(Editors note: If you are not from Port, this article is lame. If you are from Port but not familiar with the basketball program, this might also be lame. Basically, about 5 people in this world will find this amusing. I am among those 5, so here we go.)
Port boys buckets are at state for the first time since the Herbert Hoover administration, a feat that defiantly requires a game log. Considering all my friends are busy watching the Badgers play some Community College fromTexas, I have nobody to go to the game with. Looks like its on the recliner ladies and gentleman!
It’s the Port Washington Pirates vs. the Wisconsin Dells Chiefs in the Division 2 State semi-finals! I feel a small tingling sensation in my loins!
Port starters: Jon DeBoer, Chris Prom, Mike Burmesch, Cameron Heilman, and Josh Gasser (just a Frosh). Chris Prom looks nothing like sister Nikki. That’s probably a good thing for Nikki considering Chris is a 6’-4” power forward/defensive end. DeBoer does the annoying “jersey snap” while being introduced. I hate that. As they introduce the reserves, #50 has the sweetest pair of goggles ever. Kurt Rambis thinks these are cool.
PW is coached by John Bunyan, Paul’s brother. It’s quite refreshing to see some fresh blood on the sidelines instead of the same recycled Harry Tits (Jerry Pittz), Rollie Kitt or Steve Farnsworth on the bench.
Brad Essleman and Ben Loose used to slam a couple beers before games against good teams (because everyone knew we would lose)…lets hope these guys don’t do the same.
The Dells has a weird mix players: tall, skinny, fat, white, Mexican, Indian…whatever. A virtual smorgasbord of shapes, colors and sizes.
-Here’s the tip, we are underway!
-2:30 in, still no score
-Nice runner by the point guard Burmesh, 2-0 PW.
-3 pointer by Burmesch, it’s 5-2 Burmesch over the Dells.
-Prom “down the boulevard” as Don Prueffer would say, 11-4 Port. Bernie Booth would have air balled this layup.
-The Chiefs try to mix up their defense and switch to a zone. Bad idea. Three straight possessions its pass, pass, pass, layup…just how it should be. Back in the day it was Tim Setzer trying to play “zonebuster” and launching shot after shot 3 steps past half court.
END OF 1ST QUARTER: 17-6 Pirates! Free Jaegerbombs at the Grand Ave!
-The Dells with a quick 8-0 run to start the quarter. Harry Tits would have tossed a metal folding chair at this point.
-Rollie is yelling “run the wheel, run the wheel” even though he’s been running that same damn play for 21 years of coaching, he still thinks it will work.
-A smooth 3-pointer by the 6-4 DeBoer ends the drought. 20-14.
-DeBoer is hamming the boards. He’s making up for his early jersey snap.
-24-14 with 3:30 left in the half. Prom has been quiet this quarter.
-The Dells has some lanky Duany Duany look alike…he just doesn’t shoot like him.
- #32 is all the Chiefs have. His reminds me of Brian Butch…tallest guy on the court, but plays 18 feet from the basket.
-The updated unis for PW are sweet, by the way. Long gone are the size small nut-huggers we had to suffer through freshman year. If you forgot athletic tape, that’s your bad. Those burlap jerseys just shredded your nipples like nothing else.
-PW is attacking the hoop at will. The freshman Gasser is playing well, as is the whole team.
-10 seconds left. Here’s where Coach Ross draws up a play for McManus, making sure it was on the opposite side of the climbing net on the ceiling because of his huge arch in his 3 pointers.
-It’s a big 3 for Burmesch to end the half!!!
END OF THE HALF: Port 33, Dells 17. It’s all-you-can-drink during halftime at Schooners!!
It’s a total team effort as the Pirates are showing quick defense, great passing, 8-8 FTs, 3-6 Three pointers and are out rebounding the Dells 19-9. The Chief’s need to “SQUEEZE THE CHARMAIN,” right coach Loose. Burmesh has 12, Prom 10, and DeBoer 9.
