Panthers boys' basketball team comes alive against St. Bernard

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Plainfield - posted Tue., Dec. 27, 2011
John Lorange brings the ball down court. Photos by D. Coffey.
John Lorange brings the ball down court. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Plainfield High School boys’ basketball team roused itself from a slow start on Dec. 22 to beat the St. Bernard Saints, 62-44. It wasn't until midway through the second quarter that the Panthers caught up to the Saints and tied the score at 17-17. When they went ahead on a basket and foul shot, they stayed ahead for the rest of the game.

“They were pressing us and we were running the wrong stuff against that,” said coach Bob Arremony after the game. “We weren't shooting and we weren't playing defense. We got a time out, then we made a couple baskets and we picked up our defense, and all of a sudden they played fantastic in the second quarter.”

John Lorange scored 12 points, Josh Millette scored eight points and Brian Sullivan and John-John Esparrago each scored six points. Sophomore Ryan Pambuku scored four three-pointers in the first half, and 26 points altogether in the game.

“Pambuku's a shooter,” Arremony said. As a freshman, Pambuku saw a lot of varsity playing time. “He plays all year. He plays spring, summer and fall,” Arremony said. “It makes a difference.”

The Panthers are a young team this year. Out of six seniors, three are playing varsity for the first time. That's because the team lost nine players to graduation last year. Leadership has fallen to Lorange, who is the most experienced senior. “Lorange and [sophomore] Pambuku are the only guys who played a lot last year,” Arremony said.

So Arremony is working hard so that his players learn fast. It took a quarter for things to start moving the Panthers' way Dec. 22.

The Panthers tied it up at 17-17 with five minutes to go in the second quarter. Josh Millette scored a basket and a free throw to put the team ahead, 20-17. They stayed ahead for the rest of the game. The tide threatened to turn against Plainfield in the third quarter, but Arremony was able to keep his team focused. “We got a little crazy with the ball towards the end of the game,” the coach admitted.

According to Arremony, the team needs to rotate the ball better and work on ball handling. They need to work on their defensive slides so they can contain their players. “We've got to work on our rebounding. Some of our offensive schemes have to get better. And the coach has to do a little better job,” he said. The Panthers play again on Friday, Dec. 30.

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