Parker rally falls short in overtime
JANESVILLE—Ryan Masterson hopes Friday night was a sign of things to come as the high school boys basketball season hits its stretch run.
His Janesville Parker boys basketball team fought back from a 13-point deficit to force overtime against Madison East.
But even though the Vikings took their first lead of the game during the extra period, the Purgolders grabbed a critical offensive rebound and made enough free throws late to grab an 84-80 Big Eight Conference road victory.
“I was impressed; I thought the kids played hard and scrapped,” Masterson said. “I challenged them at halftime to play better defense, and we executed well in the second half. And if we get a rebound here or there it’s a different story.”
The Vikings fell to 5-12 overall and 2-11 at the bottom of the league standings, but they took a team that beat them by 36 in the first meeting right down to the wire.
And they did so on the shoulders of senior forward J.J. Scott in the fourth quarter.
Scott had just four points when the Vikings trailed 64-51 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter. But he had 19 in the final 10 minutes to finish with a team-high 23 points.
“He’s missed a couple games and started a little bit slow,” Masterson said. “I challenged him to pick it up, and to his credit he did.”
Still, East led Parker 68-59 with just more than four minutes left. The Vikings forced six turnovers down the stretch and closed with an 11-2 run, punctuated by Travis Shepler’s game-tying free throw with 7 seconds left.
Following a timeout, Scott stole the ensuing inbounds pass, but his 3-point attempt at the buzzer drew only backboard.
Parker, which fell behind by double digits in the first quarter and never led in regulation, grabbed three leads in overtime, the last at 76-75.
Purgolders junior Deang Deang was fouled at the other end and made his first free throw to tie the game. His second attempt missed, but East grabbed the rebound and De’Shawn Burks made the last of his nine buckets (game-high 26 points) on a put-back that gave the Purgolders the lead for good.
“That was it,” Masterson said. “We had some issues earlier in the year, and it’s been our Achilles heel at times this year, letting up offensive rebounds.”
East went 8-for-11 from the stripe in the overtime to hold on.
Four Vikings scored in double figures, with Cullen Osmond finishing with 17 and Shepler and Adam Thompson pitching in 14.
“I feel really good the way our kids are coming together,” Masterson said. “We’re starting to get some consistency, and hopefully we can get on a roll going into the tournament.”
EAST 84, PARKER 80 (OT)
East (84)—Branch, 5-1-12; Obodo, 0-2-2; Deang, 5-2-13; Millon, 5-0-10; Lackey, 0-3-3; Burks, 9-7-26; Chester, 4-4-15; Tygum, 0-3-3. Totals: 28-22-84.
Parker (80)—Thompson, 6-0-14; Shepler, 5-2-14; Scott, 8-7-23; Treinen, 1-0-2; Cu. Osmond, 6-3-17; McGrath, 1-0-2; Brooks, 1-4-6; Bailey, 1-0-2. Totals: 29-16-80.
Madison East 26 18 18 8 14—84
Janesville Parker 17 22 12 19 10—80
Three-point goals—East 6 (Branch, Deang, Burks, Chester 3), Parker 6 (Thompson 2, Shepler 2, Cu. Osmond 2). Free throws missed—East 8, Parker 8. Total fouls—East 24, Parker 25. Fouled out—Deang, Scott.