I like the two big guy’s, DeBoer and Prom. They are both big, strong, can pass, rebound and play defense. Pretty much just how I played…except the exact opposite.
To start the half, here’s where we would run the “Schnorkle Play.” We would get on the court before the other team and act like we were going towards the same basket as we did in the first half. Sometimes teams would forget about the changing sides at half time. Thus, they would guard us (on the wrong side) setting up a wide open Brad Essleman dunk. This was always awesome to see someone on our team be the dunker, instead of the dunkee. Unfortunately, Essy would always hang on the rim too long and get a technical foul. So our great play (the only good one Farnsworth ever called) would result in minus points for us. Good times.
-33-19, 6 minutes left.
-Cameron Heilman (Old Style) is Port’s “glue” guy. He always guards the other teams best player, dives on the floor, takes charges, and goes 100% at all times. This guy’s obviously whaled on his pecks once or twice in the old, stinky PWHS weight room (not that I would ever know what the PWHS weight room smelled like). This led to the announcers quote of the night: “…looks like this guy eats dumbbell sandwiches for lunch.” Ha.
-Port is now getting called for breathing on the Chiefs. The HoChunk casino must lose tons of money if PW wins or something.
-Old Style is shutting down Dells’ best player. Then again, how good can he be if his name is Augie?
-35-21 Port. If Farnsworth was coaching the Dells, he would be telling them “5 three pointers and we have the lead.” I’m not kidding.
-The broadcasters mention there is only one guy still kicking from Port’s 1936 championship team: Charlie Schaeffer. Freddy’s brother? Fred was about 102 and still teaching in 1995, so it might be.
END OF THE 3RD QUARTER: 42-29 Port after a crafty Gasser put back of his own miss.
-WD’s only scorer (Butch) just picks up his 4th foul.
-Gasser is making plays, 45-33.
-The Dells D is toughning: 45-36.
-DeBoer is DeMan right now with a solid 10-10 night.
-Prom has been quiet until a couple free throws make it 50-36
-It’s the Josh Gasser show with a layup, monster block, and layup in 3 straight trips. Seriously, this guy has a chance to be the best ballplayer ever to come from Port. Of course, this is like being labeled the “worlds tallest midget” or something like that.
-WHOA!!! Burmesch on a run out with a sweet behind the back pass to Gasser for the layup!! Ryan Riley tried to make that play once…it ended up in the 5th row.
-It’s 54-38 with 3:15 left. It’s all over but the crying.
-Getting sloppy, lots of whistles. NOTHING like the games up at Hill School Park, I tell you.
-Prom’s got the proverbial “good motor.”
-#42 enters the game for Dells. He’s a big, fat, flabby Indian who calmly drains his first 3! Basically, the HoChunk version of Jesse Keller.
-#50 and his goggles are in the ball game!!
It’s garbage time now, the Pirates will advance!!
END OF GAME: PW 62, WD 48
Holy Shit. The Port Washington Pirates have a chance to win a basketball state title!! Go crazy Port, go crazy!!!!
Not to go cliché, but it was a total TEAM effort.
DeBoer: 12 pts, 12 rebounds
Prom: 15 pts
Burmesch: 18 pts, controlled the tempo
Old Style: Shut down the Dell’s main guy
Gasser: 12 pts, 7 assists, 2 steals.
Epilogue: I went to the Kohl Center and watched Port take on Monroe for the state title. A rematch of the 1991 football championship game. Unfortunately, the results were the same. The Cheesemakers took home the gold. Port scrapped, but just didn’t make enough plays in the final minute. DeBoer made a nice post move to tie the game at 52 with 1:00 minute left, but was called for traveling. No basket. It was all over after that. What a run! Again, for those of you not from Port…you just won’t understand how unlikely this title run was. Especially for those who donned the Pirate uniform and routinly lost by 25. Nicolet scored a cool 100 against us my junior year. Good times.