DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) – Before the Fox River Classic Conference, before private schools participated in the WIAA, and before the modern era of hoops in Wisconsin, the De Pere Boys Basketball team made state history.
On February 23, 1973, De Pere trailed Oconto 70-55 with 1:48 remaining in the Bay Conference Championship Game.
What ensued was described by Green Bay historian Cliff Christl, formerly of the Press-Gazette, as one of the greatest comebacks in basketball history.
Rod Kowalczyk’s team scored 19 unanswered points in that final 1:48, defeating the Blue Devils 74-70 to capture the Bay championship and add to the illustrious legacy of their head coach.
De Pere honored Kowalczyk in a 50th-anniversary commemoration of the comeback last Thursday, recapping the legendary moments in a halftime ceremony of the Redbirds’ 77-47 win over Ashwaubenon.
Kowalczyk, who the court at De Pere is named after, was in attendance and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
Click the video for sights and sounds from the halftime ceremony.