Pirates seeking trip to State
BY RICH PALZEWIC
The Bay Port boys’ basketball team has only one place to move up this season and that’s to Madison for a trip to the WIAA D1 state tournament.
After falling short of one of their main goals last year, the Pirates are seeking to get to state for the first time since 2009.
Bay Port fell to state finalist Arrowhead in the sectional semis last year by a score of 85-75 to finish 22-3 overall. The Pirates also went a perfect 18-0 in the Fox River Classic Conference and will be looking to repeat that feat.
Bay port will open up its season when they travel to Appleton West for a non-conference game on Tuesday, Nov. 28, for a 7:30 p.m. game.
“That is one of our goals, to get to state,” said 13th year Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal. “We wanted to last year and we fell a little bit short, but we have the same aspirations this year. We’d also like to go undefeated in conference again but there are tough teams in the FRCC who will battle us hard. You have to bring it every night.”
The Pirates lost some key figures in FRCC player of the year Jordan Nolle (15.7 points per game), Brett Frieder (12.2), Jake Stelzer (6.9), Jacob Stratman (4.7) and CJ Maternoski (3.5) to graduation.
“Jordan is a perfect example of how things work here,” Rykal said. “He was a great player his junior year with his defense but he didn’t score that much. Last year he improved in every area and dramatically increased his scoring. We lose quality players ever year but we have new guys that will step in.”
Bay Port has plenty of firepower coming back in Iowa football recruit Jack Plumb (12.6), Cordell Tinch (8.3), Cade Johnson (4.4), Alec Nagel (3.3), Carson Schroeder, Danny King, Ian Melchoir, Garrett Mooren and Isaac Krause. All of the mentioned are seniors on a roster of 16.
Plumb and Tinch were second-team and honorable-mention in the FRCC after their junior years respectively.
Another huge addition will be senior Daland Phillips who had to sit out last season because of transfer rules but according to Rykal is the “real deal.”
“He practiced all of last year with us,” said Rykal about Phillips. “He’s just a really solid, level-headed kid. He’s a true point guard that can shoot it. Daland is also a really good spot-up and free-throw shooter, a good decision maker, a good defender and a positive influence on our team.”
As for other FRCC teams to watch, Rykal said De Pere, Southwest, Notre Dame and Pulaski – in no particular order – will be good.
“I’d think that Notre Dame and Southwest for sure are looking to make a big jump this year,” added Rykal, who himself was the FRCC coach of the year in 2016. “It should be an interesting year.”
A schedule highlight will be when three-time defending state champ – and No. 1 ranked – Stevens Point comes to town on Friday, Dec. 1, for an early-season battle. Bay Port comes into the season ranked No. 8.
Notes: For a complete schedule CLICK HERE.