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Pittsburg at Louisburg boys

Starting off the season with just one returning starter from a state tournament team last year is difficult enough, but to do it against the No. 7 team in the state is even more challenging.

The Louisburg High School boys basketball team hosted No. 7 Pittsburg on Friday in its season opener and the Purple Dragons handed the Wildcats a 76-48 loss.

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The defeat also spoiled the debut of Wildcat head coach Ty Pfannenstiel, who is in his first season with Louisburg.

“I was very impressed with them,” Pfannenstiel said of Pittsburg. “I thought we battled hard early, got down and then fought back again which was good versus this team. Pittsburg just opened it up in the second half and they are relentless on the boards.

“They have some athletes out there, but our kids will learn from this. We will watch film and to see how hard we are really playing. It isn’t that we aren’t trying to play hard, I just don’t think they realize what it takes yet.”

Louisburg faced adversity early as three starters picked up two fouls in the first quarter, including the team’s lone returning starter in senior forward Dalton Ribordy. Junior point guard Brayden Gage and senior Ben Minster were also saddled with a pair of fouls, but Ribordy and Gage later picked up their third in the second quarter.

Louisburg junior Dylan DeShazer goes up for an easy basket Friday. DeShazer led Louisburg in scoring with 16 points.

The Wildcats were forced to go to their bench early and they were able to keep their team in the game in the first half.

“We did some good things out there,” Pfannenstiel said. “We had some cold shooting and I don’t think we expected three starters to get in foul trouble early. With Ribordy, I don’t think that is what he was expecting from his first game and I think he was a little over aggressive. I liked his intensity, but he just needs to play a little smarter after getting the first foul early.

“We just have to learn and that will come. Pittsburg played with a different speed than what we have seen in practice and hopefully that will open their eyes.”

Junior Dylan DeShazer came off the bench in place of Ribordy and had a big night with a team-high 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. DeShazer scored eight straight points in the second quarter to trim Pittsburg’s lead to eight.

Senior Desmond Doles hit a pair of free throws to make the deficit just six, but Pittsburg ended the first half on a 10-0 run to go up 38-22 at halftime.

“Dylan did some good things and he can really shoot it,” Pfannenstiel said. “He bodied up well, played good defense and grabbed some big rebounds. He is going to be a player for us and I was proud of the way we battled back. I don’t think we understand the momentum we could have had if we could have kept building on that.”

DeShazer was the lone Wildcat to score in double figures, but had some help as Minster finished the game with nine points, while Doles and fellow senior Justin Sievert each scored seven.

Louisburg will try and get back on track starting today as it travels to Baldwin High School for the Wildcat-Bulldog Classic. The Wildcats will face off with Burlington at 5:30 p.m. today and then will meet Baldwin at 7 p.m., tomorrow.

“This is the best way to get that taste out of your mouth is to get right back on the court,” Pfannenstiel said. “We will see what kind of mistakes we can correct and we have to make sure we are ready to go.”

 

LOU               12           10           16           10 – 48

 

PITT               19           19           21           17 – 76

LOUISBURG (0-1): Dylan DeShazer 16, Ben Minster 9, Justin Sievert 7, Desmond Doles 7, Dalton Ribordy 3, Parker Perentis 3, Noah Hill 2, Kohl Vogel 1. 3-point field goals: 4, (DeShazer 2, Sievert, Perentis)