By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – The No. 4-ranked Bay Port girls’ basketball team is beginning to make a habit of starting fast.
The Pirates (8-0 overall) began the game on a 14-3 run and cruised to a 60-39 non-conference victory over West De Pere (7-3) Dec. 21 at Bay Port High School.
“We did have an awesome start,” said Bay Port head coach Kati Coleman. “I wouldn’t say it’s become a habit yet, but the girls need to have that mentality every game we play. My goal is to always have the other team call a timeout.”
After the Pirates jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead 90 seconds into the game, the Phantoms did call that timeout Coleman looks for.
Bay Port also did an excellent job cutting to the basket and making the extra pass for a number of easy assists.
“This is something we work on in practice – cutting hard to the basket and making the extra pass,” Coleman said. “There are times we over pass and try to thread the needle, and it doesn’t end up in our favor. I would say 60 percent of the time I’m good with the ‘idea’ or what they saw.”
West De Pere got to within 25-18 late in the first half, but a 10-2 surge to end the first 18 minutes by Bay Port put the advantage to 35-20 at intermission.
The Pirates also began the second half with an 11-0 spurt to bump its lead to 26.
Bay Port got good balance in their scoring, with three players in double digits.
Emma Nagel led all scorers with 17 points. She also added eight rebounds and four steals.
Alaina Abel and Grace Krause each added 10 points.
Mady Draak corralled seven rebounds and recorded four blocks and four steals.
Reagan McIntyre went down with a lower-leg injury 8 minutes into the game and did not return.
“Reagan is a tough girl – she will be fine,” added Coleman.
The Phantoms were led by Sydney Appleton’s 14 points.
“We knew coming into the game that Bay Port would be a good test,” said West De Pere head coach Chris Abaray. “They pressure the ball very well and teams have to handle it. I thought in pockets we handled it well and we got some good looks at the rim, but we didn’t hit a lot of shots. I’m proud of our girls – Bay Port plays the right way defensively and is deserving of their high ranking, but we can’t have 20-point losses. Our ceiling is a lot higher than what we are showing – we are young.”
The Phantoms were also playing without Alivia McNabb who was out with a lower-leg injury. McNabb is averaging 8 points per game this season.
“Not having Alivia really hurt,” Abaray added. “She’s a floor leader and is really strong inside with her rebounds. You miss that in games like this.”
West De Pere: 20, 19 – 39
Bay Port: 35, 25 – 60