Parker girls drop hammer in opener
The Vikings raced to a 24-3 lead after the first quarter and coasted past overmatched Milwaukee South, 80-28, as part of the inaugural two-day event at the Alliant Energy Center.
Junior guard Catie O’Leary, the reigning Big Eight Conference Player of the Year, scored 24 points to lead a Parker offense that seemed at times to be able to do whatever it wanted. The Vikings led by 32 at halftime, and 13 of the 14 players on the varsity roster scored.
“I think we saw more things with this team today than we realized we had,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said of his Vikings. “It was a great opportunity for some of the young kids to get a taste of the game at the varsity level.
“We’ve got some things to work—especially on defense—but I was pleased with the effort.”
Parker literally took control from the opening tip. Viking senior Belinda Quillman won the opening tap, and two passes later, Alex Klawitter fed Kelly Koebler for a 2-0 lead five seconds into the game. The Lady Cardinals (0-2) tied the game at 2-2 on their first possession but the Vikings responded with an 8-0 run to pull comfortably ahead.
O’Leary had 13 points in the opening quarter and Koebler added seven as Parker ended the first on a 22-1 run. An 8-2 outburst to start the second pushed the lead to 32-5 with four minutes left in the half.
The Lady Cardinals, who struggled the entire game to hang onto the ball (25 turnovers), weren’t much better from the field. They misfired on 43 of 53 shots, including a woeful 4-for-20 in the first half.
The Vikings’ trapping defense led to numerous turnovers and easy baskets. O’Leary had 18 points in the first half as the Vikings rolled to a 42-10 halftime lead.
“It’s a long season, so getting off to a good start was important,” Klawitter said. “I think more than anything today, you saw that there’s a drop off after the starters, but not that much of one.
“Those 14 girls on the roster are competing against each other every day in practice. Down the road, that should really help us as far as being able to keep everyone fresh.”
Koebler added nine for Parker, while Quillman Kanesha Zinn chipped in eight points each.
The sixth-ranked Vikings (1-0) open up the Big Eight season on the road. Parker is at Madison La Follette on Friday night. The Vikes then play at fourth-ranked Middleton on Saturday night.
PARKER 80, MILWAUKEE SOUTH 28
Parker (80)—Prom, 1-0-2; Klawitter, 1-0-2; McDonald, 3-0-6; Newlin, 1-0-2; O’Leary, 9-1-24; Flood, 2-0-5; Martelle, 2-2-7; Koebler, 2-5-9; Quillman, 4-0-8; Quinn, 1-0-2; Miland, 1-0-2; Shepler, 1-0-3; Zinn, 4-0-8. Totals: 32-8-80.
South (28)—Johnson, 3-5-11; Nelson, 1-0-2; King, 1-0-2; Jones, 1-0-2; Love, 2-0-4; Taylor, 2-3-7. Totals: 10-8-28.
Parker 24 18 18 20—80
Milw. South 3 7 7 11—28
Three-point goals—Parker 8 (O’Leary 5, Shepler, Martelle, Flood). Free throws missed—Parker 4, South 12. Total fouls—Parker 14, South 11.