Ball control sends Port to defeats

But the Pirate boys make comebacks in each of their first two games against strong opponents

PORT WASHINGTON’S SETH PEREZ went for style points while passing to a teammate in the Pirates’ home opener and the final game in the school’s old gym. A comeback fell short in a 60-54 loss to Homestead. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press staff

In what could have been blowouts against two quality basketball teams in the North Shore Conference, the Port Washington boys came within seconds of starting the season 2-0 last week.

The Pirates on Friday lost at Whitefish Bay, 62-57.

Only four Pirates scored. Tamai McKoy-Jackson and Nolan Mueller each scored 17 points. Adam Baierl battled through foot and ankle injuries to score 14, and Evan Lilly added nine.

The team was behind by five points, 27-22, at halftime, which was somewhat of a small miracle. The Pirates allowed 14 offensive rebounds and 14 turnovers.

“That’s 28 extra opportunities we gave them. To only be down five going into that second half was crazy,” coach Brian Hebein said.

The second half was a different story.

“We totally cleaned up the rebounding, only gave up two offensive boards,” Hebein said.

The Pirates made another nine turnovers and fell behind by 15 at one point, but never gave up.

“We hit some big shots, ran our offense really well and put some pressure on them,” Hebein said.

“We really cleaned it up in the second half.”

Down by three points late in the game, the Pirates were forced to foul. A Blue Duke missed a free throw, and a Pirate grabbed the rebound.

But in trying to push the tempo, a cross-court pass got deflected, and a Blue Duke snagged the loose ball. The Pirates fouled again, and this time the Blue Dukes made their free throws.

Hebein said he was pleased with his team’s comeback and McKoy-Jackson and Mueller’s shooting. Each had three three-pointers, which are big points since Baierl isn’t 100% yet.

Nine Blue Dukes scored, led by Jayden Jackson’s 11. Ben Abrams, Demetrius Johnson and Harry Grams each had 10.

Old gym closes with loss to Homestead

The Pirates’ season opener was their final game in the old gym, closing out the facility with a 60-54 loss to longtime conference opponent Homestead.

The Highlanders used a big six-minute run at the end of the first half to take a 35-18 lead at the break.

In the second half, the teams exchanged baskets for a while as the Pirates climbed into a 19-point hole.

Then, they got going.

The Pirates came back to within two points of the Highlanders with 35 seconds left.

The Highlanders made one free throw to go up by three, and the Pirates followed with a turnover. They had to foul, and the Highlanders hit enough free throws down the stretch to hang on.

The second 18 minutes were encouraging, Hebein said.

“One thing we did was take care of the basketball better. We started rebounding better, attacked the lane, got to the line and made a lot of good things happen. Great second half,” he said.

McKoy-Jackson led with 23 points, including four three-pointers. Mueller had 11 points and Baierl nine. Jacob Lippe and Seth Perez each had four and Lilly had three.

Declad Ciurlik led the Highlanders with 21 points. Michael Kennedy had 13.

The Pirates were to play at Nicolet on Wednesday, at Cedarburg on Tuesday, Dec. 11, and to host Hartford in their new gym on Friday, Dec. 14.

The gym was built as part of a $49.9 million referendum approved a couple of years ago.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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