By Carson Glosny
DE PERE – Tuesday, Jan. 30, was a star-studded matchup between Ashwaubenon (14-2), facing No. 1 De Pere (16-1). The game started with a lot of back and forth, each team trading shot for shot. Pryce Gregoire knocked down a triple with 15 minutes in the first half to make it 7-3. The Redbirds seemed entirely in control until senior Jayden Schoen got a 3 pointer of his own, making it 8-11 with De Pere still ahead.
Right back down the court, senior star Will Hornseth finished through contact and completed the and-1 bucket to add three for the Redbirds.
“He was the best player on the floor and he played like it,” said Coach Mark Tomashek.
Hornseth dropped 32 points, not missing a single free throw, completing multiple and-one plays throughout the night.
With 12:27 to go in the first half, Roan Demovsky swished the wide open three-point shot to make it 17-9 for De Pere.
Ashwaubenon did not have the lead once throughout the entire contest, the closest they got being within one point.
The Jaguars wouldn’t shy away in this one though, as Drew Tomashek made a contested layup off a pass from Jackson Sims to make it 19-13.
With 9:14 left in the first half, Ashwaubenon needed to call a timeout after a steal and a fast break bucket by the Redbirds to push the score to 23-14.
Coming out of a timeout, Ashwaubenon went on a 7-0 run, which was capped off by a turn around hook shot from Sims, but was put to a stop by another and-1 from Hornseth.
There would be a stall in scoring for a couple minutes, but that was ended by a nice three-point jump shot from senior AJ Uhl. But Hornseth was back at it again with another and-one pushing the score to 31-24.
“Tonight was one of our better games [in terms of] how we executed on both ends of the floor,” said De Pere Head Coach Brian Winchester.
The Redbirds controlled the game from start to finish, as they have in many of their games this season.
Schoen answered Hornseth’s play with a two-point jumpshot.
The ensuing possession featured Uhl laying one on in on a fast break after a missed opportunity by the Redbirds.
The score now 28-31 with 3:17 left in the first, Schoen knocked down another mid range jumper to make it 30-31. This is the closest the Jaguars would get all night.
Pryce Gregoire once again, knocks down a triple with two minutes left. On the next possession, he splashed yet another three-pointer, this time from the corner.
Going into halftime the score was 39-32, with Hornseth leading the way with 13 points at the half and Schoen led his team with 9.
De Pere started the second half hot, Hornseth once again with a huge play, this time in the form of a massive dunk. At this point, the score was 43-34.
With 12:35 left to go in the contest, junior Zach Kinzinger knocked down a pull up three to make it 55-38, now with a commanding lead. At this point, the Redbirds didn’t slow down.
Hornseth slammed home a posterizing dunk a few possessions later, making it 59-43 and really taking some wind out of Ashwaubenon’s sails. The Redbirds dominated in the second half.
With 9:20 left to go, De Pere still led 61-45 when Sims hit a transition triple, then Schoen made another transition bucket for the Jaguars, off of a nice feed from Tomashek, making it 50-61. Hornseth was sent to the line where he made both shots to complete his massive night of 32 points.
In the end, De Pere topped the Jaguars 74-56.
“We’ve got to compete every possession, especially against a good team like that, we can’t take any possessions off,” said Coach Tomashek.
That’s something they will look to improve going forward, as the Jaguars fall to 14-3, and 10-2 in the FRCC. While De Pere improves to 17-1 and stays perfect in the conference at 13-0. The Redbirds next matchup is against Notre Dame Academy at 5-9 and seventh in the FRCC.