Janesville75.1°

Parker girls fall in Surf 'N Slam title game

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Glae Thien/Special to the GazetteR
December 29, 2007
— Kellie Koebler did what she could for Janesville Parker in the beginning and end of a battle of unbeaten high school girls basketball teams in the finals of the Surf ’N Slam Classic.

The senior guard scored all 10 of her points in the first half to get the Vikings off to a strong start. After they fell behind for the first time in the last minute of the game, she forced a backcourt turnover to give her team a final chance.


However, victory wasn’t to be, as Parker fell 35-32 to Mercyhurst of Erie, Pa., for the Slam Division title here Saturday at Point Loma High.


“We really don’t give up,” said Koebler, who matched Catie O’Leary for the team high in scoring. “We went to the last second and put up a pretty good fight. But it didn’t go our way.”


The Vikings, 8-1 and No. 2 in the Wisconsin AP Division 1 ratings, had a 32-25 lead with 6:01 to go but went scoreless the rest of the way.


Mercyhurst (11-0) went ahead for the first time at 35-32 with 45 seconds left when Ellen Bach sank a three-pointer for her only points of the game.


Parker appeared out of final chances until Koebler forced the turnover with 18 seconds, using defensive pressure to cause the Lakers to lose the ball out of bounds. O’Leary then missed on two three-point attempts, the last coming as time expired.


As the buzzer sounded, so did Parker coach Tom Klawitter in protest over the lack of a foul call on the final attempt.


“You come to a tournament to like this, and it’s AAU basketball all over again,” Klawitter said. “It’s bang, push, shove and hold. Sometimes, the stronger team wins out.”


The Vikings didn’t have a free throw in the second half after going 6-for-8 from the line in the first. Mercyhurst went 1-of-2, going without a try until 1:27 remained.


Parker held a 22-18 halftime edge, but scored just six points in the third quarter and four in the fourth. The result was the Vikings’ lowest-scoring game of the season, well under their previous low in a 46-24 victory over Madison Memorial.


“We didn’t play exceptionally well,” Klawitter said. “Defensively, we weren’t too bad at times, but at the end, it kind of hurt us.


“But offensively, we were forcing shots because we were tired. It was a three-day tournament.”


Koebler, who had two points in a 54-21 semifinal win over Sonora of La Habra, Calif., hit a pair of three-pointers that helped the Vikings grab an 18-10 lead with 6:52 left in the second quarter.


“I knew someone had to step up and put some points on the board because we knew they would be a good team,” Koebler said. “I felt like I had open shots, so I took them.”


Despite the loss, Koebler counted the positives from the tournament and the trip.


“It was a good experience,” she said. “We played hard and bonded as a team really well.”


This was the first out-of-state tournament for Parker since traveling to Phoenix in 2002.


“We’re certainly going to come off this a better team,” Klawitter said. “That’s why you make a trip like this.


“If you’re just going to play basketball games, you stay back in Wisconsin. We were a team to get out here, and we were a team out here.”


The two tourney wins were one more than Parker had in the Phoenix event.


MERCYHURST 35, PARKER 32


Mercyhurst (35)—Moore, 5-0-14; Milhisler, 1-0-2; Bach, 1-0-3; Majewski, 1-0-2; Olowinski, 6-1-14. Totals: 14-1-35.


Parker (32)—Prom, 0-2-2; Klawitter, 1-2-4; O’Leary, 5-0-10; Koebler, 3-2-10; Quillman, 3-0-6. Totals: 12-6-32.


Mercyhurst 10 8 7 10—35


Janesville Parker 13 9 6 4—32


Three-point goals—Mercyhurst 6 (Moore 4, Bach, Olowinski), Parker 2 (Koebler 2). Free throws missed—Mercyhurst 1, Parker 2. Total fouls—Mercyhurst 9, Parker 7.


SURF ’N SLAM


HOOP CLASSIC


At Point Loma High School,


San Diego


SLAM DIVISION


Results Thursday


Quarterfinals


Janesville Parker 53, Justin-Siena (Calif.) 48


Sonora (Calif.) 41, Mercer Island (Wash.) 39


St. Joseph (Calif.) 42, Sonoma Valley (Calif.) 39


Mercyhurst (Pa.) 56, North Eugene (Ore.) 36


Results Friday


Consolation Semifinals


Justin-Siena 64, Mercer Island 36


Sonoma Valley 64, North Eugene 50


Championship Semifinals


Janesville Parker 54, Sonora 21


Mercyhurst 44, St Joseph 40 (2 OT)


Results Saturday


Finals


Seventh place: Mercer Island 49, North Eugene 39


Consolation championship: Justin Siena 41, Sonoma Valley 35


Third place: St. Joseph 56l, Sonora 26


Championship: Mercyhurst 35, Janesville Parker 32



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