Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 16:57
MIKAYLA HILTON was one of several players who made key contributions for the Port Washington girls’ team as it rallied to defeat Germantown.
Photo by Sam Arendt
Workmanlike rally gives Pirate girls a victory to be proud of in league opener
This fourth-quarter comeback thing is becoming a habit for the Port Washington girls’ basketball team.
A winning habit.
For the third time this season, the Pirates rallied in the closing minutes to pull out a 47-42 victory last Friday.
And this time, the heroics came in a North Shore Conference opener against a Germantown team that couldn’t match Port’s execution and grit down the stretch.
Trailing, 35-31, after three quarters, the Pirates fought back to go ahead, 38-36, with less than five minutes left. After Germantown pulled even with a basket, Port responded with another run.
Mikayla Hilton made the first of two free throws to give the Pirates a 44-41 lead with 31 seconds left and missed the second attempt. During a scuffle for the rebound, the ball was deflected out to teammate Kayla
McIlree, who drained a three-pointer to make it 47-41 — and seal the outcome.
Although Port coach Brian Johnson might have preferred instead for his team to hold the ball, run down the clock and draw a foul, he wasn’t about to complain.
“This is a group of girls that plays with a lot of heart and determination,” he said after watching his team improve to 4-1 overall.
PORT’S Sarah Carini lost her balance but maintained control of the ball during a fast break.
Photo by Sam Arendt
“They make mistakes and have a lot of things to improve on, but they never stop playing hard. After the first quarter, they started playing good defense and showing patience on the offensive end.”
Things didn’t looked encouraging for the Pirates early. Out of sync defensively, they fell behind, 20-9, after one quarter.
Lexi Keefe scored eight of her team-high 11 points during Germantown’s early surge.
But Port got its act together in the second period and used a 14-4 run to pull within 24-23 by halftime. Five Pirates scored during the rally, led by Cassie Klapoetke with four points.
Although the Pirates pulled even early in the third quarter, they never held the lead until a Hilton layup made it 38-36 with 4:38 left.
Hilton and McIlree made huge plays in the final minute, but much of the credit for Port’s strong second half goes to guard Caity Tydrick. Besides directing her team’s offense, the junior scored a game-high 12 points that included a 6-for-6 effort at the free-throw line.
“This was a total team win,” Johnson said. “We had some turnovers, but for the most part we took very good care of the ball against Germantown’s defensive pressure.
“We learned some things after losing to Menomonee Falls (earlier in the week). If we don’t have that game to prepare, we don’t win this one.”
With the victory, Port matched its win total of last season, when it finished 4-20.
The Pirates played Nicolet on Tuesday and will continue their NSC schedule with a 7:30 p.m. game at Whitefish Bay on Friday.
Menomonee Falls 44, Port Washington 41
A turnover-filled fourth quarter cost the Pirates a nonconference win in their home opener Dec. 7.
Port held a 33-29 lead after three periods but was outscored by seven points the rest of the way.
Mikayla Robertson and Alex Poole carried most of the offensive load for the Indians and finished with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Nine players contributed to the Pirates’ balanced scoring attack, led by Hilton with eight points.
Tydrick had seven points, and Kelsey Steffen and Klapoetke added six apiece.