Disciplined play helps Port boys’ basketball team secure Redwing Classic title
Just ask the Port Washington boys’ basketball team, which wasted no time taking the advice to heart in the title game of the Redwing Holiday Classic last Saturday.
After controlling the opening tip, the Pirates ran 90 seconds off the clock before taking their first shot against the aggressive defense of host Sheboygan South.
When the shot came, Patrick McDonald drilled a three-pointer that put Port up for good on the way to an eye-opening, 58-41 win.
It was the kind of discipline and focus that left Pirates coach Brian Hebein impressed.
“We just kept moving the ball against their man-to-man and working for a good shot. We had at least 15 passes before we took it,” Hebein said.
“It wasn’t anything the coaches told them to do. The guys went out there and did it on their own.
“It was a great start for us.”
That start fueled a strong first half for the Port, which raced to a 21-13 lead by the end of the opening quarter and stretched the margin to 36-22 by intermission.
Although South played the Pirates on near-even terms the rest of the way, it couldn’t make a serious dent in the deficit.
“We traded baskets with them in the third quarter and kept that halftime margin,” Hebein said.
“Then, in the fourth quarter, we turned up our defense and held them to seven points.”
As they did in the tournament semifinals the previous night, the Pirates used balanced scoring to take control.
Junior guard Al’Tavius Jackson had a game-high 18 points for Port, which also got 12 from McDonald and 11 from Sam Weiland.
No one scored in double figures for South, which was led by Jared Reklaitis’ eight points.
“Winning the tournament was definitely on our preseason goal list,” said Hebein, whose team improved to 2-1.
“We played the same two teams we faced in the tournament last year, so we had an idea of what we might be able to do against them.”
Port 60, Kenosha Indian Trail 46
Full-court pressure by a harassing foe didn’t rattle the Pirates in the tournament semifinals.
Although Indian Trail held an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, Port responded with a 20-9 run in the second period.
“We had some turnovers early in the game, but in the second quarter we started handling the pressure better,” Hebein said.
The Pirates’ shooting touch also warmed. Their second-quarter surge included four three-point baskets, two by Sam Weiland and one each by Matt Kirmse and Ezra Bretl.
After trailing, 30-20, at halftime, the Hawks cut the deficit to five points midway through the fourth quarter. But Port kept its poise, protected the ball and made nine of 10 free throws in the final 2:30.
Four Pirates scored in double figures, led by Jackson with 17 points. McDonald had 13 points, and Kirmse and Weiland added 11 and 10, respectively.
Mike Roach led Indian Trail with 12 points.
Waukesha South 51, Port 50
A late rally came up short for the host Pirates in their season opener Nov. 26.
Tailing, 37-33, after three quarters, Port found itself down by four points in the final minute.
After Brett Kirmse’s three-pointer pulled the Pirates within 51-50, they committed a foul to stop the clock.
When South cooperated by missing a free throw, Port grabbed the rebound and raced down court with no time-outs. However, two field-goal attempts went awry, including a three-pointer at the buzzer.
“It was a tough loss, but we learned from it,” Hebein said. “It helped get us ready for the weekend.”
Matt Kirmse scored a team-high 17 points in his varsity debut. Jackson and Weiland added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Trent Prater led South with 15 points.
This week, Port opened North Shore Conference play Tuesday against defending champion Germantown and will host Homestead at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
On Dec. 10, the Pirates will host Sheboygan North in a 7:30 p.m. nonconference game.
Image Information: PORT WASHINGTON’S Sam Weiland encountered a tall obstacle when he drove to the basket against Waukesha South in his team’s season opener Nov. 26. Last weekend, the senior scored 22 points to help the Pirates win two games and the championship at the Redwing Holiday Classic in Sheboygan. Photo by Sam Arendt