Second-half surge lifts Phantoms over Red Raiders
By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE — The West De Pere girls’ basketball team used a 22-0 run between halves to propel it to a 75-50 nonconference victory over Pulaski Dec. 28 at West De Pere High School.
“We wanted to come out and set the tempo,” said Chris Abaray, West De Pere head coach. “In watching the film, we thought we could use our speed and dribble-drive to our advantage.”
Casey Jepson led the Phantoms (8-3 overall) with 20 points, while Alexa Thomson and Rebekah Buboltz added 13 and 11, respectively.
Buboltz also dished out six assists.
Sheridan Flauger scored 13 points to lead the Red Raiders (3-4).
West De Pere used its transition and up-tempo offense to build an early 16-9 lead, with Jepson and Buboltz doing much of the damage.
“Casey stepped up early and found her teammates in the right spots,” said Abaray. “We had a great start to the game in controlling what we do. You always have to do the right things against Pulaski because they are well-coached.”
After a quick timeout, Pulaski slowed the tempo to its liking, and it paid off with its first lead of the evening, 20-18, after Flauger took her defender to the basket and put home the layup.
“We grabbed the lead by playing great defense and stopping their fast-breaks,” said Doug McElrone, Pulaski head coach. “We had a good seven-to-eight-minute stretch where we passed the ball well and ran our offense with back-cuts, but it didn’t happen for long enough stretches.”
With 4:43 left until intermission, the Phantoms used their height advantage to grab offensive rebounds to keep possessions alive, and in turn, scored three buckets to grab a two-point advantage (30-28) at the half.
With momentum clearly on its side, West De Pere came out on fire from the field to start the second half.
Thomson and Jepson each added baskets, and reserve Jaci Mannisto scored six points during the 22-0 game-changing surge to give the Phantoms a 44-28 lead with 13:54 remaining.
“I thought we outworked them on the glass,” said Abaray. “We were able to extend our pressure and take it to them.”
When it was all said and done, Pulaski went nearly nine minutes without a point.
Later on, Victoria Karchinski ripped a 3-pointer from the top of the key, as West De Pere built its biggest lead, 65-38, and coasted from there.
Pulaski: 28, 22 — 50
West De Pere: 30, 45 — 75
Red Raiders: Flauger 13, Lukasik 9, Olson 8, Szymanski 7, Egnarski 5, Christensen 4, Scott 2, De Cleene 2.
Phantoms: Jepson 20, Thomson 13, Buboltz 11, Mannisto 7, Baeten 6, Wilke 5, Karchinski 5, Waukau 5, Thomas 3.