Dehn, Nies combine for 42 as Redbirds defeat Jaguars
By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE—The inside-out game was clicking on all cylinders this evening for the De Pere Redbirds boys’ basketball team.
Post Brad Nies and sixth-man extraordinaire Will Dehn scored 22 and 20 points respectively as De Pere defeated the Ashwaubenon Jaguars by a final of 70-52 Feb. 2 at De Pere High School.
“I thought Ashwaubenon got after it early,” said De Pere head coach Brian Winchester. “We had 10 turnovers in the first half. I thought the key was the way we finished the first half and then how we came out in the second half going inside right away. We built a lead from there.”
The Jaguars were led in scoring by sophomore Kyle Krueger who had 18 hard-earned points all the while battling foul trouble.
Ben Wendorf and Matt Imig each chipped in eight points.
The Jaguars (wearing new gray uniforms with green and gold trim) took an early 7-4 lead after aggressively driving to the basket, drawing fouls, and connecting on free throws.
The Redbirds used a very deliberate motion offense that included taking minutes/not seconds off the clock before firing up a shot.
After Dehn connected on his first triple of the night to put the Redbirds back on top 13-11, they would not relinquish the lead the rest of the night.
Later on, with the Redbirds up six points, the Jaguars got contributions from Rome Purull and Wendorf who together scored 10 points near the end of the half to cut the Redbirds halftime lead to just three points.
“Our bench gave us a big lift today in that first half,” said Ashwaubenon head coach Chris Karcz. “I think we had something like 14 of our 25 points come from guys that didn’t start. We also did a nice job on Brad in the beginning to limit him from going off. Unfortunately for us they caught fire to start the second half and we didn’t.”
Everything changed to start the final 18 minutes.
The first four possessions of the second half for the Redbirds went through Nies and he converted on every one of them to extend the De Pere lead to double digits.
“We moved Brad up to the high-post to start the second,” added Winchester. “He did a great job of finishing around the basket and then Will caught fire as Ashwaubenon’s defense collapsed.”
Ben Basten followed with a triple and Mason Ellis forced a steal and layup and suddenly De Pere was up 53-37 with 7:43 left in the contest.
The Jaguars fought back with the outside shooting of Chris Morgan and Matt Imig but couldn’t get the deficit to single digits.
Reserve Kobi Agu rounded out the scoring for De Pere with a power-layup to give the Redbirds a weekend sweep of Sheboygan South and Ashwaubenon after weather wreaked havoc during the week.
“We have to finish these last six games strong,” said Winchester about his teams remaining schedule. “We have an extremely tough sectional with the Brookfield’s and Sussex and have to be prepared going into the postseason.”
Ashwaubenon: 25, 27—52
De Pere: 28, 42—70
Jaguars: Krueger 18, Imig 8, Wendorf 8, Morgan 7, Purull 6, Wagner 3, Wittig 2
Redbirds: Nies 22, Dehn 20, Basten 8, Ellis 6, Hohol 4, Andrews 3, Spaeth 3, Kinziger 2, Agu 2