Renard’s 25 drops Bay Port from unbeaten ranks
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – The Bay Port girls’ basketball team is no longer unbeaten.
Behind UW-Green Bay recruit Kendall Renard’s 25 points, Green Bay Preble knocked off the Pirates 61-53 in a Fox River Classic Conference game Feb. 8 at Bay Port High School.
No. 2-ranked Bay Port (19-1 overall, 15-1 FRCC) was the last remaining undefeated Division 1 team in the state.
“What a huge win for the girls, and I couldn’t be happier for them,” said Preble head coach Jim Doell, whose team improved to 17-3 overall and 14-2 in the FRCC. “The girls stayed focused and the shots finally starting falling in the second half. Kendall earned part of her (college) scholarship tonight – it was her best game of the year.”
After scoring only 13 points when the teams met Jan. 11, Renard scored 11 points in the first half and 14 after intermission in the rematch.
“We knew that Bay Port was undefeated and that we all had to step up,” said the 6-foot-3 junior Renard, who is averaging 18 points per game. “It felt great to celebrate with my teammates. It gives us a lot of confidence going forward because now we feel we can beat anyone.”
The Hornets outscored the Pirates by an impressive 43-29 margin in the second half, including ending the game on a 21-7 run during the last 5 minutes of the contest.
Preble nailed 11 free throws during the run after Bay Port was forced to foul late.
“We talked about having discipline on offense and defense and that we wouldn’t get all the points back at one time,” Doell said. “The girls took it one play at a time.”
Much like the first time the teams met (a 69-58 Bay Port win), the Pirates threatened to blow the game wide open early on, as they went up 21-8 with 6 minutes left in the first half.
But unlike the first meeting, Preble clawed its way back before intermission to trail just 24-18.
“The last six minutes of the first half was huge,” added Doell. “We got it to within six points, and that gave us a lot of confidence going into the break. I give Bay Port credit for hitting the open shots early on when we had a defensive breakdown. We felt fortunate to be down only six at halftime.”
With the game tied at 40 with 9 minutes to go, the Pirates scored six straight shortly thereafter to go up 46-40.
After the Hornets built a 53-48 lead, Bay Port’s McKenzie Johnson buried a three with a minute remaining to bring the Pirates to within a bucket.
Bay Port had a chance to tie the game on its ensuing possession, but Preble secured a rebound on an errant shot and was never threatened again.
Carley Duffney also got hot in the second half for the Hornets, scoring 11 of her 13 points.
Johnson led Bay Port with 14 points, and Grace Krause added 10.
“Preble played a really good game,” said Bay Port head coach Kati Coleman. “They seemed to want it more than we did. We had a game plan but didn’t execute.”
Ella Bialkowski chipped in with eight valuable points for the Hornets, while Hannah Beauchamp, Taylor Sleger and Carley Thiry all scored five apiece.
Preble: 18, 43 – 61
Bay Port: 24, 29 – 53
Hornets: Renard 25, Beauchamp 5, Sleger 5, Duffney 13, Thiry 5, Bialkowski 8.
Pirates: Krause 10, Coughlin 6, Krueger 2, Abel 8, McIntyre 3, Johnson 14, Nagel 6, Draak 4.