By Rich Palzewic
DE PERE – The beat goes on for the De Pere boys’ basketball team.
Behind 26 points from Zach Kinziger and 14 from Pryce Gregorie, the Redbirds won their 41st consecutive game dating back to last season.
De Pere’s 74-41 Fox River Classic Conference (FRCC) victory over Notre Dame Academy on Jan. 5 came before a packed house at De Pere High School.
“I was happy with how hard we played defensively,” De Pere Coach Brian Winchester said. “We came out with intensity and played well.”
The junior Kinziger, a University of Wisconsin-Madison verbal commit, added six rebounds, five assists and four steals, all while committing only one turnover.
Senior Will Hornseth, a Division I commit to Northern Iowa, added eight points and 12 rebounds for the Redbirds (11-0 overall, 7-0 FRCC).
Adam Guyette, who came into the contest averaging 18.2 points per game for the Tritons (4-5, 3-2), was held to eight points.
“Our focus is to guard whoever the guys on the other team are,” Winchester said. “He’s a good scorer for them, so I was proud of the effort against him.”
De Pere jumped out to a 12-2 lead with the help of eight early points from Kinziger.
Mixed in was a breakaway dunk from the junior Gregorie, a Division II recruit.
“I thought we played hard at the start and pushed the ball well in transition,” Gregorie said. “That was my first dunk of the season. I saw the pass come up the line, jumped to it and was able to beat the big guy down the floor and put it down.”
Twelve of Gregorie’s points came from beyond the three-point arc.
“I expect myself to shoot that well from the outside,” he said. “When Zach gets it to me, I have to knock it down.”
With the Redbirds leading 18-4, Notre Dame got a three-pointer from Aaron Heyroth to cut the deficit to 11.
The Tritons played even with De Pere for a few minutes, until the home team ended the first half on a 10-3 run to take a 37-17 lead into the break.
Kinziger led the way with 14 first-half points.
After intermission, De Pere maintained its 20-plus point lead before ending the game by scoring 14 of the last 16 points to run away with the victory.
“We keep grinding, and the lead just stretches itself,” Winchester said. “I told the kids in the locker room, ‘What we do every night is hard to do – when you’re expected to not only win games but win games by a margin. That is hard to do.’ I’m proud of how we’ve approached every game.”
Ben Willihnganz also scored in double digits for the Redbirds with his 10 points.