Last night was literally one for the record books, as Pana and Stewardson-Strasburg locked horns in a triple-OT, 250-point marathon. The Panthers outlasted the Comets in the landmark win, 129-121, as the game goes into the IHSA records as the third most points scored in a high school basketball game, just five points off the all-time record of 255 played between Chicago (Greiger) (138) and Chicago (Near North Career Magnet) (117) in January 21, 1982.

Each team had five players in double digits. Pana featured their longball specialist, Derek Sloan, who clocked in as the team high-point man with 34 points, including eight treys and six free throws. Pana capitalized on their ability to score outside the circle, also with Justin McMillen (Pana’s # 1 golfer and JV 3-point specialist) who had six longsters to help give Pana a total of 17 triples to their credit for 51 points.

Sloan hit a triple at the buzzer in the fourth to tie the game at 86-86 and force the first OT, and another trey to tie to force the second OT, at 98-98 with 6 seconds left. But, it was Comet top gun and game high point man, Cody Rincker with 48, who sent the game into the final OT on a clutch lay-up with 3.2 seconds left of the second overtime.

Pana caught a second wind in the third OT and pulled away from Stew-Stras, 116-114, and went on to score seven unanswered points at, 123-114. The Comets battled back, mostly on free throws, and Cody Rincker added a trey and picked up the foul point to pull up to 125-121 with 40 seconds. But, Sloan remained cool at the foul line for Pana, hitting for another four to close out the record-making struggle, 129-121.

Sloan had already hit five three’s by the break, but Stew-Stras was still up by six, 42-36, mostly on the strength of Cody Gallagher’s 17 first half points. But, the tide turned for the Panthers in the third quarter.

Justin McMillen came off the bench and immediately dialed in from long distance. McMillen nailed a quartet of triples in the third quarter alone, while Sloan buried his sixth trey. Despite Cody Rincker’s nine-point third for the Comets, the Panthers went on a 29-19 run and took the lead, 65-61, heading into what was suppose to be the final frame.

Rincker’s 14 points in the fourth (8-of-9 at the line) and Ben Giertz’ eight points, off a trey a deuce and 3-of-4 foul shooting, keyed a comeback that gave them the lead in the fourth. Sloan hit a trey to knot the score at the end of regulation and begin

Pana High School principal, Gayle McRoberts, said she couldn’t remember a game with that many points, but admitted there were some years when the record keeping was not up to modern standards. “I think this is the most points Pana has ever scored in a game, but there were some years where the numbers were a little hazy.” McRoberts said she planned to search as many of the old records as she could to find out if it was indeed a school record.

Besides Rincker’s 48 points including 17 free throws, four other Comets were in double figures. Cody Gallagher had 20, Ben Giertz nailed down 15, Conrad Widdersheim had 12 and Jesse Brandt was good for 10. Phillip Wetherell and Jesse Williams had eight each.

Pana also had four other shooters in the twin figures beside Sloan with 34. Mike Maziarz was on target for 26, Justin McMillen came in with 18, all on longshots (6). Joe Beyers hit for 11 and Jake Claxton put up 10. Frank Schmitz and Andrew Scherzer had eight each, Colton Waddington had six and Blake Berner had four. Michael McDowell and Justin Vernon had two each.

Pana- 13 23 29 21 12 14 17—129

Stew-Stras 18 24 19 25 12 14 9—121

Scoring: For Pana- Sloan 34 pts, (8-3’s, 2 FG, 6 FT); Maziarz 26 pts, (8 FG, 10 FT); Scherzer 8 pts, (2 FG, 1-3, FT); McMillen 18 pts, (6-3’s); Vernon (FG); Claxton 10 pts, (2 FG, 1-3, 3 FT); Waddington (3 FG); Beyers 11 pts, (3 FG, 1-3, 2 FT); McDowell (FG); Schmitz 8 pts, (3 FG, 2 FT); Berner 4 pts, (FG, 2 FT).

Scoring: for Stew-Stras- *Cody Rincker 48 pts, (11 FG, 3-3’s, 17 FT); Widdersheim 12 pts, (4 FG, 4 FT); Giertz 15 pts, (3 FG, 2-3’s, 3 FT); Wetherell 8 pts, (2 FG, 4 FT); Brandt 10 pts, (3 FG, 1-3, FT); Williams 8 pts, (3 FG, 2 FT); Cody Gallagher 20 pts, (8 FG, 4 FT).

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