Port boys win holiday tournament

Slower pace on longer court does the trick on trip to South Carolina

PORT WASHINGTON’S JACOB LIPPE was a force on the boards in a holiday tournament in South Carolina. Photo by Mitch Maersch
Ozaukee Press staff

Port Washington boys’ basketball coach Brian Hebein wasn’t exactly sure what he got his team into when he they got to South Carolina for a tournament.

Every school they played had more than 1,400 students, nearly double the size of Port. And the court was 94 feet long, 10 feet longer than those in Wisconsin, “that we had no clue was going to be the case.”

But the Pirates came to play.

They won their first game over Lugoff-Elgin, S.C., 54-44, last Thursday. Senior point guard Adam Baierl scored 20 points. Evan Lilly scored 11 and Nolan Mueller added 10. The Pirates went 12-for-15 at the free-throw line, including Baierl’s 6-for-7.

They won their second game over the host, Chapin, 50-39, on Friday. They jumped out to a 30-19 halftime lead and hung on. Baierl scored 16, and Tamai McKoy-Jackson had 11. Lilly had eight and Noah Melka seven. The Pirates went 16-for-22 on free throws. Baierl was 8-for-9.

In the title game of the eight-team Claw Classic, the Pirates topped Brooklyn-Cayce, S.C., 53-42, on Saturday. They took a 25-19 lead at halftime and outscored their opponent by another five points in the second half.

Baierl scored 17 points. Lilly added 13, and Mueller 11. Baierl went 7-for-10 at the free-throw line and totaled 21-for-26 for the tournament.

Baierl was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

“He just really controlled the pace, controlled the whole game,” Hebein said.

Baierl had his work cut out for him.

“It was an interesting tournament because most teams wanted to play super fast, go for steals and pressure you. We handled it pretty well,” Hebein said.

Mueller and Lilly joined Baierl on the all-tournament team.

The Pirates shot 39-for-54 on free throws in the tournament, a 72% clip.

In the opener, the Pirates adjusted to the longer court and tightened up their defense.

“We played solid, man-to-man, half-court defense. We were very sound fundamentally, kind of made them struggle in the half court,” Hebein said.

In the title game, Marcus Schmit made a shot while being fouled late in the game that was a huge play, Hebein said.

We got great minutes from a bunch of different guys who stepped up. Jake Lippe was fantastic rebounding for us,” he said.

“Noah Melke played some great minutes, hit some shots, played great defense when Jake got in foul trouble.  Tamai was solid, Brandon Kelling came off the bench and gave us good energy.”

Given the longer court, “that was where it was huge to have guys coming off the bench and give us good solid minutes,” Hebein said. “Every kid that was down there got a chance to get in and get some minutes.”

Beyond what they did on the court, the team took a tour of South Carolina University when it was 72 degrees.

“Guys were just loving that,” Hebein said.

The Pirates even got to interact with international players. Chapin held a pizza party that included a team from Australia.

The Pirates had plenty of time to bond with each other as well.

“When you spend 15 hours on a bus going down and three straight days of staying in a hotel room and team meals, and another 15 hours driving back, you get pretty close, obviously,” Hebein said.

“I think the guys had a great time. I’m hoping that this will carry over into conference play in the new year.”

The Pirates, 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the North Shore Conference, host West Bend West (0-6 NSC) at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8.

In the doubleheader at West Bend East on Dec. 21 that served as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Port raised $1,040 and East raised $1,818.



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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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