In a game that will likely have major WIAA D2 sectional seeding ramifications, the Whitefish Bay boys basketball team took a 9-0 lead on host Messmer and never looked back in earning a 61-39 victory Saturday afternoon.
"That's a tough team and the score is not indicative of how tough this game was," said Blue Duke coach Kevin Lazovik. "We were able to get stops when we needed them and we've been encouraging the kids to share the ball and they've bought in.
"When you share the ball good things tend to happen."
With the victory, the Blue Dukes improved to 15-5 overall and ran their winning streak to five games. Meanwhile, the Bishops saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end as they fell to 16-3.
Both are in the same WIAA sectional bracket.
Bay took early control hitting six of its first eight shots from the field building a 14-3 lead in the process. The Bishops stiffened defensively in the last three minutes of the quarter and closed the gap to 14-7.
The game got interesting in the second quarter as despite hitting their first four shots from the field in the session, Bay could not shake Messmer.
The Bishops closed the deficit to three points on three different occasions in the period, the last time on two free throws from forward Jonathan Carson at the 4:18 mark.
It was 22-19 at that point, but Messmer would not score again in the half against the stingy Bay defense, as a fastbreak hoop from Blue Duke guard Isaiah Johnson and a three-point from backcourt mate Miles Sigh, made it 27-19 at the half.
After Bay scored the first four points of the third quarter to make it 31-19, the lead never dropped below 10.
Again the Blue Duke 2-3 zone defense, powered by 6-7 Christian Lane and 6-6 Joe Sherburne, made the lead hold up. The final marked the third game in a row and the fourth time in five games where Bay has held an opponent to 40 or fewer points.
Sigh led all scorers with 20 points and got back-up from Johnson with 13, Jake Casey with 10 and Sherburne with nine. Dallas Polk-Hilliard and Carson had 11 points apiece and Raymund Pierce 10 for Messmer.
WIAA seeding meetings are next weekend and Lazovik knows this win will help.
"They're a tough team and we beat a quality opponent today," he said. "When you go into these (seeding) meetings you want the best resume' possible."