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Nothing pretty, but Pirates aren’t complaining PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 18:04
A LOOSE BALL in a hard-fought North Shore Conference game last Friday sparked a scramble between Grafton’s C.J. Koehler and Port Washington’s Sawyer Mosley (left) and Joey Burbach.
                                                        Photo by Sam Arendt

Kennedy’s 3-pointer rescues Port boys from upset-minded Grafton in error-filled tussle


It’s not often a basketball team can miss 10 fourth-quarter free throws and still end up smiling about a one-point victory.


Number the Port Washington boys’ squad among the chosen few.

Surviving a hard-fought but ragged game marred by turnovers and errant shots, the Pirates outlasted upset-minded Grafton, 47-46, in North Shore Conference play last Friday.

Shane Kennedy’s three-point basket with 46 seconds left rescued Port, which trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half before launching a slow, steady rally that persisted through a few detours.

Host Grafton, which appeared headed for its first conference win since 2007, led most of the way before faltering in the closing minutes. However, the Black Hawks still held a 46-44 edge on a basket by Scotty Tyler with 1:30 to play.

After taking a timeout, Port ran the clock down before Kennedy got the ball at the top of the key. When the Hawks’ defense sagged off him, the senior forward launched a shot from behind the arc that swished.

“We were trying to run a pick-and-roll set, and (Grafton) doubled down on it, which left me open,” said Kennedy, who scored 10 of his team-high 12 points in the second half.

“It wasn’t something I was looking for, but I knew I could take it if it was there.”

In the frantic seconds that remained, Grafton missed a shot and turned the ball over on two possessions. However, Port kept the door open when Kennedy and Luke Schueller each missed a pair of free throws.

After grabbing a rebound on the Pirates’ last miss, the Hawks raced up court and got the ball to forward Ryan Hartwig, whose shot from the left corner bounced off the rim with two seconds left. When the ball was deflected out of bounds, the Pirates regained possession and ran out the clock.

The Pirates survived despite shooting just 54% at the free-throw line (14 of 26) for the game, including an 8-for-18 effort in the final period.

Port coach John Bunyan, whose team improved its NSC record to 4-3, was impressed with Grafton’s determined effort. But he was also happy to see the Pirates fight back after a poor first half in which they trailed, 21-17, after committing 15 turnovers.

“We were really struggling offensively and didn’t get anything going until the third quarter,” Bunyan said. “Grafton hit some big shots, and we were careless with the ball.

“But we found a way to pull it out at the end.”

The Hawks, who fell to 0-6 in the conference, put the heat on Port when they scored the first eight points of the third quarter to go up, 29-17. Hartwig and Tyler, who led both teams with 13 points, each hit three-point baskets during the run.

The Pirates answered with a 12-3 flurry of their own before the end of the third period. Guard Marcus Lackovic’s three-point basket in the closing seconds cut Grafton’s lead to 32-29 heading into the final eight minutes.

The Hawks rebuilt the margin to 43-36 midway through the fourth quarter. But Schueller scored four points during a Port rally capped by a Kyle Rismeyer tip-in that tied the game at 44-44 with 1:50 left.

“We were in control and let it get away,” Grafton coach Kevin McKenna said. “We played hard, but we didn’t make free throws and didn’t protect the ball.”

McKenna was pleased with his team’s defense in the first half, when it used a zone anchored by the 6-foot-5-inch Tyler and 6-8 Jon Adamaitis to control the interior.

“Our size bothered Port, and we were able to take Kennedy out of the game,” he said. “But we also got in foul trouble, which screwed up our player rotation. We had to change things, and that helped Port get back in the game.”

The Hawks shot 58% at the foul line (11 of 19), with seven of their misses coming in the second half.

Jake Wilde scored 12 points for Grafton, including seven in the fourth quarter.

Sawyer Mosley had 11 points for Port, and Rismeyer and Joey Burbach added eight and seven, respectively.

The Pirates’ win was their third in the last four games and sets the stage for a 7:30 p.m. rematch with conference leader Germantown this Friday in Port. The same night, Grafton will host Homestead at 7 p.m.

On Feb. 1, the Hawks will travel to Cedarburg for a 7:30 p.m. game as part of a coed varsity doubleheader. Port will host Nicolet at the same time.

 
Balancing act keeps Ozaukee boys in chase for CLC title PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Debbie Hamm   
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 18:10

Shared scoring, defense help Warriors jump into 2nd place in league race

Balance continues to be a key to success for the Ozaukee boys’ basketball team.

Sharing the scoring load and helping each other on defense allowed the Warriors to post two wins last week, including a 64-55 victory in a high-profile
Central Lakeshore Conference game against Sheboygan Lutheran on Jan. 13.

Ozaukee emerged on top even though Lutheran got 36 points from standout Sam Dekker, who is being heavily recruited by several college programs, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

While Dekker scored more than half of his team’s points, the Warriors had three players score in double figures, led by Patrick Kroening with 24.

