De Pere wears down Bay Port
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – When the De Pere boys’ basketball team is firing on all cylinders like it was on Tuesday night, it’s going to be tough to beat.
Behind 31 points from John Kinziger and 15 from Hogan Demovsky, the Redbirds hammered Bay Port on the road, 91-54.
Kinziger, a Division I commit to Illinois State, was 13 of 18 from the field while adding nine assists and five rebounds.
“We wanted to jump on Bay Port defensively and carry that over to our offense,” Kinziger said. “We got after them and frustrated them — it all starts with our defense.”
Zach Kinziger and Will Hornseth each added 12 points, while Ben Willihnganz (10) also scored in double digits for De Pere in the lopsided Fox River Classic Conference victory.
The 6-foot-8 Hornseth, who is also garnering Division I looks, was 6 of 8 from the field and corralled eight rebounds.
“Right now, we’re sharing the ball well,” Kinziger said. “We have the inside presence with Will and shooters all around. We played hard tonight.”
The Redbirds (4-0 overall, 3-0 FRCC), ranked No. 1 in Division 1 in the state in the latest Wissports.net Coaches Poll, shot lights out from the field (61%), while holding Bay Port to under 40%.
“De Pere punched us in the mouth — they played really well,” Bay Port coach Nate Rykal said. “They deserved it and were the more prepared team. We need to get better, and we’ll get better — you can count on that. There wasn’t a lot for me to say (during the game). When a team is that talented and comes at you with that much discipline and fire, there’s not much you can do — give them credit.”
The Pirates (3-2, 1-1) came into the game ranked No. 10 in the state in Division 1.
Hogan Demovsky also gave De Pere a huge lift with his hot shooting from the perimeter.
The senior hit a trio of 3-pointers — all in the first half, where he scored 11 of his 15 points.
“It was a great feeling to win after they beat us last year at their place,” Demovsky said. “We’ve had a great start to the conference season.”
After Bay Port scored the first two points of the game, the Redbirds went on a 12-2 run — where Demovsky scored five points.
“It’s easy to play off guys like John, Will and Zach. I just have to get open and hit shots,” Demovsky said. “I don’t have much pressure on me — I’m probably looked at as the fourth scoring option. I think we can always play better, but it was a great game for us.”
With the 10-point lead five minutes into the game, De Pere poured it on from there.
With the Pirates down 18-9, the Redbirds closed out the half on a 29-11 surge to essentially put the game away.
The junior Hornseth hit a shot as the first-half horn sounded to make it 47-20 after 18 minutes of play.
“It’s a good win on a Tuesday night in December,” De Pere coach Brian Winchester said. “It’s Bay Port, though, so it means a bit more in a rivalry game. We’re concentrating on getting better.”
After the game, Winchester didn’t say much to his coaches or players.
“That doesn’t happen often,” he said. “I’m usually not at a loss for words with what we need to work on. We played hard, and we know what the score was at the end of the game. It was a great result.”
When asked what his team needed to work on, Winchester said “we’ll take a look at the film.”
“We got into a bit of foul trouble and got a bit handsy at times,” he said. “When you’re playing against good players — and you’re an aggressive team like we are — fouls are going to happen.”
The Redbirds were whistled for 19 fouls compared to Bay Port’s seven.
To offset the foul discrepancy, De Pere relied on taking care of the ball — committing only seven turnovers while forcing 14.
Jayden Hackett and Jackson Yanda each scored 15 points for the Pirates, while Vince Vandervest added 12.
Hackett was 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc.