HARLAN — Senior Malachi Peasley exploded for 34 points and junior Zach Rizzuti went off for 23 more as Panorama fought off Kuemper Catholic, 82-70, in their boys Class 2A District 15 Final Tuesday.
The win sends the Panthers (17-6) into Saturday’s Substate 8 Final against Treynor (23-1), who defeated Tri-Center (18-5), 67-44, Tuesday. The game will be played at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln and will start at 7 p.m.
Treynor was stopped in the substate finals last season after finishing as the state runner-up in 2018.
Kuemper (8-15) played determined throughout and made the Panthers work hard for the win, despite the disparity in team records.
The Knights held a 14-12 lead after one quarter of action, with the teams entering the locker room tied at 36-all after both had strong second periods.
The Panthers used a 20-11 edge in third quarter scoring to open the margin they needed. Entering the fourth frame ahead, 56-47, Panorama offset 23 Kuemper points in the final eight minutes with 26 of their own to pull away for the victory.
Peasley hit two 3-pointers for the Panthers but did his most damage at the foul line, where he buried 14-of-16 free throws. He is sixth in 2A with 123 made free throws and second in attempts at 142, with his 86.6 percent accuracy second-best in 2A among those with at least 100 attempts. The team is fourth in 2A with a combined clip of 73.2 percent at the stripe.
Rizzuti splashed five treys. He is now 45-of-101 (44.6 percent) beyond the arc, 4th in 2A among those with 100 tries from long range. As a team, Panorama leads 2A in 3-point accuracy, hitting 40.2 percent (205-of-510).
Michael Allen had eight points, Kolby Shackelford six, Dominic Walker and Lucas Leiferman five apiece and Evan Taylor one point to close the Panther scoring ledger.
Panorama made 8-of-15 triples in the win (Walker had the other), and finished 26-of-30 at the foul line.
Statistical information for Kuemper Catholic was not available.
SUBSTATE 8 FINAL PREVIEW:
Treynor is 6th in scoring in 2A at 68.3 points per game, with Panorama 8th at 63.5. The Cardinals have the second-best average margin of victory (24.8) in the class and our fifth in rebounds per contest (33), thanks in part to 6-10 senior Jon Schwarte, who averages 9.1 points and has 91 boards in 16 games.
Senior Jack Tiarks (6-4) and Jack Stogdill (6-2) add to Treynor’s size. Tiarks averages 16.3 points and over seven rebounds per outing, with Stogdill averaging 14.6 points while hitting 39-of-100 3-pointers. Both were saw considerable playing time for the 2018 runner-up squad.
Panorama is led in scoring by Peasley (17.2), Shackelford (11.6) and Rizzuti (11.5) The trio have converted on 51, 50, and 45 3-point shots, respectively.
Allen leads the team with 127 rebounds, with Rizzuti clearing 116 caroms while Peasley has distributed 121 assists.