Home cooking: Parker girls cruise to win in their gym

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John Barry
Saturday, January 18, 2014

JANESVILLE—Janesville Parker’s girls basketball team got back to the basics Saturday afternoon.

The Vikings relied on their patented pressure defense and a patient offense to end a three-game losing skid.

Paige Smith scored 19 points and Parker raced out to an early double-digit lead en route to a 54-35 Big Eight Conference win over Madison Memorial.

The Vikings moved back to the .500 mark for the season at 7-7 and improved to 6-4 in the conference.

“I’m not making any excuses, but it sure is nice to finally be playing at home,” Parker Tom Klawitter said of a schedule that saw his team play 10 of its first 14 games on the road. “You get in more of a comfort zone at home.

“And that translated to us playing a little better today. We’ve still got some things to work on, but we did some good things today and were able to shuffle a lot of kids in and out without losing a lot.”

Parker jumped on the visitors right away. The Vikings scored the first eight points of the game and led 13-4 after one quarter. Morgan McCulloch started the game with a 3-pointer for Parker and ended the first quarter with her second one.

The Vikings stretched the lead to double digits with a 7-3 run to start the second quarter, capped off by two free throws from junior Bree Porter that made it 20-7 with 5:17 left in the half. Parker eventually led 27-12 at half.

“I like that we’re starting to kick it to the open shooter and finding some openings on our backdoor cuts,” Klawitter said. “We missed some good looks, but the shots were there.

“And our defense was better, too. We had some breakdowns, but overall, we did a pretty good job of defending and screening out.”

Smith, who is third in the conference in scoring at 15.5 points per game, had eight of her 19 in the fourth quarter as Parker stretched its lead to as many as 25. McCulloch finished with 11 points for the Vikings, while Porter added 10 off the bench.

Parker hosts first-place Middleton on Friday night.

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