DE PERE — Kyle Monroe put the Ashwaubenon boys basketball team on his back in the second half Tuesday.
The 6-foot-5 senior also put the Jaguars back into the thick of the Fox River Classic Conference race by doing so.
Monroe scored a game-high 37 points to help Ashwaubenon pull out a 64-62 victory at De Pere.
“He’s our guy, and we don’t trade him for anybody,” Ashwaubenon coach John Miron said of Monroe. “He’s been in a lot of big games, and I think he had the look in his eye tonight. He showed what he’s all about.”
It was the Jaguars’ first victory against De Pere (9-3, 6-1) since 2008 and ends a seven-game losing streak to the Redbirds. But more importantly, it marked De Pere’s first conference loss this season and kept Ashwaubenon (7-4, 4-2) from falling three games behind in the standings, which now have Bay Port alone at the top as the lone unbeaten in FRCC play.
Brevin Pritzl was able to tip away an Ashwaubenon inbounds pass at the end of the game, but missed a contested shot under the basket as time expired.
The University of Wisconsin recruit had 33 points to lead De Pere, which led 28-19 at the half before Monroe exploded for 28 points over the final 16 minutes of play.
At right, Ashwaubenon’s Kyle Monroe (11) pulls down a rebound against De Pere in the first quarter during Tuesday night’s boys basketball game at De Pere High School. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
“Coach really gave us a nice halftime talk,” said Monroe, who was 12-for-13 from the free-throw line. “He didn’t get on us at all. He knew we were giving it our all out there. The first half we just missed some shots and had some lazy turnovers. He knew it would come from us, and we just gave it everything we had and got the finish.”
Monroe, who shot 10-for-16 from the field, totaled five 3-pointers, including three in the third quarter.
The Michigan Tech recruit ended the frame by making one from the right wing while being fouled by Pritzl. Monroe’s four-point play gave the Jaguars a 42-41 lead, which was the first time they had the advantage since the first quarter.
“They got him the ball,” De Pere coach Brian Winchester said. “He got loose on us. I think at one point he had four and-1s in a row. He filled up the scoreboard that was for sure.”
Ashwaubenon built its lead to eight points late in the game before the Redbirds rallied from being seven points down in the final minute.
Pritzl played most of the final quarter with three fouls and picked up his fourth with 2 minutes, 36 seconds remaining.
No other player in the game scored in double figures besides Pritzl and Monroe. The two standouts were playing each other for the final time in their decorated high school careers.
Pritzl is trying to lead his team to a sixth straight conference title, while Monroe is attempting to get his team to win a share of one for a second consecutive season.
“That was just two really good players making plays for their teams that needed to be made at the time,” Winchester said.
Ashwaubenon … 11 8 23 22 — 64
De Pere … 12 16 13 21 — 62
A: Wittig 7, Wisneski 5, Monroe 37, Morgan 7, Imig 8. 3-pt: Wittig 1, Monroe 5. FT: 20-24. F: 14.
DP: Barthels 5, Beyer 7, Rabas 9, Vopal 2, Huddleston 6, Pritzl 33. 3-pt: Beyer 1, Rabas 1, Pritzl 2. FT: 14-17. F: 21.