Double trouble: DeCleene, Forystek carry Pirates over Jaguars
By Rich Palzewic
ASHWAUBENON – The one-two punch of Bay Port’s Gunnar DeCleene and Nate Forystek carried the Pirates to a 74-61 road victory over Ashwaubenon Dec. 18.
Bay Port led only 29-27 at the break, but the duo pumped in 26 of their 40 combined points after halftime to break open the game.
“Those two are the big guns on our team returning from last season,” said Bay Port head coach Nate Rykal. “Gunnar is patient and a team player and Nate plays aggressively and is also a team player. They had great games, but we also had several other guys give us solid minutes.”
DeCleene didn’t score his first point until nearly 12 minutes had elapsed in the first half, so he scored all 20 of his points in the last 24 minutes of action, including hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the second half.
Forystek tallied 12 points in the second half, including the first four as part of a 10-0 run for the Pirates to start the second 18 minutes of play.
“I wasn’t real pleased with our first half, but overall, I was proud of how hard we played and how we stuck together,” Rykal said. “Our effort was good in the first half, but we took a few bad shots. We also didn’t rebound as well as we could have, but our ball pressure was good – it wore Ashwaubenon down as the game went on. We made (the Jaguars) take tough shots.”
After Bay Port’s AJ Lieuwen began the game with a three, Ashwaubenon rattled off seven straight points.
The teams went back and forth from there, with neither holding more than a three-point lead.
Forystek hit a shot at the first-half buzzer to give the Pirates (3-0) the momentum heading into the locker room.
After Bay Port expanding its lead to 39-27 in the second half, the Jaguars (3-3) had their own 7-0 spurt to make it 39-34.
DeCleene then scored 10 of the next 12 points for the Pirates before Theo Zeidler’s second consecutive bucket bumped the lead to 56-39.
After Kyle Krueger hit a shot for Ashwaubenon, Forystek drove down the lane on the ensuing possession and slammed home a thunderous two-handed dunk.
“That dunk was a thing of beauty,” said Rykal.
Rykal said he likes what he’s seeing from this season’s team thus far.
“We have about eight different guys who could start,” he said. “Even when we brought in our subs the last minute, they did a nice job. Everyone is positive and no one is selfish.”
In all, nine Bay Port players scored.
Marcus Tomashek and Matt Imig each scored 14 points for the Jaguars, while Krueger added 13.
The Pirates are next in action Dec. 29 when they travel to Seymour for a 2 p.m. game, while Ashwaubenon hosts Pulaski Monday, Dec. 21.