9.
GSL never mounted a challenge after that point.
Jordan took a 36-16 lead into the halftime locker room, with eight points from Roepke six from Uecker and two from guard Dane Schwirtz comprising the entirety of Panther scoring.
The second half played out fairly evenly, with GSL briefly cutting the deficit to 14 points and the Hubmen hiking the lead to 25 points for a fleeting moment.
In the end, both teams mustered up 45 second half points and the game ended with Jordan winning by 20 points and moving on to a Friday night matchup against St. Peter for the sectional title.
Roepke led the Panthers with 20 points in his final high school game, while fellow senior and forward Gage Alsleben scored 10 points.
GSL 87, Tigers 65
GSL’s final victory of the season came on Thursday, March 7, as the Panthers overcame a 12-point first-half deficit to defeat Belle Plaine 87-65 following a scorching second half.
The third-seeded Tigers, which entered the game at 13-13 on the season, fell 77-69 to GSL in the second game of the regular season on Dec. 4.
Yet, the squad looked good and ready for revenge in the second game of the postseason.
After the Panthers took a 5-2 lead on five straight points by Roepke, Belle Plaine went on a 19-4 run to lead 21-9 with just over 10 minutes to play in the first half.
GSL withstood the storm and began to charge back, thanks in no small part to guard Mitchel Klockmann, who scored 13 points off the bench to help the Panthers cut the deficit to 40-33 at the break.
After the teams returned from break, GSL went on perhaps its finest tear of the season.
Roepke scored eight points in the first five minutes of the half with Uecker scoring six points early in the frame to help tie the score at 51-51 with 11 minutes to play.
A basket by Alsleben gave GSL its first lead since 5-4, and after Belle Plaine briefly knotted the score once more at 53-all, the Panthers hit the afterburners.
The Tigers were left wondering what happened as GSL scored 34 points in the final 10 minutes of play to turn a close, come-from-behind game into a 22-point rout.
Roepke led the Panthers with 22 points, with Klockmann scoring 20 points and Uecker posting 17 points.
It was the highest scoring game for both Klockmann and Uecker, both of whom figure to return for their junior seasons in the 2019-20 campaign.