Parker girls overpower West
Despite trailing 15-14 after the first quarter and having only one day to prepare for their Big Eight Conference game at Madison West, the Vikings rebounded with a 14-1 closing run for a 36-21 halftime lead and coasted to a 64-39 victory.
Fresh off its runner-up finish at the Surf ’N Slam Classic on Saturday at San Diego, Parker (9-1, 6-0) returned to the frozen tundra of Wisconsin and pulled away from the Regents (4-5, 2-4) behind its defense and free-throw shooting.
“I guess the word is—trap game,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “We were very worried about that, especially coming up here to West.
“So I have to be pretty pleased after coming back after that trip. I thought the kids responded real well.”
The Vikings, who are No. 2 in the Associated Press Division 1 state ratings and lead the Big Eight by a full game over Middleton (5-1), were sparked by Catie O’Leary. The 5-10 junior guard had 23 points, including eight in the decisive second quarter.
Belinda Quillman added 14 for Parker, with 10 coming in the first half.
“I don’t think it was that hard for us to get back into it,” O’Leary said. “Coming back from our trip helped us get even closer as a team. So I think that transferred over into this game.”
That bonding seemed to work as 10 Vikings scored and the defense forced 23 West turnovers, enabling Parker took control midway through the second quarter.
Four straight free throws from O’Leary to open the second quarter allowed Parker to regain the lead. Katie Poffenberger’s lay-up pulled the Regents within 22-19, but that was as close as they got the rest of the way.
Jenny Newlin put back a rebound, and Danielle Flood made a runner in the lane, while being fouled. She completed the three-point play for a 27-19 Parker lead, which started the 14-1 run.
Freshman Savannah Shepler added a three-pointer from the wing, and Parker made all 11 of its free throws in the quarter for the 15-point halftime advantage.
The lead was up to 55-31 after three quarters as O’Leary scored six of the first eight points of the second half and had 10 in the third period.
Ellie Pearson and Austin Turnquist each finished with 12 points for West.
“We are getting a lot of contributions from a lot of kids,” Klawitter said. “It’s not the scoring part that we’re so thrilled about. It’s the roles these kids are taking on.”
And for the Vikings, it continues to be the role of front-runners in the Big Eight.
PARKER 64, WEST 39
Parker (64)—Prom, 2-0-4; Klawitter, 2-0-5; O’Leary, 6-11-23; Quillman, 5-4-14; Newlin, 1-1-3; Flood, 1-1-3; Zinn, 1-0-2; Martelle, 0-2-2; Shepler, 2-0-6; Miland, 1-0-2. Totals 21-19-64.
West (39)—Poffenberger, 1-1-3; Pearson, 5-2-12; Turnquist, 5-2-12; Kuhn, 0-2-2; Heller 2-0-4; Ward 3-0-6. Totals 16-7-39.
Janesville Parker 14 22 19 9—64
Madison West 15 6 10 8—39
Three-point goals—Parker 3 (Shepler 2, Klawitter). Free throws missed—Parker 5, West 4. Total fouls—Parker 10, West 17.