Pirates survive scare from Trojans
BY RICH PALZEWIC
GREEN BAY – It wasn’t easy, but the Bay Port boys’ basketball team continued its Fox River Classic Conference winning streak.
The Pirates (6-0 overall, 4-0 FRCC) won their 22nd straight FRCC game with a hard-fought 59-56 road win over the Green Bay Southwest Trojans Dec. 22.
“I walked into the locker room after the game and I said to the guys, ‘that was easy,’” said a smiling Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal. “Give credit to Southwest (6-2, 5-1) because they played a great game, but we made the plays down the stretch when we had to. A win like this when we didn’t shoot the ball well (40 percent) is good because it gives us confidence we can still get the job done.”
The Pirates got a huge game from Jack Plumb, who had 21 points, 11 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 steals on the evening. Cordell Tinch chipped in with 12 points, including a monster dunk to begin the game.
“Jack struggled a little with his free throws – normally he’s much better than that – but he made up for it in other ways,” Rykal said. “I know he will be upset with himself for missing those.”
The Iowa football recruit was 3-for-9 from the free-throw line but an impressive 9-for-13 from the field.
Bay Port was in control for most of the first half but went into the locker room trailing 23-22.
Leading 19-17, the Pirates’ Carson Schroeder corralled an offensive rebound and kicked it to a wide open Alec Nagel, who promptly drained a three to make it 22-17; but Southwest then went on a 6-0 run after that to seize the momentum after 18 minutes of play.
Bay Port surged to a 33-26 lead to start the second half with the help of a Cade Johnson dunk and eight points by Plumb.
Senior Ian Melchior gave some huge minutes off the bench for the Pirates when he put back an offensive rebound for a layup and hit a three-pointer moments later. He and Schroeder combined for nine points and nine rebounds.
“I couldn’t be prouder of how Ian and Carson played,” added Rykal. “They came up with some huge buckets and offensive rebounds for us. Those were hustle plays.”
Bay Port pretty much maintained that five to eight-point advantage until late in the game. Southwest got to within 55-54 with under a minute remaining, but Johnson nailed two free throws to bump the lead back to three.
The Trojans had a chance to tie the game, but an errant three-point attempt was converted to a two-point field goal by Cole Bouche to cut the deficit to one with five-tenths of a second left (see video). Deland Phillips closed the scoring by hitting two free throws for the final margin.
The Pirates shot just 20 percent (5-for-25) from beyond the arc but had just nine turnovers. Johnson also added nine points and six rebounds.
Southwest had three players in double digits: Will Pytleski (14), Bouche (12) and Lucas Stieber (10). Pytleski also pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds.
Bay Port is next in action Friday, Dec. 29, when they host highly-touted Kimberly (5-1), who was a 65-59 loser to No. 1 ranked Oshkosh North Friday night.
Bay Port: 22, 37 – 59
Southwest: 23, 33 – 56