Vikings continue winning despite growing pains
JANESVILLE--The Janesville Parker Vikings expected to earn a lot of lessons on the fly during the first half of this girls basketball season.
The film from Thursday night’s Big Eight Conference game against Madison West should provide plenty of teaching moments.
Once again, however, the Vikings got their education—for one, not to relax with a lead—in a victory. They held on to beat the Regents, 41-36, at home to move into a tie for second in the conference standings.
“I think we just got it in our heads that we were so far ahead, that we had them,” Parker junior guard Kathryn Dubanowich said. “They came back strong, and we were not expecting that.”
Dubanowich and classmate Paige Smith each scored a game-high 14 points for the Vikings (4-2 overall, 4-1 Big Eight).
The former had 10 in the first quarter alone as Parker moved the ball, grabbed offensive rebounds and built up a 16-4 lead.
From there, however, the Vikings’ shots stopped falling. They didn’t make a single one in the second, and relaxing against the press led to six turnovers in the quarter.
“We always say that you’re going to miss a couple 3s, and then it’s time to take it to the basket and get some fouls,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “We were just chucking it up there. That second quarter was terrible team ball.”
The third quarter wasn’t much better. The Vikings went 3-for-11 from the field and committed eight more turnovers.
But after all of the struggles, they still led the Regents (1-5, 0-5), 25-22, heading to the fourth.
“It was a huge learning process,” Dubanowich said. “We need to learn how to push each other more and go hard all the time.
“We need to be tough and aggressive 100 percent of the game.”
Dubanowich found sophomore guard Bree Porter cutting to the basket to open the fourth. Porter made a layup and converted an ensuing free throw to give Parker a six-point cushion.
The Vikings pushed their lead back to double digits and eventually held on for the victory at the free-throw stripe. Smith made 7 of her 8 attempts in the fourth quarter and the team went 10-for-13 over the final eight minutes.
“There’s no doubt it’s a learning deal right now, and we’re trying to find the kids we can put in for good chemistry,” Klawitter said. “When you have teams such a this, you’re going to take some steps back once in a while. You just aren’t going to keep them always going forward when they’re this young.
“It’s not acceptable, but we know also that they’re going to get better.”