Pirates overcome slow start to defeat Red Raiders
By Josh Staloch
SUAMICO – The Bay Port girls’ basketball team was able to shrug off an ice-cold start in Monday night’s home opener and go on to claim a 40-35 win over Pulaski at Bay Port High School.
The win improved the Pirates to 1-1, while the Red Raiders dropped to 1-2.
Pulaski jumped out to a 6-0 lead after a 3-pointer from Sheridan Flauger, who then gave her team a 10-0 advantage minutes later with a score underneath off an assist from Ashlyn Szymanski.
Bay Port’s Adria Key got the home team out of its scoring slump with a put-back under the bucket, which sparked a 6-1 run.
The spurt also featured a fast-break score from Kyla Hendricks and two points off a nice pivot move in the paint by Ellie McDermid.
The Red Raiders then regained their composure and stretched the lead to 17-6.
With 8:20 remaining in the first half, Bay Port then hit the pause button on the Pulaski offense and proceeded to score 16 unanswered, highlighted by 10 points and one nifty assist from Emma Krueger.
The surge gave the Pirates a 22-17 lead heading into the break.
“Our girls played with heart,” said Bay Port head coach Dennis Gladwell. “We worked hard on defense this week, and they turned in a fantastic performance. I’m pleased with the way our girls were able to turn it around.”
Playing with a sense of urgency to start the second half, the Red Raiders tied the game at 22-22 early with a pair of free throws from Brynn Egnarski.
The teams went back-and-forth from there, with neither able to get ahead by more than three points heading down the stretch.
The Pirates went ahead two on a pair of free throws before Pulaski answered on the other end with its own pair at the charity stripe.
When Krueger nailed a triple for Bay Port, Flauger answered at the other end with a deep shot of her own.
The momentum swung back to the Pirates thanks to a big play from Jackie Szelagowski, who pulled down her own rebound off a missed shot and then went back up for a score and a 35-33 lead.
The Pirates then came up with a crucial stop on defense to force Pulaski into fouling.
From there, Bay Port did its job from the free-throw line to close out the win.
“The girls feel good about what they accomplished,” Gladwell said. “Pulaski is a good basketball team with some good players. To be able to come away with a win against them is satisfying. Our bench was loud, and that helped our defense and gave us energy.”
Krueger led all scorers with 17 points, while Flauger led the Red Raiders with 14.
Szymanski also added 10 points in defeat.