Bay Port girls get by Ashwaubenon in overtime
By Greg Bates
SUAMICO – In a game the Bay Port girls’ basketball should have closed out in regulation, the Pirates weren’t going to walk away empty-handed.
Bay Port outscored visiting Ashwaubenon in the extra session to pull off a 38-33 win in overtime Friday in Fox River Classic Conference play.
The two teams combined to shoot 21-for-79 (26.6%) from the field — including 2-for-19 (10.5%) on 3-pointers — commit 45 turnovers and were whistled for 43 fouls.
“It wasn’t a well-executed game,” Bay Port Head Coach Dennis Gladwell said. “We can do better than what we did. I’ll take the blame on it this time, but next time, we’ll be ready to play.”
Gladwell said he’s happy his girls picked up the victory, but his team isn’t playing quite like he wants it to, despite winning five of its last six games.
“We’ve not been playing our best basketball lately,” he said. “We’ve got to come together as a team and figure out what’s going on and why we’re not playing and executing like we should. We’re missing easy shots. Lots of it may come back to me in regards to (needing) more intensity in practices. It was a tough one.”
Bay Port, which lost to Ashwaubenon 44-38 in the first matchup of the season Dec. 17, made it tough on itself down the stretch.
With the Pirates up 30-26 in the second half, Ashwaubenon’s Addy Phipps was fouled with 15.5 seconds remaining and hit one free throw.
Two seconds later, Gianna Guarascio stole an inbounds pass and converted a layup to make it 30-29.
Following another Ashwaubenon steal, Jaguars Head Coach Nicky VanLaanen called timeout.
Ashwaubenon guard Avery Amenson was fouled before her team could inbounds the ball with 4.2 seconds on the clock.
She missed the first free throw and nailed the second to tie the game.
Bay Port (9-7 overall, 8-4 FRCC) used a timeout, as Gladwell drew up a play where Ellie McDermid broke free of the defense and was hit on a long pass.
Dribbling uncontested from the free-throw line, the buzzer inadvertently sounded moments before McDermid went up for a layup, and she missed the bunny.
Ashwaubenon (10-7, 5-7) was forced to go the length of the court with 2.7 seconds left.
Bay Port’s Jacki Szelagowski stole the inbounds pass inside the 3-point line, but she didn’t take a shot before the real buzzer sounded to signify overtime.
“We had talked to them about, ‘It’s a whole new game. We’re back to 0-0. It’s four minutes. You’ve got to give it your all,’” Gladwell said.
The Bay Port players said they were motivated going into the extra session.
“We were losing the battles on the boards when they were shooting free throws,” Maddy Luedke, who scored a game-high and tied her career-high with 14 points, said. “They kept getting everyone, and it was foul after foul, so we had to be more patient. Two or three players had four fouls, so we had to come back and win, and that’s what we did.”
Ashwaubenon took a 32-30 lead, but Bay Port responded with a McDermid basket and Luedke hit a short jump shot to put their team up, 34-32.
“I didn’t think that was going in, so I was surprised,” Luedke said. “Once I hit that, I was like, OK, we can settle down, we’re up now. We can take our time on offense, and we don’t need to rush it.”
Clinging to a 35-33 lead, Bay Port drew an offensive foul on Ashwaubenon with 16.2 seconds left.
Luedke made a pair of three throws to stretch the Pirates’ lead to four.
Guarascio missed a 3-pointer with 5 seconds remaining to seal Ashwaubenon’s fate.
McDermid finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 5 steals.
Kyla Hendricks chipped in nine points.
Guarascio led the way for Ashwaubenon with 12 points, 7 steals and 5 rebounds, while Phipps added 10 points.
Bay Port has seven games left until the postseason.
“Slowly but surely, we’ll get to where we need to be,” Gladwell said. “We’re almost to the end of the season, and we’ve got to be ready for tournament time. Games like this are what’s going to help you do that.”