BY RICH PALZEWIC
SUAMICO – After winning its first four games of the season, the Bay Port girls’ basketball finally had a setback.
The Pirates lost a 71-56 Fox River Classic Conference contest to the Notre Dame Tritons on Dec. 5 at Bay Port High School.
“It was the tail of two different teams,” said Bay Port head coach Kati Coleman. “We played well and kept it close in the first half, but we had too many breakdowns in the second half. Communication is key in the game of basketball and we have a lot of improvement in that department. We did some good things but still have a lot we need to work on.”
The Pirates (4-1 overall, 2-1 FRCC) were down just 36-33 at the break and got to within 38-37 early into the second half, but that’s as close as they got. The Tritons (4-1, 2-0) ended the game by outscoring Bay Port 33-19 the rest of the way.
Despite outrebounding Notre Dame by a 36-30 margin and forcing 27 turnovers, Bay Port couldn’t overcome 21 turnovers of its own and a 36 percent shooting night from the floor. The Pirates were also just 2-of-14 from beyond the three-point line. In comparison, the Tritons shot 57 percent from the field.
McKenzie Johnson led the Pirates with 15 points and also pulled down six rebounds. The only other player in double figures for Bay Port was Grace Krause, who scored 10. Emma Nagel led the team with nine rebounds.
Defensively, the Pirates had trouble stopping the duo of Lizzie Opichka and Maddie Reitz, who each had 18 for Notre Dame.
Bay Port is now on the road for its next six games, starting with Marshfield on Friday, Dec. 8. The Pirates won’t return home until Jan. 5 when they host Pulaski.
Notre Dame: 36, 35 – 71
Bay Port: 33, 23 – 56
Notre Dame: L. Ophichka 18, Reitz 18, S. Ophichka 10, Gierczak 9, Milton 3.
Bay Port: Johnson 15, Krause 10, McIntyre 7, Abel 6, Draghicchio 6, Draak 4, Coughlin 4, Nagel 2, Merxauerova 2.