La Follette beats Parker at the buzzer
JANESVILLE--Cortez McCree played buzzer-beater Tuesday night.
The Madison La Follette senior tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to lift the Lancers to a 52-50 win over Janesville Parker in a Big Eight Conference thriller.
Parker had a chance to pull off the upset against unbeaten La Follette (3-0, 2-0), but a controversial five-second call on the Vikings' Adam Thompson with 13 seconds left set up McCree's heroics.
Thompson was dribbling at the top of the key as the clock wound down, waiting to set up the final play. La Follette's Dre Prather was guarding Thompson, not closely, but evidently close enough that the nearest referee whistled Thompson for the five-second call.
“I didn't see a five-second call at the end, but that's not what beat us,” Parker coach Ryan Masterson said. “Their offensive rebounding hurt us, and we missed couple of free throws in the fourth.
“But I couldn't be any prouder of our effort. Our kids laid it on the line and proved they could play with anybody. Many believe La Follette is going to be one of the better teams in our conference.”
If La Follette is going to contend for a conference title, it will have to play better than it did Tuesday night. The Lancers had 16 turnovers and were 0-for-12 from beyond the arc.
Parker (1-2, 0-2) stayed in the game thanks to a strong second-half effort from J.J. Scott and Thompson. Scott had 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, while Thompson had 10 second-half points.
The Vikings took their last lead of the game at 50-48 on Thompson's steal and layup with 56 seconds left. La Follette tied the game on Kian O'Brien's two free throws with 39 seconds.
Both teams were sluggish the first half. Parker jumped out to a 9-4 lead, but La Follette responded and eventually led 13-9 after one. The teams traded baskets and turnovers in the second quarter with the score 21-21 at half.
“Our kids battled and made plays,” Masterson said. “Unfortunately, they made one more than us.
“We didn't come out of here with a win, but I believe we came out of here with a lot more confidence as a team. That's important this early in the season, especially in our conference.”
Parker plays at Madison Memorial on Friday night.