Phantoms win crosstown game over Redbirds
By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE — It’s bragging rights for the next 365 days when De Pere and West De Pere meet on the hardwood.
In this year’s edition, the Phantoms defeated the Redbirds, 71-61, in a non-conference boys’ basketball game played at West De Pere High School Dec. 30.
“De Pere is a good pressuring team,” said West De Pere head coach Todd Deschane. “We got some easy buckets in transition and got them in foul trouble early, which helped. I challenged this group after the Xavier loss – you have to be ready every game. We didn’t back down, and I’m happy for this group to get a victory in this rivalry game.”
Marcus Van Vreede led West De Pere (7-1 overall) with 16 points, and Raef Deschane added 13 points.
De Pere was led by freshman John Kinziger’s 21 points.
With a capacity crowd in attendance, it was the Redbirds who jumped out to a 10-5 lead after Jake Kinzinger grabbed an offensive rebound and put home the layup.
Seven minutes into the contest, Van Vreede ignited the West De Pere faithful with a rip-roaring, one-handed flush.
A bit later, the home team made transition baskets to take a 21-15 lead after Deschane scored on a layup after a steal.
De Pere (4-1 overall) couldn’t connect on shots down the stretch of the first half and trailed the Phantoms 32-21 at the break.
“I told the guys at halftime, I thought we played good basketball in the first half,” Deschane said. “But we are going to have to play great basketball in the second half to beat a good De Pere team.”
Four minutes into the second half, West De Pere built its biggest lead of the evening at 42-26 after Dawson Nordgaard hit a 10-foot jumper near his team’s bench.
The Redbirds didn’t go away, though.
John Kinziger and Dehn knocked down a series of long-range shots to cut the lead to single digits (56-49) with 7:50 left in the game.
While the Phantoms were splitting free throws, the Redbirds were capitalizing on the offensive end.
With 1:27 remaining, West De Pere’s lead was down to six.
De Pere couldn’t get its shot to drop down the stretch, and West De Pere iced the game at the line.
De Pere: 21, 40—61
West De Pere: 32, 39—71
Redbirds: John Kinziger 21, Dehn 13, Jorgensen 11, Basten 8, Hohol 5, Jake Kinziger 3.
Phantoms: Van Vreede 16, Deschane 13, Schneider 10, Nordgaard 8, Thomas 6, Ricker 5, Skenandore 5, Darrow 4, Heck 3, Wall 1.