Parker boys basketball banking on seniors
Wins were hard to come by last season for Janesville Parker’s boys basketball team.
The Vikings won only four games all season, including one Big Eight Conference game.
Parker, however, ended the season by taking Janesville Craig down to the wire before losing in its regular-season finale and upset Kenosha Bradford in its playoff opener.
With three starters returning and bolstered by an athletic senior class, coach Ryan Masterson is optimistic the Vikings can put the past behind them.
“Our conference is a senior-dominated league, and we’ve got a good group of seniors,” Masterson said. “Once Mitch (Treinen) comes back from his injury, we’ll have four seniors in the starting lineup. And in this league, you can’t beat experience.
“We’ve still got some areas of concern—especially rebounding with our lack of a true big man—but I like the effort I’ve seen thus far.”
Adam Thompson is back at point guard, and Masterson expects big things from his senior. Thompson battled injuries and illness a year ago, but is back to 100 percent heading into Friday’s season-opener at home against Delavan-Delavan.
“Adam can score and has an uncanny ability to get to the basket,” Masterson said. “I’ve noticed a real maturity in his game since last year. He understands that he has to let the game come to him and has taken on a much bigger leadership role, which is exactly what you need from your point guard.”
Parker’s other two returning starters are seniors Cullen Osmond (6-3) and J.J Scott (6-2).
“Cullen is as good of an athlete as you’ll see in our conference,” Masterson said. “He handles the ball well and has a good shot. The key for him is to keep his emotions in check. We want him to play hard and get after it but we need him on the floor. He doesn’t do us any good on the bench.
“And J.J. is going to surprise a lot of people. He’s as explosive of a player as I’ve ever had. But he has to do it for us on both ends of the court. We need him just as much defensively as we do on the offensive end.”
The 6-1 Treinen is a two-year letterwinner but will likely miss the first two weeks with a torn ligament in his elbow suffered during the football season.
Connor Osmond, a 6-4 junior and Cullen’s younger brother, will likely start the opener. Junior Travis Shepler (6-2) or senior Devonte Scott (6-3)—no relation to J.J.—are battling for the final starting spot.
“My biggest concerns besides rebounding are defending the post and our inexperience off the bench,” Masterson said. “That’s why we our starters have to stay out of foul trouble.”
Junior Zach Bailey (6-1), senior Mitch Benway (6-1) and senior Sam McGrath (6-6) will be the team’s top reserves.
(7:30 p.m. starting times unless indicated)
November: 22—Delavan-Darien; 26—Janesville Craig.
December: 3—Madison La Follette; 6—At Madison Memorial; 12—Middleton; 14—At Beloit Memorial; 17—At Monroe; 20—At Madison East; 21—At Beaver Dam, 7 p.m.
January: 7—Sun Prairie; 10—At Verona; 14—At Janesville Craig; 17—At Madison La Follette; 25—At Middleton, 2:45 p.m.; 28—Madison Memorial; 31—Beloit Memorial.
February: At Waukesha South, 7 p.m.; 7—Madison East; 13—At Madison West; 15—Verona; 18—Madison West; 22—At Sun Prairie.