PULASKI - The shaving cream pie Cody Wichmann's teammates gave him after the game said it all.
After Pulaski defeated De Pere, 59-51, Friday night in a key Fox River Classic Conference boys basketball game Wichmann was being interviewed when he got a face full.
Wichmann didn't mind, though, because for the first time in his career his team beat the Redbirds and in the process ended De Pere's 31-game winning streak in the FRCC.
"I can't even describe it. We've been playing these guys since third grade or whatever and we never beat them," said Wichmann, who had 17 points. "It feels just amazing right now. We just made shots. It was unbelievable."
The win lifts Pulaski, ranked No. 7 in the FOX 11 Top 11 poll, into a tie for first place in the FRCC with No. 2 De Pere and Sheboygan North, which edged Bay Port (62-61) on Friday night.
"It's huge," Pulaski coach Dave Shaw said of the win. "We talked about at the beginning of the year, the road to the conference championship goes through De Pere. They've won it the last three, four years. We needed to get a win."
Pulaski wasted no time in setting its deliberate tone. The Red Raiders opened an 11-4 first-quarter lead and De Pere didn't score from the field until 2 minutes, 19 seconds were left in the quarter.
"We've been talking about coming out strong and putting the pedal to the metal so we don't have to play from behind and never looked back," said Wichmann, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee recruit.
The Redbirds were 2-for-9 from the field in the opening stanza and it didn't get better. After closing the gap to 11-6 early in the second quarter, Jordan Stiede nailed a 3-pointer on a 17-pass possession. Then two possessions later Pulaski had a 22-pass possession and Jacob Bader scored after he missed the initial shot to give Pulaski a 16-6 cushion.
Those possessions defined what Pulaski wanted to accomplish – work the ball for a good shot and make De Pere play defense … for a long time. As the game progressed De Pere was showing frustration and the bench was whistled for a technical foul.
Pulaski willed its personality on De Pere and the Redbirds couldn't handle it.
"That's demoralizing to a defense to work that long," Shaw said. "Our guys need to hang there and it's important we came through."
Added Wichmann: "It's hard enough to play it, but when we score on it, it's just demoralizing, and then we just go back and play defense."
Pulaski led 25-12 at halftime and never let up as the lead swelled to 21 points. De Pere hit some late 3-pointers to make the score look closer than the game really was.
It didn't matter what the margin was as Pulaski threw its hat into the conference race.
"They're undefeated and we came in and beat them and we're up there on the top of the conference." Wichmann said. "They pretty much had a cakewalk though our conference. We came out and got the ‘W' and it's going to look real good in our seeding meeting for the postseason."
While Wichmann had 17 points, he had help. Luke VanLanen led the Red Raiders with 18 points, while Jordan Stiede added 15. Shaw said his team needed to help its star, Wichmann, to beat De Pere.
"Those are our other two most experienced players on the roster," Shaw said. "We need them to come through and they did tonight."
Also, Jacob Bader added nine points.
"My teammates came out and played a heck of a game," Wichmann said. "We did what we had to do."
- 3-pointers: De Pere was led by Adam Beyer's 17 points, while Mitch Winter added 12 points off the bench (all 3-pointers). … Pulaski was 12-for-12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. … UW-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter attended the game.
- Game ball: VanLanen and Stiede, who provided great scoring punch to held put Wichmann.
- Numbers game: 1 Win for Pulaski's senior class against De Pere.
(7) PULASKI 59, (2) DE PERE 51
De Pere…4 8 14 25 - 51
Pulaski…11 14 16 18 - 59
De Pere (10-2, 7-1): Cooper Mocarski 2, Brett Marshall 2, Adam Beyer 17, Spencer Mocarski 9, Brevin Pritzl 4, Evan Newhouse 2, Mitch Winter 12, Tyus Kowalczyk 3. 3-pointers: 7 (Beyer 1, Winter 4, Kowalczyk 1, S. Mocarski 1) Totals: 16 12-16 51.
Pulaski (10-2, 7-1): Luke VanLanen 18, Cody Wichmann 17, Jacob Bader 9, Jordan Stiede 15. 3-pointers: 5 (Bader 1, Wichmann 1, Stiede 3). Totals: 20 14-15 59.
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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