By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – Trailing by one point with six seconds remaining, the Bay Port boys’ basketball team had a chance to win its game against Pulaski Jan. 3, but Logan Geissler’s final shot in the lane caromed off the rim in a 66-65 Fox River Classic Conference loss at Bay Port High School.
Before Geissler’s miss, the Red Raiders (6-3 overall, 4-1 FRCC) missed two free throws on the other end of the court, so the Pirates (4-4 overall, 3-2 FRCC) had to race the length of the floor on the final play.
Bay Port elected not to take one of its remaining timeouts.
“I never thought about taking a timeout there,” said Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal. “I’d do the same thing again – I didn’t want Pulaski to have a chance to set up its defense during a timeout. We had the play called and got the ball to who we wanted to in Geissler. We had a chance to win it. I’m proud of my guys for battling hard all night, but give credit to Pulaski.”
Geissler led the Pirates with 19 points, including a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.
“Logan played very well tonight,” Rykal said. “We need to find a way to get him even more shots.”
The way Bay Port started the game, it had to feel fortunate to even have a chance at the end.
The Pirates began the first 90 seconds of the contest with four consecutive turnovers on their first four trips down the floor, causing Rykal to call a quick timeout.
“I’m disappointed in our start because I told the guys right before the game that Pulaski was going to trap us at half court right off the bat,” Rykal said. “That’s exactly what they did and we threw it right in their arms.”
After the sloppy start, Bay Port settled down, with the game being tied at 27 at the break.
The Red Raiders held a 55-50 lead late, but the Pirates got a three-pointer from Ethan Begotka and two free throws by Andrew Thomas to knot the score at 55.
With Pulaski leading 61-58, Bay Port’s Logan Bruntz was fouled on a three-pointer and made two free throws to cut the deficit to one.
The Red Raiders once again bumped the lead back up to 66-62, but Geissler calmly drained a trio of free throws after he was also fouled on a shot from beyond the arc with 10 seconds remaining, setting up the final tense moments.
The last 13 points of the game combined were scored from the free-throw line.
Sam Plumb was the only other Pirates’ player to score in double digits with his 11 points.
Trevor Stiede led Pulaski with 27 points. The senior was 6-for-11 from three-point land and 7-for-7 at the free-throw line.
Cole Ahrens and Logan Lukasik each chipped in 13 points.
Pulaski: 27, 39 – 66
Bay Port: 27, 38 – 65