December 1, 2023 at 11:20 a.m.

Panther boys survive two overtime thriller with Cardinals

On the coldest day of winter so far on Tuesday the warmest place in the area had to be the Iowa-Grant gym.

It was hot all night through two halves and two extra periods of boys basketball before a winner was determined. The decision finally went to the host Panthers who eventually survived 77-73.

Visiting coach Raine Voigts said it best as he described the action.

“Hard fought game, lots of lead changes,” Voigts said.

He was right of course.

Ashton Schmitz led the winners with 28 points and Cyle Steffl added 22 for a very effective one-two punch.  It was only fitting they scored all the points in the two overtimes for the Panthers.

Schmitz nailed a three pointer and added a two point basket for all five points in the first OT.

Highland matched it with a basket and free throw from Wes Kraisinger and a basket from John Dreischmeier.

The Cardinals got a basket from Kraisinger in the second overtime but the Panthers got the decision with a basket by Schmitz and four straight free throws from Steffl.

And that was how the game ended.

Michael Esser led Highland with 26 points while Dreischmeier added 18 and Kraisinger finished with 16.

Trenton Loeffelholz supported Schmitz’s 28 and Steffl’s 22 with 15 points for the Panthers.

Iowa-Grant led 36-21 at halftime but the Cardinals answered with a 34-30 second half to force more time on the clock....twice.


Highland    32  34  5  2   73

I-G           36  30  5  6    77


HIGHLAND 73: (fg-ft-tp) Esser 10-5 26, Smith 3-0-7, Tarrell 2-2-6, Oleson 0-0-0, Dreischmeier 7-3-18 Kraisinger 6-4-16, Shemak 0-0-0. Totals 28-14/20-73. Fouls-16. Fouled out-Dreischmeier

IOWA-GRANT 77: Schmitz 12-0-28, Lundell 2-0-5, Zimmer 2-1-7, Steffl 6-8-22, Loeffelholz 7-1-15

3 point goals:

H-Esser 1, Smith 1, Dreischmeier 1

I-G-Schmitz 4, Lundell 1, Zimmer 2, Steffl 2