Absence of point guard, head coach also punctuate boys’ double-overtime defeat at hands of Nicolet
You know it’s probably not your night when your basketball team is missing its head coach as well as its best point guard.
Just ask the Port Washington boys’ squad, whose sideline resembled a hoops hospital ward last Friday night.
Forced to do battle without starter Sawyer Mosley and coach John Bunyan, the Pirates stumbled to a 59-53, double-overtime loss to Nicolet.
The North Shore Conference game was a constant struggle for host Port, which never found enough offensive rhythm to keep the Knights from posting their first league win of the season.
Mosley sat on the sideline with a broken left foot, an injury he sustained the previous Monday in practice. He is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Bunyan was out battling pneumonia.
In addition, guard Sam Weiland was slowed by an ankle injury.
“We were short-handed. We had our chances, but we’re just in a little funk right now,” said Port assistant coach Pat Gasser, who filled in for Bunyan.
Without Mosley to direct the offense, the Pirates scuffled continuously. They committed seven turnovers in the first quarter, as Nicolet grabbed a 9-5 lead, and spent most of the night in catch-up mode.
Port trailed by as many as nine points before rallying late in the game and pulling even at 42-42 on a layup by Weiland in the final minute.
Eugene Bonner had a chance to give the Knights (1-9) a win when he drew a foul with four seconds left. However, he missed two free throws, forcing the game into overtime.
Mick Clarke’s layup put the Pirates up, 48-47, with 55 seconds left in the first extra period. But Nolan Wagner made one of two free throws to pull the Knights even.
When Joey Burbach missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, the game moved into a second overtime.
This time, the Knights took control with an 8-2 run that ended the suspense — and saddled the Pirates (4-6) with a hard-fought loss.
“We turned the ball over too much and didn’t hit free throws,” Gasser said.
“I thought we were going to win it when it went to the first overtime and then the second, but it didn’t work out.”
Not having Mosley was a major factor in the loss, Gasser noted.
“Sawyer is a good ball defender and our best ball handler. We really missed him,” he said.
The loss of Eric Graf, the Pirates’ backup point man, on fouls in overtime didn’t help, either.
Burbach, a junior swing player, did his best to pick up the slack by scoring a game-high 21 points. He had five three-point baskets.
Kyle Rismeyer and Graf added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Pirates.
However, Nicolet countered with key contributions from Tyler Miller (21 points), Bonner (13) and Greg Pigg (11).
The win improved Nicolet to 3-14 overall. Port fell to 8-10.
Homestead 86, Port Washington 48
The Pirates were no match for a hard-charging foe in a conference road loss Jan. 31.
Second-place Homestead bolted to a 39-21 lead by halftime and never looked back. The Highlanders, who made 14 three-point baskets in the game, continued their assault with a 47-27 run in the second half.
Port was without Mosley and Weiland due to injuries.
The Pirates were led by Graf and Rismeyer with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Homestead had 14 players score, led by Jake Laihinen and Cody Berger with 14 points apiece.
Port will continue NSC play with a 7:45 p.m. game Friday at Whitefish Bay and a 7:30 p.m. home contest Feb. 14 against first-place Germantown.
Image Information: PORT WASHINGTON FORWARD Kyle Rismeyer took the ball inside for two points during his team’s North Shore Conference game against Nicolet. Rismeyer scored 13 points, but Nicolet won, 59-53, in double overtime. Photo by Sam Arendt