Port’s playoff upset bid falls short

But coach hopes close loss to end season serves as motivation when most players return next year

SOPHOMORE EVAN LILLY, shown here earlier in the season, had the hot hand for Port Washington in a playoff loss at Milwaukee Madison on Feb. 27. Lilly scored 16 points. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Down two points with less than a minute to play and its season on the line, the Port Washington boys’ basketball team’s two offensive leaders came through in the clutch last week.

Coming out of a timeout, sophomore forward Evan Lilly, who had already hit four three-pointers in the game, made a sharp backdoor cut and junior guard Adam Baierl found him under the basket for a layup, tying host Milwaukee Madison at 58-58.

In the chaos of getting back on defense, the Pirates, which had been in foul mode to try to erase a deficit, committed one they didn’t need.

A Knight made two free throws, but Port answered with a good look at a three-pointer.

“It rimmed around a little bit and fell out,” coach Brian Hebein said.

“They grabbed the rebound and we fouled again.”

The No. 10-seeded Pirates lost the regional quarterfinal game, 62-58, to the No. 7 seed on Feb. 27.

The Knights on Friday lost at No. 2-seeded Beaver Dam, 79-72.

Lilly led Port with 16 points, after scoring 14 in the season finale against Grafton.

“Evan played really well, shot the ball well. He finished off the season pretty strong,” Hebein said.

Baierl earned praise for scoring 15 points, and Nolan Mueller had 10. Senior Zach Uselding scored eight points in the final game of his high school career.

The Pirates took a 24-23 lead into halftime, but fell behind by as many as nine in the second half. They were forced to foul and hope the Knights missed their free throws.

“The strategy worked. We ran it really well. We actually ended up getting a couple turnovers and steals and hitting a couple shots,” Hebein said.

“We were kind of trading threes for twos.”

The Pirates faced intense full-court defense all night long.

“They put a lot of pressure on us. They were picking up full court, trying to take Adam out of the game. He did a good job,” Hebein said.

While the Pirates’ offense struggled for part of the season, it broke through for some success late, eclipsing 50 points in four of its last six games.

“It was good to see at the end of the

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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