DE PERE - Morgan Anderson has been known as a sharpshooter most of her high school career, but this season Anderson hasn't always been on the mark from beyond the arc.
Thursday night, however, Anderson was back to her old self again and it couldn't have come at a better time. With Bay Port visiting De Pere and first place at stake in the Fox River Classic Conference girls basketball standings, Anderson showed why she has been regarded as a top-level shooter.
The De Pere senior buried all six of her 3-point attempts en route to a career-high 24 points as De Pere extended its winning streak to 34 games as it defeated Bay Port, 57-38, in a battle of perfect teams in FRCC play.
"I have kind of been struggling with my shot all season and tonight I figured it out," Anderson said.
Umm, yeah, she did. Anderson, who will play next season at Michigan Tech, scored 11 first-quarter points, including hitting three 3-pointers. Like any shooter, she said if that first shot goes in it can be a good night and it was.
Anderson's start got her team going as the Redbirds opened a 15-7 first-quarter lead.
"Not only did that jump start our team, it jump-started her," De Pere coach Kelly McNiff said. "She has struggled a little bit from the outside. She's attacked the basket, but she knocked down some outside shots and everybody kind of feeds off that."
De Pere, ranked No. 1 in the FOX 11 Top 11 girls basketball poll, had a cushion but Chelsea Nooker was making sure the Redbirds wouldn't be comfortable. Nooker, who will play next year at St. Cloud State, scored eight second-quarter points as No. 3 Bay Port trailed just 25-23 at halftime.
That was as good as it would get for the Pirates, however. Anderson opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and added three assists as De Pere opened with an 11-2 run to lead 36-25 with 3 minutes, 39 seconds left in the third quarter.
"We always talk at halftime that the first three minutes are the most important in the second half so we came out and gave it our all," said Anderson, who had a career-high nine assists.
Added McNiff: "We talked about taking the momentum back. The first three minutes of the second half are the ball game and our kids took that to heart."
What De Pere also took to heart was defense. The Pirates have one of the best 1-2 punches in the area in Nooker and junior Claire Jordan and De Pere knew shutting both down wasn't possible, so th Redbirds concentrated on Jordan.
"We talked about Claire Jordan being the difference," McNiff said. "Chelsea's such a good player we're not going to slow her down. Claire Jordan's been the difference in a lot of big games this year, so she was our focus."
Nooker scored 17 points and played her usual good floor game but Jordan was stopped, not contained. Jordan, who has scored as many as 28 points in a game this season, was scoreless in the first half and totaled four points in the second half.
"Our goal was to shut down their main players, Claire and Chelsea," said Anderson. "I know Chelsea still had a good game. We took out all their other role players. We talked, we had help defense. They are very good shooters, so we always had a hand up in their face."
"We played overall just a great game, great defense. We held Claire Jordan to just four points which is amazing. I'm very proud of my team."
The Redbirds finished a 6-game, 13-day stretch and the winning streak is now at 34 games. While it is an impressive streak, it's not the focus of the team.
"We don't talk about it," McNiff said. "It's one game at a time. The ultimate goal is to repeat as conference champs and make it back to state."
- 3-pointers: Kayla Dawson added 14 points and nine rebounds for De Pere. ... This was the only regular-season meeting between De Pere and Bay Port, but they are in the same sectional. ... Kayla Kolar came off the bench to score eight points for the Pirates.
- Game ball: Anderson, who shot down Bay Port.
- Numbers game: 6 Made 3-pointers in 6 attempts for Anderson.
DE PERE 57, BAY PORT 38
Bay Port.....7 16 7 8 — 38
De Pere....15 10 22 10 — 57
Bay Port (11-2, 7-1): Chelsea Nooker 17, Gabrielle Grambsch 3, Kayla Kolar 8, Claire Jordan 4, Bobbi Blau 3, Hannah Meyer 3. 3-pointers: 2 (Nooker 1, Meyer 1). Totals: 13 10-12 38.
De Pere (14-0, 9-0): Morgan Anderson 24, Kayla Dawson 14, Paige Mushinski 4, Claire Emmerich 8, Jessie Rabas 2, Bailey Ryan 5. 3-pointers: 7 (Anderson 6, Ryan 1). Totals: 20 10-16 57.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
After almost 80 years, a piece of naval history is on its way home. A model of the Japanese luxury liner Hikawa Maru is being packed up in Manitowoc and returned to Japan.
Visitors to Green Bay's Neville Public Museum will soon see hours slashed. The county-owned attraction is cutting access starting the first of the year.
An 11-foot-long model of the Japanese passenger liner Hikawa Maru is being sent back to Japan after 34 years at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.
Area volunteers are making a difference in the community this holiday season. At this time of the year, many people are looking for ways to help their neighbors. The Salvation Army is one of the many places where you can do just that.
For the second year in a row, St. Norbert College could house overflow of homeless people from the St. John the Evangelist shelter in Green Bay.
A memorial fund has been created for a Grand Chute firefighter killed in a weekend car crash.