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Ashwaubenon stuns Bay Port on home court

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

SUAMICO – The Ashwaubenon boys’ basketball team got the signature win it was looking for Dec. 20.

With four players scoring in double figures, the Jaguars rolled Bay Port on its home court, 72-53.

“We wanted to compete,” said first-year head coach Mark Tomashek. “It didn’t matter if we won or lost, I wanted my guys to play hard. I’m proud of them.”

The victory for Ashwaubenon (3-2 overall, 3-0 FRCC) kept it perfect in the conference, while Bay Port (4-1, 2-1) lost for the first time this season.

Kyle Krueger (23), Marcus Tomashek (14), Matt Imig (13) and Brady Wittig (10) all scored in double digits for the Jaguars, which shot 49 percent overall from the floor on 25-of-51 shooting.

“The victory means everything to us,” said the junior Krueger. “We came out with a chip on our shoulder. Last year, we got smoked here when they came to play. We came to play tonight, and it gives us confidence moving forward.”

Ashwaubenon came out defensively in a 1-2-2 zone, and it gave the Pirates problems.

“When you shoot 3-for-33 from three-point range, you’re not going to win many games,” said Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal, whose team shot only 30 percent overall from the floor. “Ashwaubenon mixed up its defense, and we didn’t handle it well. We’ve seen zone three games in a row – we know we’re going to see it. We aren’t the best shooting team, and it showed in this game. Give Ashwaubenon credit – they played a good game.”

With the game tied at 33 early in the second half, the Jaguars outscored the Pirates 39-20 the rest of the way.

Included in that surge were separate 11-0 and 10-0 runs.

“We’ve had difficulty closing games out,” Coach Tomashek said. “The two games before this, we gave up leads. When we blew our eight-point halftime lead, I said to myself, ‘Here we go again,’ but the boys responded well. I hadn’t run the 1-2-2 zone until recently, but it worked well. We are at a disadvantage athletically at times, so I wanted to throw a few new wrinkles into the mix and help the kids be successful.”

After Bay Port’s Logan Geissler, who led the Pirates with 21 points, put his team up 18-15 in the first half, Ashwaubenon closed the first 18 minutes on an 18-7 run.

Tomashek hit a pair of long-range bombs to ignite the Jags.

Bay Port opened the second half with its own 8-0 run to force the tie before Ashwaubenon went on its surge.

Tomashek and Imig each ended with a trio of three-pointers.

Krueger added 12 rebounds, two assists and three blocks.

Ethan Begotka and Andrew Thomas scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Pirates.

“When I was hired, I knew we had a good coaching staff that could get the kids to play hard,” Tomashek said. “I wasn’t sure we’d start the conference season 3-0, but I’ll take it. It’s been a great start, and this was more than an awesome win.”

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