BY RICH PALZEWIC
DE PERE – A 17-2 run and some strong defense to start the game helped the Bay Port boys’ basketball team win a 58-43 Fox River Classic Conference road contest over De Pere Feb. 3.
Jack Plumb had 19 points and 9 rebounds, while Alec Nagel added 12 points on a pair of three pointers for the Pirates (13-3 overall, 11-2 FRCC), who shot 51 percent overall from the floor (19-37).
“We came out really strong to open the game,” said Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal. “We had good defensive intensity and took the ball to the basket. We held them to five buckets in the first half, so it was pretty good.”
During the opening surge, Plumb had seven points, including a three-pointer from the top of the key. The Redbirds (7-10, 6-7) didn’t score their first points of the game until the 11:15 mark of the first half.
The Pirates took a 34-17 advantage into intermission, only to see De Pere begin the second 18 minutes with a 19-9 run to cut the deficit to 43-36 halfway through the half; but like they have done so many times this season, Bay Port responded by scoring 14 of the next 16 points to essentially put the game away. Nagel scored seven, while Cade Johnson had five – including a dunk – during the burst.
“It’s good to see that we are growing up a little bit,” added Rykal about his team coming back to close the game out. “We’ve had games before when we’ve had a nice lead like this and we’ve let it slip. This time we took care of things.”
Lucas LaMue came off the bench to score seven points, while Ian Melchior – playing in his first game since he severely sprained an ankle weeks ago – had three points.
The Pirates host Green Bay Southwest (12-5, 10-3) Tuesday, Feb. 6, in another key FRCC clash. Bay Port squeaked out a 59-56 victory over the Trojans earlier in the season.
“I talked to the guys about that game and we have to be ready for the challenge,” noted Rykal. “They bring their best game against us it seems every time. Honestly, I don’t think we played very well against them last time and I told our guys we have something to prove to ourselves and them. We need to be better against them this time.”
Bay Port: 34, 24 – 58
De Pere: 17, 26 – 43
BP: Tinch 9, Phillips 2, Johnson 5, Nagel 12, Plumb 19, Melchior 3, LaMue 7, Kozak 1; 3-pt: Nagel 2, Plumb 1, Melchior 1, LaMue 1; FG: 19-37 (51%); FT: 15-26 (58%).