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.
Written by STEVE OSTERMANN
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 18:52
Event victories brighten outlooks for Grafton, Port swimmers despite modest team finishes in NSC relays
Early in last Friday’s North Shore Conference relays, the Grafton boys’ swimming and diving team found itself hanging tough with heavy favorites.
The host Black Hawks even led the field after five events in the annual meet, which is typically dominated by powers such as Cedarburg, Homestead and Whitefish Bay.
Although Grafton’s early surge — which included two first-place finishes — faded, it didn’t diminish a strong overall effort.PORT WASHINGTON’S Phil Mehre raced to first place in the 100-yard butterfly during a meet against Homestead last week. Photo by Sam Arendt
“It was a good meet for us. I saw some nice improvements from swimmers,” said Hawks coach Mark Minz, whose squad ended up fifth in the seven-team competition.
“We had some disqualifications and scratches that hurt us, but the kids who swam did very well.”
Cedarburg dominated the meet with a first-place score of 83 points, well ahead of runner-up Bay, which had 58.
Homestead was third with 56 points, followed by Nicolet (51), Grafton (47), Port Washington (43) and Milwaukee Lutheran (16).
The Hawks’ winning efforts came from the 200-yard freestyle team of Ben Gosselin, Kieran Paddock, Al Nennig and Brad Kempka (1 minute, 34.7 seconds) and 400 individual medley team of Haddock, Ben Stewart, Kempka and Nennig (4:11.77).
Placing second for Grafton were the 100 medley team of Gosselin, Brett Rasmussen, Justen Hilgart and Ben Helm (56.44) and 300 backstroke team of Kempka, Gosselin, Tyler Kish and Nennig (2:57.96).
“We did well for our first big meet of the season,” said Minz, who had to shuffle his lineup just before the meet when one of his swimmers was unable to participate.
“It was good to see them swim well in front of the home crowd.”
Like Grafton, Port made the most of a lineup that lacked the depth to stay with the front-running teams.
The Pirates were paced by a first-place finish from the 200 medley team of J.B. Nosko, Blaze Nalezinski, Alex Mehre and Connor LaCosse (1:55.24).
Taking third for Port were the 300 butterfly team of Mehre, Christian LaCosse, Stephen Nosko and J.B. Nosko (3:10.5); 800 freestyle team of Connor LaCosse, Guy Biondi, Perry Schaefer and J.B. Nosko (8:23.05); and 400 freestyle team of Schaefer, Stephen Nosko, Biondi and Connor LaCosse (3:49.63).
“I was pretty pleased with most of our swimmers, especially the more experienced guys,” Port coach Steve Schiessl said.
“Our new kids are also making some progress and showing they have some possibilities.”
Schiessl praised the performance of J.B. Nosko, a freshman who has gotten off to a strong start in his first varsity season.
“He’s pretty versatile and has done well in the butterfly and individual medley,” Schiessl said. “His best events are probably the longer ones, like the 200 IM and 500 free.”
Port and Grafton might have finished higher in the meet standings, but each had two relays disqualified.
The Pirates’ next outings will be 6 p.m. dual meets at Nicolet this Friday and at Kiel on Dec. 20.
This week, Grafton will travel to Homestead for a 6 p.m. dual meet Thursday and participate in the Elkhorn Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday.
On Dec. 20, the Hawks host West Bend East at 6 p.m.
Homestead 101, Port Washington 82
J.B. Nosko won two events to help keep the host Pirates close in a conference dual meet Dec. 6.
He placed first in the 200-yard freestyle (2:06.29) and 500 freestyle (5:31.68).
Port’s other wins came from Mehre in the 100 butterfly (1:02.64) and Tyler Phillips in diving (121.1 points).
The Pirates’ individual second-place efforts came from Perry Schaefer in the 200 freestyle (2:07.34) and 100 freestyle (55.79), Connor LaCosse in the 50 freestyle (24.93) and 500 freestyle (5:42.75), Mehre in the 200 individual medley (2:25.71), Callum Toal in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.38) and Josh Schaefer in diving (109.5 points).