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Pirates’ conference winning streak snapped

BY RICH PALZEWIC
CORRESPONDENT


PULASKI – For the first since February 25, 2016, the Bay Port boys’ basketball team failed to secure a Fox River Classic Conference victory.

Aided by a controversial traveling call, the Pulaski Red Raiders hung on for a 47-46 overtime win over the Pirates Jan. 16 at Pulaski High School.

After the Red Raiders’ Dylan Hendricks scored on a reverse layup with 2.7 seconds remaining in overtime to give Pulaski the one-point lead, Bay Port threw the ball to half court and called a timeout with 1.8 ticks left. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Cordell Tinch was called for a traveling violation which gave the ball back to the victors to end the game.

“I’m proud how the team hung together through some adversity, but we turned the ball over too many times,” said Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal. “We usually have 10 or less for a whole game and we had 10 in the first half. We held it to five in the second half. That was an interesting call there at the end – it takes a lot of guts to make that call. Whether (Tinch) traveled or not, I’m not sure, but it takes the ball out of our hands and doesn’t even give us a chance. Regardless, if we make some more free throws and a few more plays down the stretch, we win. Give Pulaski a lot of credit for hanging in there.”

The loss snapped the Pirates’ 25-game FRCC winning streak and dropped them into a tie with the Raiders for the conference lead, with both teams having identical 7-1 records.

“It’s always tough to lose a game, especially one where we let a couple of bigger leads slip away,” Rykal said. “We have to come back strong from this one – we still have lots of season left.”

With Bay Port leading 45-42 with 30 seconds left in regulation, Pulaski’s Trevor Stiede nailed a three from the left wing to tie things up. The Pirates had a chance to win it on the next possession, but Alec Nagel’s jumper bounced off the rim and Tinch’s follow-up was no good as the horn sounded.

Tinch hit one free throw with 24.5 seconds remaining in the overtime for the first points of the extra frame. After he missed the second toss, Hendricks worked the baseline for his game-winner.

Behind a strong start from Jack Plumb, Bay Port jumped out to a 20-10 lead with five minutes remaining in the first half. Consecutive three pointers by Lucas LaMue and Tinch gave the Pirates that 10-point lead; but Pulaski closed the half on a 10-2 run to trail just 22-20 at intermission.

“We were up by those 10 points and then we started to turn the ball over,” Rykal added. “That was a huge stretch in the game that brought them back and gave them life. That was the frustrating part because we let them back in the game when we were in full control.”

Bay Port still had a 38-32 lead with 8:26 remaining, but Pulaski scored eight of the next nine points to take its first lead of the night (40-39) with 4:35 left.

Deland Phillips had his best game of the year with his 16 points and perfect night from the free-throw line.

“He showed a lot of toughness out there,” said Rykal about his senior point guard. “He was 10-for-10 from the free-throw line and did a great job on defense. Pulaski is not an easy team to guard with all the screens they set and stuff they have going on towards the basket.”

Tinch chipped in with 10 points, while Plumb ended with eight.

Box Score
Bay Port: 22, 23, 1 – 46
Pulaski: 20, 25, 2 – 47

BP: Tinch 10, Phillips 16, Johnson 3, Nagel 4, Plumb 8, Schroeder 2. LaMue 3; 3-pt: Tinch 2, Johnson 1, LaMue 1; FG: 14-35; FT: 14-18.
PUL: Egnarski 2, Narjes 17, Stiede 6, Hendricks 10, Lukasik 9, Ahrens 3; 3-pt: Narjes 1, Stiede 2; FG: 18-43; FT: 8-10.

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