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Gymnasts poised to step up their routines PDF Print E-mail
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Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 18:31

Port, Grafton/Cedarburg teams bank on veteran talent in bids for improved seasons

Despite having a senior-led roster that also has young talent, Port Washington High School gymnastics coach Kerri Hunsicker is taking a realistic approach to her team’s chances this season.

After all, Port resides in the brutal North Shore Conference, where the conference meet looks more like a mini-state competition.SENIOR ALEX HUNSICKER is expected to be one of the top balance-beam performers for the Port Washington gymnastics team.         Photo by Sam Arendt

Even so, the Pirates should continue to raise their scores throughout the season, Hunsicker said. They already topped 115 points in their opening meet Dec. 14 against Whitefish Bay.

Bay won, 136.95-115.95, but Hunsicker said her team wasn’t far off its best score from last year.

“Bay is a powerhouse,” Hunsicker said. “We are in a horribly tough conference, and Bay is one of the toughest schools.”

The Pirates’ solid start was encouraging, Hunsicker added.

“I’m anticipating a real good year. To have 115 for a first meet score is pretty good,” she said.

Port will be led by three senior captains — Claire Kinzer, Alex Hunsicker and Hannah Greisch. Kinzer performs in the all-around, with Hunsicker specializing in the balance beam and Greisch in the floor exercise and vault.

The Pirates’ roster also includes seniors Jill VandeBoom, Stephanie Neitzel, Gabbie Fote and Olivia Plier, junior Adriana Fischer, sophomore Kristen Smith and freshman Morgan Lopez.

“I expect a lot out of all of my seniors this year. I’ve been with these girls for four years now,” Hunsicker said. “All of the girls have been working on their specific events for four years.”

Adding some elements to those routines could result in a solid season.

“I’m really excited about this year. We have a lot of potential,” Hunsicker said.

 
Defense clicks, offense slips as Port girls fall to Nicolet PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 18:29
There was no great mystery about the top priority of the Port Washington girls’ basketball team entering a North Shore Conference showdown with high-flying Nicolet last Friday.

“We wanted to hold them under 40 points,” Port coach Brian Johnson said. “We thought that if we did that, we would have a chance.”

The host Pirates accomplished their first mission but had trouble finding the hoop themselves in a 38-17 loss to the defending NSC champion Knights.

Slowing the tempo and playing hard-nosed half-court defense, Port stayed within striking distance in the first half and trailed by only 20-13 at intermission. But after falling behind, 28-17, after three quarters, the Pirates failed to score again.MIKAYLA HILTON of Port Washington tried to drive past Nicolet’s Sara Travia during a North Shore Conference game last Friday.                        Photo by Sam Arendt

“Our defensive effort was outstanding, but we were gassed by the fourth quarter,” Johnson said. “Offensively, we had a ton of shots rim out, and we didn’t have much left by the end.”

Only two Nicolet players scored in the double figures — seniors Brittany Fair and Becca Olin with 14 and 12 points, respectively. But their combined effort would have been enough for a comfortable win over the Pirates.

Port’s offensive leader was guard Caity Tydrick with five points. The Pirates finished with just seven field goals and were 3-for-10 at the free-throw line.

Despite the loss and late scoring drought, Johnson was pleased with the determination shown by his team in its fourth straight loss.

“For the first time, we made Nicolet beat us by playing our game, not theirs,” he said. “I was very proud of that kind of effort, which gives us something to build on.”

Nicolet improved its conference record to 3-0, good for a share of first place with Grafton. Port fell to 0-3 in NSC play and 2-4 overall.

Homestead 50, Port Washington 33

The Pirates fell behind early and never recovered in a sluggish conference road loss Dec. 13.

After grabbing a 15-8 lead in the first quarter, Homestead built the margin to 29-19 by halftime and maintained a 10-point edge after three periods.

Center Nicole Ziehm scored a game-high 16 points for Port, but none of her teammates had more than six.

Hannah Young had 13 points to lead the Highlanders, who also got eight apiece from Karley Marotta and Lauren LaDell.

This week, the Pirates faced Whitefish Bay on Tuesday and will host Howards Grove in a 7:30 p.m. nonconference game Thursday.

 
No rest for this defense PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 18:55

Hard-nosed effort with few fouls helps Port boys shackle Lutheran in NSC opener


Playing hard-nosed defense usually ranks at or near the top of a basketball team’s priority list.

Playing tough defense without drawing a plethora of whistles is even more desirable.KYLE RISMEYER powered his way inside for two points against Milwaukee Lutheran.                 Photo by Sam Arendt

The Port Washington boys put on a clinic in the latter last Friday by shackling Milwaukee Lutheran, 51-45, in the North Shore Conference opener for both teams.

“I was really proud of our half-court defense,” said Port coach John Bunyan, whose squad committed only seven fouls despite hounding the Red Knights at every turn.

“We did a good job of keeping them in front of us. We wanted to take away their penetration, and we did that.”

Lutheran averaged 97.5 points per game in wins over two overmatched nonconference foes to open the season. However, the Red Knights never got their fast-break offense in gear against Port, which slowed the tempo, controlled the interior and harassed their outside shooters.

The Pirates, who improved to 5-1 overall, were unable to pull away comfortably but never trailed after the first quarter. They took a 23-17 lead into halftime and stretched the margin to as many as nine points in the third period before holding off a late Lutheran charge.

Guard Joey Burbach scored eight of his team-high 15 points in the second quarter, which ended with an 8-2 Port run.

Burbach hit a pair of free throws to give the Pirates their biggest lead, 36-27, with two minutes left in the third period. Remarkably, Lutheran failed to make a free throw in the first three quarter, missing their only two attempts.

Aided by three Port turnovers early in the final period, the Red Knights pulled within 45-43 on a basket by Will Taylor with 57 seconds to play.

But the Pirates regained their poise and hit six straight free throws, four by guard Sawyer Mosley, in the remaining time.

By contrast, the Red Knights got to the line six times in the fourth quarter but missed half their attempts.

“We knew that (Lutheran) wanted to pick up the tempo and push the ball,” Bunyan said. “They have some good athletes, and we had to try and take that part of their game away.”

Erik Hulman, a senior forward, scored a game-high 17 points for Lutheran, which also got 13 from Taylor, a senior guard. However, none of their teammates had more than four points.

One of the defensive focal points for Port, which was charged with just eight fouls, was holding high-scoring Mike Bahr in check. The senior finished with only three points, on a basket in the fourth quarter.  

Balanced scoring continued to be a weapon for the Pirates, who won their third straight game. Besides Burbach’s effort, they got 12 points from Mosley and eight apiece from front-line players Kyle Rismeyer and Zach Hauser.

Port began last week with a 50-42 nonconference win over Ozaukee on Dec. 6 (see related story).

This week, the Pirates continued NSC play against Homestead on Tuesday and will face Nicolet on the road Friday. On Dec. 20, Port will host Whitefish Bay.

All games start at 7:30 p.m.

 
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