Parker wins game of wild runs

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John Barry
Friday, February 28, 2014

JANESVILLE--The postseason can’t get here soon enough for Janesville Parker’s girls basketball team.

Not after what happened here Thursday night.

Parker gave up 27 straight points to Madison La Follette in the third quarter—and still won its regular-season finale.

The Vikings responded with a 20-0 run of their own in the fourth quarter and pulled away for a 58-44 Big Eight Conference win.

Parker moved back to the .500 mark for the season at 11-11 and gained some much-needed confidence heading into tournament play.

“You stick around long enough, you see anything,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said of the bizarre second half that had Parker leading 32-10 at one point before La Follette ran off 27 straight to take a 37-32 lead. “But give La Follette credit. They were lights out in that third quarter.

“And for us, I got a feeling I’m going to see some pretty happy faces in our locker room. This was a big win for us going into the tournament because we overcame some adversity and found a way.”

Parker appeared ready to run La Follette (11-11, 11-7) out of the gym when Morgan McCulloch scored the first basket of the second half to make it 32-10. The Vikings didn’t score again until Paige Smith scored 10 seconds into the fourth quarter in cutting the Lancers’ lead to three.

La Follette was 2-for-22 shooting in the first half but came alive in the third. The Lancers hit 11 of 14 shots in the third, including four consecutive 3-pointers.

Trailing by five after three, Parker fell behind by six on Amelia Grahn’s 3-pointer with 7:29 left before unloading on the Lancers with its 20-0 run. Sophomore Bree Porter gave Parker the lead for good at 42-40 on a three-point play with 5:59 left as the fun was just beginning for the Vikes.

Kaitlyn Foster’s free throw with 1:29 left pushed the lead to 10, and Smith capped off the incredible run with two free throws with 1:23 left to play that made it 54-40.

“I thought that our kids really composed themselves because it would’ve been so easy to pack it in when La Follette made their run,” Klawitter said.

“And the first half, I thought we played some pretty good basketball. When a team gets hot like they did in the third quarter, there’s not much you can do but hopefully weather the storm.”

Parker opens up WIAA Division 1 tournament play next Friday, March 7 at Kenosha Tremper.

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