Nordgaard dunk to end half ignites Phantoms to victory
By Murray Gleffe
DE PERE — West De Pere boys’ basketball player Dawson Nordgaard is blessed with a 6-foot-9 frame.
Moments before the first half ended against Menasha Jan. 26, Nordgaard slammed home an alley-oop dunk to ignite the Phantoms heading into the break.
The throw-down ignited a big run which helped West De Pere to a 79-58 Bay Conference victory over the Bluejays.
Nordgaard’s 21 points led the Phantoms, while Mikey Moran added 11.
“The dunk at any level raises the hype of everybody,” said Todd Deschane, West De Pere head coach. “The kids were fired up in the locker room at the break. Usually, when players are in a good mood, they perform better on the court. Dawson has been working on the move for a while. It’s fun to see when the team can pull off a little razzle-dazzle.”
West De Pere raced out to a 20-12 lead by pushing the ball in transition off Menasha misses and nailing four triples in the process.
“We managed to get the ball up the court quickly and get some good looks,” Deschane said. “It’s nice to not have to play against an established defense all the time.”
Menasha stayed in the game behind the trio of Jaxson Dillon, Will White and Jalen Womack, who came in averaging more than 45 points combined per game.
The Bluejays cut the lead to 30-24 with 2:48 remaining until half.
“When Menasha slowed us down midway through the first half, we were able to adapt because we saw it versus New London and Seymour,” Deschane said. “We did a good job taking away their pick-and-roll action and not giving them any big runs.”
The Phantoms scored eight of the final 11 points of the half to go up 38-27.
They eventually turned it into an 18-4 run between halves to go up 48-28 after Moran connected on a 23-foot, corner three-pointer.
The Bluejays continued their cold shooting from the field for the next seven minutes, while the home team kept pouring it on with its points coming from beyond the arc and in the paint.
“Inside-out is almost as old as the game itself,” said Deschane. “When our perimeter shooters are knocking down shots, we are a good basketball team. We have to continue to execute.”
West De Pere built its biggest lead, 66-40, with 6:41 left and coasted to an easy victory from there.
Menasha: 27, 31 — 58
West De Pere: 38, 41 — 79
Blue Jays: White 17, Womack 17, Dillon 13, Tate 6, Jensen 2, Buckner 1, VanDynHoven 1, Zielinski 1.
Phantoms: Nordgaard 21, Moran 11, Campbell 9, Heck 9, Ricker 9, Schneider 7, Heikkila 5, Deschane 4, Baumgart 2, Skenandore 2.