Under longtime coach Tom Klawitter, the Vikings were nearly unbeatable in their own gym.
That magic disappeared in 2011-12 as Parker’s season came to an end Friday night with another disappointing home loss.
Karina Reeves scored 15 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 1:38 left to play, to lift Lake Geneva Badger to a 42-41 win over Parker in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal.
Badger (16-7), the Southern Lakes Conference champion, plays at Franklin (16-7) at 4 p.m. today.
Parker finished 15-8, including an uncharacteristic 6-5 at home.
“Unfortunately, we just didn’t play very well at home this year,” Klawitter said. “We probably just should’ve said we’d go over to Badger and play because our record at home was just lousy.
“We had too many lapses on defense, and they hit shots that made a difference down the stretch.”
Despite struggling offensively the entire game, Parker had a chance to win at the end.
Badger’s Taylar Keenan, who hit a big three-pointer to tie the game at 38-38 with 4:09 to play, missed a free throw with 12 seconds left and Badger leading 42-41. Parker rebounded the miss and eventually got the ball to midcourt where Klawitter called timeout with 4.4 seconds left.
Dani Fugate inbounded the ball for Parker, got a return pass and launched a deep three from the left corner with the clock winding down. The shot looked good out of Fugate’s hands, but bounced off the back of the rim and floated helplessly out of bounds as time expired.
“Maybe we should’ve drew something up to go to the basket at the end, but I thought we got a good look and it was in,” Klawitter said of Fugate’s shot. “But then again, we
didn’t give ourselves enough time at the end because we didn’t foul anybody when we needed to.”
Fugate missed a free throw with 41 seconds left and Parker trailing by one, but the Vikings wasted 29 seconds before they fouled Keenan.
Badger coach David Jooss said his team’s resiliency has been key all season.
“We knew it was going to be tough coming in here,” Jooss said. “Parker has more tradition than any other program in the state.
“I like how our girls battled, and we knew in a game like this, it was probably going to come down to the last shot. And we were able to make that last shot.”
Fugate tied the game at
41-41 with 1:53 left, but Reeves’ free throw with 1:38 left was the only point scored after that. Parker missed four of five free throws in the fourth after making its first eight. The Vikings also squandered numerous scoring chances by not capitalizing on easy looks under the basket.
Lana Wieseman added 13 points for Badger, while junior Ashley Hartwig led Parker with 11.
“I feel bad for our seniors because this is a lousy way to go out,” Klawitter said. “For the underclassmen, I hope they learn from this because it should hurt.”
BADGER 42, PARKER 41
Badger (42)—Kopp, 3-0-8; Keenan, 1-0-3; Reeves, 4-5-15; Wieseman, 5-3-13; Sproul, 1-1-3. Totals: 14-9-42.
Parker (41)—McDonald, 1-0-3; Fugate, 4-0-8; Dement, 1-2-5; Hartwig, 3-5-11; McCulloch, 1-2-5; Smith, 1-0-3; Chesebro, 3-0-6. Totals: 14-9-41.
Lake Geneva Badger 11 18 4 9—42
Janesville Parker 14 9 11 7—41
Three-point goals—Badger 5 (Kopp 2, Reeves 2, Keenan), Parker 4 (McCulloch, McDonald, Dement, Smith). Free throws missed—Badger 6, Parker 4. Total fouls—Badger 15, Parker 16.