High school boys
Janesville Parker at Janesville Craig
Time: 7:30 tonight (WCLO radio).
Parker record: 1-2, 0-2 in Big Eight (def. Clinton, 52-30, NC; lost to Madison La Follette, 75-39; Madison Memorial, 59-28).
Craig record: 2-2, 1-2 in Big Eight (def. Madison Edgewood, 63-52, NC; lost to Middleton, 49-37; Madison Memorial, 56-44; def. Beloit Memorial, 69-55).
Last meeting: Craig won 67-32 at home in January for a two-game sweep of Parker last season and an 81-15 lead in the all-time series.
Players to watch: Parker’s probable starters are Riley Grafft, 6-10, sr, f; Jesse Logue, 6-3 sr., f; Jared Fox, 6-0, sr., g; Trent Moe, 6-0, sr., g; Loney Sam, 5-9, sr., g. Grafft leads the Vikings in averaging 13.5 points and 11 rebounds a game.
Craig’s probable starters are JoJo Pregont, 6-6, jr., c; Lucas Burns, 6-6, sr., f; Kyle Goike, 6-3, jr., f; Charlie Roherty, 6-0, sr., g; Joey Kennedy, 6-0, jr., g. Burns leads the Cougars with an 18.5 scoring average, followed by Pregont at 11.8.
Coach Bob Suter also has been pleased with the recent efforts by 6-6 juniors Will Clanfield and Darnell Sims, and the Cougars will have 6-6 senior Cooper Cullen for the first time this season on Saturday at Madison West after a five-game suspension.
Extra points: Craig has won 45 of the last 47 meetings in this cross-town rivalry, and Parker coach Jim LeMire said his team’s hopes of disrupting of that domination in this Big Eight game hinge on one thing. “It all comes down to taking care of the basketball,” he said.
The Vikings had major turnover problems against the press in last week’s loss to second-ranked Madison Memorial. Suter said his Cougars had little success trying to press Parker last season, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try again.
Prediction Machine says: Craig, 64, Parker 50.
Janesville Parker at Beloit Memorial, 2:45 p.m. Saturday (WCLO radio, 1230 AM).
Depending on Beloit’s outcome tonight at Middleton, Parker (1-2, 0-2) may catch the young Purple Knights (0-4, 0-3) looking for their first win. The Vikings will be shooting for their first win over Beloit since a 57-53 victory on Jan. 10, 1986—which would be their first at Barkin Arena since a 50-48 decision on Jan. 4, 1985.
Prediction Machine says: Beloit 55, Parker 48.
Janesville Craig at Madison West, 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
The Cougars (2-2, 1-2) may be in for a run-and-gun battle like the old days as they renew one of the Big Eight’s best basketball rivalries. Corvonn Gaines, a 6-4 senior, has set the pace with a league-leading 20.5 scoring average in West’s early desire to fire way, particularly from three-point range.
West (2-2) has jumped off to a 2-0 start in the Big Eight, but the Regents face a key test tonight at Madison La Follette (3-1, 2-0). They’ll also see extra firepower from Craig , which will return 6-6 senior Cooper Cullen from a five-game suspension in the Cougars’ bid to extend a 46-35 lead in the all-time series.
Prediction Machine says: Craig 72, West 64.
Delavan-Darien at Elkhorn, 7:30 p.m. Friday.
It’s sorting-out time in the Southern Lakes—maybe to see who will be heavily favored East Troy’s real challenger. Delavan-Darien (4-2) takes a 2-0 conference record against the Elks (2-2, 1-1), who are coming off a 49-47 loss at Fort Atkinson.
Prediction Machine says: Elkhorn 50, Delavan-Darien 44.
High school girls
Janesville Parker at Janesville Craig
Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday (WCLO radio).
Parker record: 3-0, 2-0 in Big Eight (def. Milwaukee South, 80-28, NC; Madison La Follette, 52-39; Madison Memorial, 59-28).
Craig record: 2-2, 2-1 in Big Eight (lost to Mukwonago, 62-52, NC; Middleton, 81-43; def. Madison Memorial, 59-51; Beloit Memorial, 41-35).
Last meeting: Parker edged Craig, 47-43, in January to complete a two-game sweep of the Cougars last season.
Players to watch: Parker’s probable starters are Belinda Quillman, 5-11, sr., f; Catie O’Leary, 5-10, jr., g; Alex Klawitter, 5-8, sr, g; Kellie Koebler, 5-3, sr., g; Katie Prom, 5-6, sr., g. O’Leary, the Big Eight Player of the Year last season, leads the league with a 22-point scoring average, topped by a 27-point game.
Craig’s probable starters are Danielle Straw, 5-11, sr., f; Sofia Sanchez, 5-11, sr., f; Kristy Benson, 5-7, sr., g; Whitney Storbakken, 5-7, jr., g; Lauren McQueen, 5-7, jr., g. Benson leads the Cougars with a 14-point scoring average, followed by Storbakken at 10.
Free throws: Defending co-champion Parker goes into this Big Eight and city showdown rated fourth in the state in Division 1, tied for the conference lead with third-ranked Middleton. Craig coach Mark Marsden knows O’Leary is the first order of business in attempting to slow down the Vikings.
“After watching Parker play, I’d say O’Leary has improved even beyond what she was before,’’ Marsden said. “I’d put her in the top 2-3 players in the state. She’s so hard to guard with her incredible range and ability to get by you.’’
And it doesn’t get any easier, Marsden said, in going against Parker’s pressure defense. The key for the Cougars, he said, is more consistency and improvement on last week’s 14-for-28 free-throw shooting.
Prediction Machine says: Parker 55, Craig 47.
Janesville Parker at Beloit Memorial, 7:30 p.m. Saturday (WCLO radio, 1230 AM).
In what they hope is a stepping stone to battling Middleton (4-0, 2-0) for the undisputed Big Eight lead in a Dec. 22 makeup game, the Vikings (3-0, 2-0) face old nemesis Beloit (2-2, 1-1) in what has been one of their toughest venues—Barkin Arena. A 63-60 loss in overtime at Beloit last season ultimately kept Parker from winning the undisputed championship.
Beloit’s bid for the upset this time is likely to be led by 6-1 senior post player Brianne Monahan (15 ppg), one of the Big Eight’s top players. The Knights may get some of the starch taken out of them tonight, however, on a trip to Middleton.
Prediction Machine says: Parker 50, Beloit 38.
Janesville Craig at Madison West, 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Craig (2-2, 2-1) has had its way against West (2-3, 1-1) in recent times, including 69-52 and 47-37 victories last season. However, the Regents stepped up last Saturday with a strong showing and 24-20 halftime lead in a 52-43 loss to second-ranked defending state champion Milwaukee Vincent.
The Cougars’ will have to cope with West’s inside force, 5-11 Ellie Pearson (14 ppg), in their bid to stay above the .500 mark—if not in title contention—in the Big Eight.
Prediction Machine says: Craig 54, West 49.