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Kinziger brothers shoot De Pere past Bay Port

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

SUAMICO – De Pere basketball players Jake and John Kinziger scored 16 and 15 points, respectively, to lead the Redbirds over Bay Port, 62-55, Feb. 7, at Bay Port High School.

The senior Jake scored 11 first-half points, while the freshman John pumped in 13 after halftime to secure the Fox River Classic Conference victory for De Pere.

“It was a big win for us,” said Jake Kinziger. “We wanted Bay Port badly, especially after they beat us last time [57-50]. We needed this win because we’ve come off some losses we probably shouldn’t have had.”

De Pere (11-6 overall, 9-4 FRCC) came into the game with three losses in its last five games.

“I saw lots of toughness in the second half,” said De Pere head coach Brian Winchester. “I was proud of my guys.”

The victory marked the first time since March 7, 2015, De Pere defeated Bay Port.

In that 71-56 regional final win, Brevin Pritzl, now playing at UW-Madison, scored 31 points in the Redbirds’ win.

“It’s been a while since we’ve beaten Bay Port,” Winchester said. “There was a time they couldn’t beat us, but as of late, we haven’t beaten them.”

After the Pirates (12-3, 10-3) had a 4-2 lead, the Redbirds went on a 13-2 run to go up 15-6.

Sophomore Max Donaldson had a three-pointer and another field goal during the spurt for De Pere.

Bay Port, which got 10 first-half points from Gunnar DeCleene, ended the half by outscoring the Redbirds 23-10.

“The first half didn’t end well for us,” Winchester said. “We saw our 10-point lead disappear when Bay Port made its run. They had the momentum heading into the second half, and we had to scratch and claw our way back into the game.”

With the Pirates leading 43-39 with eight minutes remaining, Jake Kinziger hit a three-pointer to bring De Pere within one before Donaldson and Maddax Shinners hit back-to-back buckets for a 46-43 lead.

Will Dehn then hit a triple of his own to give the Redbirds a 49-47 lead with four minutes remaining.

From there, 14 of De Pere’s last 16 points of the game came from the free-throw line, where it was 25-of-32 overall.

John Kinziger was a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe, while brother Jake hit 7-of-8 and corralled 10 rebounds.

“We play hard and compete every night,” said Winchester. “There’s nothing negative with how we’ve competed all season – we simply haven’t made enough winning plays when we’ve needed to make them. Tonight, we made a number of winning plays when we needed to.”

Dehn chipped in 12 points for the Redbirds, while Donaldson and Ethan Hohol each added seven.

DeCleene led Bay Port with 18 points, including four three-pointers.

Nate Forystek had a strong game with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Pirates.

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