Turnovers cost Vikings late

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John Barry
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

JANESVILLE--Janesville Parker’s boys basketball team came down with the turnover bug Tuesday night, and it cost the Vikings a chance at a Big Eight win.

Parker coughed up the ball eight times in the fourth quarter in losing 83-77 to Madison West.

The Vikings led by eight late in the third quarter, but the Regents went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good. Malik Clements then took over for West, scoring 10 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth.

Parker (5-16, 2-15) got within two at 79-77 with 30 seconds left on J.J. Scott’s layup, but West (11-10, 9-8) sealed the win with two free throws and a Clements basket with six seconds left.

“I’m really proud of the kids, especially this late in the season, because they’re giving everything they’ve got,” Parker coach Ryan Masterson said. “We had a chance at the end tonight. Maybe we don’t need to shoot the 3s, but I’m not upset about that because they’re just trying to make a play.”

Parker cut the lead to 78-75 on Connor Osmond’s basket with 1:06 left to play and then forced a turnover on West’s next possession. The Vikings, according to Masterson, wanted to get a quick two and then foul West but settled for two long 3s to try and tie the game. Both 3s were off the mark, and West was able to grab the rebound. Samaj Graham made one of two free throws for West to make it 79-75 with 37 seconds left, but Scott answered on the other end to cut it to two.

West jumped out to an early nine-point lead, but Parker rallied and eventually trailed by just one, 45-44, at half.

Cullen Osmond led Parker with 19 points, including four 3s, while Scott added 16 and Adam Thompson 15 before fouling out.

Parker wraps up the regular season Saturday night at Sun Prairie before hosting Kenosha Bradford in a WIAA Division 1 regional final game next Tuesday.

“I’m really confident we’re going to do some damage in the tournament,” Masterson said. “We’re playing hard and we’ve been so close in so many games, that I think we’re going to be a tough out.”     

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