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Panoske, Cardinals block Crimson Tide to advance
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BRODHEAD - Michael Peterson was all too aware of what he saved when he ran down Edgerton senior Adam Gregory and emphatically blocked his runout layup attempt.

The Brodhead junior rescued his Cardinals (15-8, 10-6 Rock Valley South) from a massive momentum swing in their 39-35 WIAA Division 2 regional-opening win Tuesday night.

He also saved a whole lot of face.

"That's what coach (Brian) Kammerer always wants us to do is, if we make a turnover, to hustle back to try to stop the layup," Peterson said.

With his team leading Edgerton (9-14, 7-9 Rock Valley North) 30-28 and less than half a quarter to play, Peterson took his eyes off a J.J. Panoske pass at the top of the key. After the ball glanced from his fingers, Peterson chased it toward midcourt, leapt and tried to save it to Jacob Cole in front of the scorer's table. Edgerton deflected the pass, and quickly Gregory appeared to have a clear lane until Peterson closed and ferociously spiked the ball off the goal.

"He kind of came out of nowhere there," Kammerer said.

"After he blocked that one, we just smiled at each other," Panoske said, who led all scorers with 14 points. "He can get up."

The grin grew as the rejection led to a Nick Jacobson hoop on the other end, set up by penetration and a bounce pass by Cole.

After Gregory hit a bomb from three feet beyond the left side of the arc to get the Crimson Tide back within one at 32-31, Panoske scored four-straight points.

He first hit two free throws, but not without touching just about every part of the rim with both attempts.

"I don't think I could've hit more rim," Panoske said. "They were just rattling in for me tonight. Sometimes they come out and sometimes they go in."

On the next possession, he posted up and shook Tyler Dobratz before hitting a 10-foot fallaway along the right baseline to take a 36-31 lead.

After a Dobratz putback hoop, Alex Wallace played the stopper of the Tiders' late rally by drawing a charge on Brent Samuelsen.

"He knows his role is to guard the best guard on the other team, and he did a great job tonight," Kammerer said.

On the other end, Jacobson scored at the left block despite having his left arm hooked and held onto by Zachary Nelson to take a 38-33 lead. As the whistle blew, Jacobson's gritty zero-footer banked hard off the glass and held onto the front of the iron before falling through.

Edgerton sharpshooter Danny Ozga hit four triples to lead the Tiders with 12 points. Cole and Gregory were the second-leading scorers for their respective teams with nine points.

The Cardinals played uncharacteristically tenacious defense in avenging a 57-40 loss in Edgerton Jan. 28.

"To be honest, we're not used to that," Kammerer said. "Oftentimes our philosophy is to outscore teams. Tonight it was a credit to the kids and the scout team kids. They bought into it and that's what won it."

The contest in Edgerton was decidedly physical, and that element carried into the first half of Tuesday's rematch.

"We knew they were going to be physical and that's what our last three practices were all about," Panoske said.

Panoske was a shot-eater throughout, blocking 10 attempts, twice swatting two shots in less than a minute.

Peterson had just two of Brodhead's 14 team blocks. But he's a quality-over-quantity guy.

Had he not caught Gregory, his layup would have tied the game for the first time since Ozga knotted it at 6-6 with a 3 from the top of the key with 3:05 left in the first.

In effect, Peterson's show-stopping block might have ultimately won two very different games.

"Every time we go out there, we have a competition of who can block one harder," Panoske said.

"I think I got him tonight," Peterson said.