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Bay Port loses Nagel, wins game

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

SUAMICO – Things got a little more difficult for the Bay Port girls’ basketball team.

The Pirates, the defending WIAA Division 1 state champs, will be without the services of all-state player Emma Nagel for the rest of the season.

Nagel, a Division I college soccer commit to Drake University, recently injured her posterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

“It’s confirmed Emma tore her PCL,” said Bay Port head coach Kati Coleman. “She is out for the season. The PCL can heal itself, so it’s more or less a waiting game.”

In Nagel’s absence, the Pirates (8-0), the No. 1-ranked Division 1 team in the state, have gone 3-0, including a 72-59 non-conference victory over No. 8 Divine Savior Holy Angels (6-2) at Bay Port High School Dec. 31.

“We had conversations throughout the last few practices about stepping up,” Coleman said. “Emma was averaging 10 points and 10 rebounds per game, so each of the girls needs to be accountable for what’s out there.”

Junior Katherine Kitslaar stepped in for Nagel against the Dashers and scored 10 points.

Katherine Kitslaar

“It’s sad Emma will be out, and I feel bad for her,” said the 6-foot Kitslaar. “We all have to step up and know our roles. It will mean more playing time for some of us. Emma was a big part of our team.”

Kitslaar scored two points in the first half and eight in the second.

“I was a little nervous before the game because DSHA is a good team and known for its pressure,” Kitslaar smiled. “For the most part, we were strong with the ball. A win like this gives us lots of confidence moving forward we can still go far.”

The Pirates committed 16 turnovers as a team.

Senior Mady Draak led four Bay Port players in double figures with 14 points and added eight rebounds.

Sophomore Emma Krueger added 12 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Alaina Abel had a strong game with her 11 points, five assists and five rebounds.

McKenzie Johnson, another senior, contributed eight points, five assists and four steals.

With the Pirates up 34-30 at the break, they opened the second half on an 18-1 run to increase their lead to 52-31.

During the surge, Bay Port got scoring from six different players.

After Krueger nailed a two-point field goal halfway through the second half, the Pirates had their biggest lead of the night at 57-35.

From there, DSHA outscored Bay Port 24-15 the rest of the way.

Despite the loss of one of the best players in the state, Coleman said her team will move forward.

“Honestly, it’s not something I think about,” said Coleman about the loss of Nagel. “We have to continue to get better each day and each game. We have a tough conference, and we’re simply looking at the next game and what we can continue to get better at.”

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