“We played a great game,” said Ozaukee coach Isaiah Ketterhagen, whose team improved to 8-1 in CLC play, good for second place, and 10-2 overall.

“We controlled the whole game except for about three to four minutes in the first quarter. Other than that, we were able to do what we wanted, and we attacked their pressure when they increased it.”

The Warriors trailed, 17-16, after one quarter but used a 21-9 run in the second period to build an 11-point lead by halftime.

After taking a 47-32 lead into the fourth quarter, Ozaukee withstood a late rally by Lutheran, which fell to 7-1 in the conference.

“I thought it got a little sloppy at the end with us not taking care of the ball, but you have to figure that Lutheran was playing desperate,” Ketterhagen said.

Besides Kroening’s big game, the Warriors got 18 points from Alex Janke and 10 from Stephen Street.

“Patrick and Alex played very, very well offensively for us, while Stephen and Eric (Hartnett) really picked up the defensive end and boards,” Ketterhagen said.

“Although Sam Dekker scored 36, I thought Stephen did a great job making him work for them.”

Hartnett had eight points and nine rebounds, and Street added eight rebounds.

The Warriors had more to contend with than the Crusaders.

“I also thought we handled the intangibles very well,” Ketterhagen said. “They celebrated Sam’s 1,000-point career mark before the tip, it was a packed crowd at an away gym, a lot of press was there, and (UW coach) Bo Ryan was there to watch Sam.”

Other than Dekker, no Lutheran player scored more than six points.

Ozaukee 52, Campbellsport 45

After trailing by two points at halftime, the Warriors used a big third quarter to take charge in a nonconference road win Jan. 11.

Ozaukee outscored the Cougars, 12-2, in the third period and never trailed again.

Kroening scored 18 points, including a trio of three-point baskets, and had three assists and three blocks. Janke scored 12 points, and Street had seven
points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

The Warriors continued conference play Tuesday against Sheboygan Christian and will travel to Oostburg on Jan. 25 for a 7:30 p.m. showdown against
the first-place Flying Dutchmen.

 
Tough defeat, hard lesson PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Steve Ostermann   
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 17:44

PORT GIRLS’ COACH Brian Johnson tried to rally his team in the closing minutes of a North Shore Conference loss to Homestead last Friday.                           Photo by Sam Arendt

Port girls try to regroup after 4th-quarter nightmare leads to double-overtime loss

Sometimes nightmares rear their ugly heads at the most unexpected times.

Just ask the Port Washington girls’ basketball team, which saw a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead evaporate in a 52-44, double-overtime loss to Homestead last Friday.

“It kind of came out of left field. We hit a wall,” Port coach Brian Johnson said of Homestead’s stunning comeback.

“They got on a roll, and a lot of things went well for them. Not a lot went well for us.”

The host Pirates appeared to be firmly in control of the North Shore Conference game when they took a 29-14 lead into the final eight minutes of regulation.

To that point, they had outshot, outrebounded and generally outhustled Homestead, which failed to score for the first seven minutes of the game and made only five floor shots through three quarters.

But the Highlanders still had life, thanks to Hannah Young. The 5-foot-11-inch junior, who scored all of her team’s eight points in the first half, caught fire down the stretch.

She tossed in 15 points in the fourth quarter, sinking a trio of three-point shots, as Homestead outscored Port, 23-8, to force overtime.

TIGHT DEFENSE helped Homestead overcome a 15-point, fourth-quarter deficit in Friday’s win over Port Washington.
      Photo by Sam Arendt
The Pirates held a 37-35 lead in the final minute, but Young hit a pair of free throws with 15 seconds left to tie the score. She finished the night with 26 points, including a 5-for-6 effort at the foul line.

“Young got hot, and we had some communication breakdowns on defense,” Johnson said. “We should have done a better job on her.”

In the first overtime, Homestead continued its roll and grabbed a 42-39 lead. However, Mikayla Hilton rescued Port with a three-point basket with 1:18 left, and the game moved into a second extra session.

In the final overtime, the Highlanders ended the suspense by scoring the last eight points. A three-point play by Karley Marotta off a layup put them ahead for good, 47-44.

The rally gave Homestead its first conference win in six tries and dropped Port to 2-4. It also left the Pirates contemplating what should have been.

“When you have a lead like that and the other team is starting to come back, you sometimes start playing not to lose instead of to win,” Johnson said.

“We stopped doing all the things that got us the lead, like rebounding and playing defense.”

Overshadowed by the Highlanders’ frantic rally was a well-balanced Port offensive effort. Although none of the Pirates scored in double figures, they got
nine points from Hilton, a sophomore forward, and eight apiece by Marly Trier and Kelsey Steffen.

Despite the frustration of having a win slip away, Johnson said his team should benefit in the long term from a learning experience.

“We’re going to learn from this and be a better team because of it,” he said. “If any group can handle it, these girls can.”

Port (5-5 overall) will try to rebound this Friday when it travels to Grafton for a conference game as part of coed varsity doubleheader. The 5:45 p.m. girls’ contest will be followed by the boys’ game at 7:30 p.m.

 
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