Parkview boys end long title drought
ORFORDVILLE—Orfordville Parkview carried the weight of 48 years of history on its back into a boys basketball game against Clinton on Thursday night.
You'll have to forgive the Vikings for letting the Cougars back into the game in the fourth quarter of a 64-61 Rock Valley South title-clinching win.
Parkview held a 16-point lead eight minutes away from closing out its first league championship since 1966, but Clinton went on a 13-4 run in the first three minutes of the fourth to draw within 58-51. The run included 3-pointers by Marc Eliszewski, Zach Kaminski and Eric DeLong. DeLong led the Cougars with 22 points.
James Wellnitz scored for the Vikings to momentarily stop the bleeding, but another 10-3 Cougar run made it 63-61 on guard Luke Risse's bucket. Risse scored all of the Cougars' final 10 points to lead the comeback charge.
The Vikings suffered a second straight turnover, and the Cougars had two shots from under the basket to tie the game. Both rolled tantalizingly off the rim.
Parkview's Nolan Masterson went to the line at the other end, but missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving Clinton one more realistic chance to tie or take the lead with 20 seconds to go. But DeLong's layup rimmed out, and the Vikings made a free throw to reach the final score.
“I told them the Cougars would make a run and that we would have to absorb their punches and counter-punch,” Parkview coach Boyce Hodge said.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Parkview student section flowed onto the court, and the players climbed a ladder to cut down the nets for the first time in nearly five decades.
Both teams were red hot to start the first quarter, knowing full well what was on the line. They combined to make 10 of the first 12 attempted field goals of the game, and Clinton led 19-18 to end the frame.
The second quarter was all Parkview, as senior guard Christian Hobson scored 13 of the Vikings' 22 points in the quarter to take a 40-26 halftime lead. Hobson finished with 24 to lead all scorers.
Hodge conceded that the prospect of winning the South title probably contributed to his team tightening up in the fourth, but he made sure his players knew the defending-champion Cougars weren't going anywhere without a fight during halftime.
The conference title, Hodge said, was always a goal of his squad, but they talked about it less and less as it became clear they would be in the running to accomplish it.
Now that the job is done, Hodge and his players earned the right to talk about it all they want.
PARKVIEW 64, CLINTON 61
Clinton (61)—Eliszewski 2-0-6, Kaminski 2-2-6, Risse 4-0-11, Severson 5-0-12, Walker 1-0-2, DeLong 8-5-22, Churchill 1-0-2. Totals 23-7-61.
Parkview (64)—Masterson 5-0-15. Wellnitz 4-1-9. Phillips 5-0-10. Hobson 8-4-24. Reinhardt 2-2-6. Totals 24-7-64.
Clinton 19 7 12 23—61
Orfordville Parkview 18 22 14 10—64
Three-point goals—Clinton 8 (Risse 3, Severson 2, Eliszewski 2, DeLong), Parkview 9 (Masterson 5, Hobson 4). Missed free throws—Clinton 1, Parkview 2. Total fouls—Clinton 17, Parkview 13. Fouled out—Severson.