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State-ranked Redbirds survive test versus Jaguars


ASHWAUBENON – The No. 6-ranked De Pere girls’ basketball team defeated a pesky Ashwaubenon squad in Fox River Classic Conference action Dec. 14 at Ashwaubenon High School, 62-56.

The one-two punch of Rachel Kerkhoff (19) and Jordan Meulemans (18) delivered 37 points for the Redbirds (7-1 overall, 4-1 FRCC).

Anna Wendorf and Lily Hansford paved the way for the Jaguars (3-5, 2-3) with 15 points apiece.

“When things got a bit tight tonight, Rachel not only looked for her shot but got her teammates involved as well,” said De Pere head coach Jeremy Boileau. “We have to get better at defending the opponent’s bigs, but I’m proud of the way we bounced back after their runs.”

De Pere scored 13 of the game’s first 15 points with its pressure defense and two triples by Kerkhoff and another by Ellie Schneider.

The Jaguars kept their composure and tied the contest at 18 after Kally VanLaanen hit back-to-back treys and Nyia Marohl and Wendorf converted on two layups off hard post-up moves.

After a run by each team, the Redbirds slowly built their lead back up and took a 33-25 advantage into halftime.

“I thought we fed the paint well tonight,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Nicky VanLaanen. “Elyse (Ark) and Madi (Appleton) really made some great entry passes to Anna and Lily to get us a couple of those spurts and keep us in the game against an excellent basketball team.”

After the Jags tied the game at 33, Kerkhoff scored eight points and dished out four assists during an 18-7 run to put the Redbirds up 51-40 with 6:51 remaining.

Ashwaubenon was down just 60-56 with 40 seconds left but a missed jumper by the Jags and two free throws by the Redbirds accounted for the final margin.

“Our press-style has gotten us to where we want,” added Boileau. “In physical games, we have great depth and trust in all of our players that they can step up when needed.”

Box Score

De Pere: 33, 29—62

Ashwaubenon: 25, 31—56

Redbirds: Kerkhoff 19, Meulemans 18, Schneider 7, Dorn 6, Miller 5, Hubbard 4, Cerrato 3.

Jaguars: Wendorf 15, Hansford 15, VanLaanen 9, Appleton 7, Kunesh 4, Schlader 2, Ark 2, Marohl 2.


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