Jack Plumb defends Hamilton’s Lucas Finnessy in the Pirates’ 59-49 loss March 8. Plumb led Bay Port with 18 points.
BY RICH PALZEWIC
MANITOWOC – Just like a season ago, the Bay Port boys’ basketball team saw its season end prematurely in the WIAA D1 sectional semis.
The No. 1 seeded Pirates couldn’t overcome a dismal night of shooting in a 59-49 loss to No. 5 Hamilton at Manitowoc Lincoln High School March 8.
Bay Port shot just 28 percent from the field overall and just 3-of-23 (13 percent) from beyond the arc in finishing 20-5 on the year. Senior Danny King accounted for all three long-range shots for the Pirates.
“When you shoot as poorly as we did, it’s really no secret what happened,” said Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal. “Their physicality got to us and we needed to be tougher, and we just weren’t. To hold Hamilton to 1-for-16 on threes was really good, but we didn’t have much energy it seemed until late in the game. It needed to be that way the whole game and for some reason it wasn’t.”
Rykal mentioned that the Pirates had several games during the regular season where they shot poorly, but they always managed to overcome that by bringing lots of energy to the floor.
“I’m not sure if guys just ran out of gas or what,” Rykal said. “Hamilton was definitely the team with more energy – for sure in the first half. We were just too stagnant on offense and were hurt on the boards.”
The Chargers out-rebounded Bay Port by a 37-29 margin.
The Pirates jumped out to an 8-2 lead a few minutes into the game behind four points from Cordell Tinch, only to see the Chargers took a 10-8 advantage halfway through the half with their own 8-0 run.
Things stayed tight throughout the first 18 minutes, with the game being tied at 16 heading into intermission. Jack Plumb – who led Bay Port with 18 points – had nine first-half points. Tinch (5) and Cade Johnson (2) had the only other points in the first half for the Pirates.
Hamilton bolted out to a 22-17 lead after scoring seven of the first nine points of the second half, only to see Plumb score seven of his own to cut the deficit to two at 28-26.
Danny King hit the first three of the night for either team at the 8:45 mark, but Hamilton still held a three-point lead at that point (32-29). Both teams combined were a measly 4-for-39 from long range and 0-for-17 in the opening half.
Bay Port will have to replace all five starters next season and 11 seniors total. In addition to losing Plumb, Tinch, Johnson and King, Deland Phillips, Ian Melchior, Garrett Mooren, Carson Schroeder, Lucan LaMue, Alec Nagel and Isaac Krause will all be lost to graduation.
“One of the things I said to this team after the game is that nothing is guaranteed in life,” Rykal added. “You have to remember that and come ready all the time. I still remember my last high school football, basketball and baseball games. They need to be proud of all the things they accomplished, but they will probably never forget this game. I feel awful for the kids … it was very emotional in the locker room after the game.”
Hamilton: 16, 43 – 59
Bay Port: 16,33 – 49
H: Finnessy 12, Smith 14, Hoytink 7, Baldwin Jr. 17, Bagley 2, Resch 7; 3-pt: Resch 1; FG: 19-43 (44%); FT: 20-23 (87%).
BP: Tinch 9, Phillips 3, Johnson 2, Nagel 6, Plumb 18, King 9, LaMue 2; 3-pt: King 3; FG: 15-53 (28%); FT: 16-20 (80%).