Milton deprives Parker of third straight win
Stay with the hot hand.
Janesville Parker should’ve followed suit.
Matt Drew scored 22 points, and Mason Walters added 16, as the Red Hawks pulled away for a 68-59 nonconference win over the visiting Vikings.
Parker’s Riley Grafft led all scorers with 23 points, but the 6-foot-10 senior somehow disappeared in the second half. Grafft was held without a field goal the last 19 minutes of the game after torching the Red Hawks for 15 points the first quarter and a half.
“I’m not sure it was anything more than getting into him a little bit more the second half and getting physical,” Milton coach Brian Hammil said of defending against Grafft. “And we stopped falling for the head fake like we did too many times the first half.
“It was a matter of getting down to fundamentals and not leaving our feet. We knew Grafft was going to get his points, but we wanted to make him work as hard as he could for them and we did that the second half.”
Grafft entered the game with three straight 28-point games. His two free throws with 1:25 left to play in the third quarter gave Parker its last lead at 45-44. Milton (6-6) led by five after three quarters and finished with a 16-7 run, depriving Parker of a third straight win.
Parker’s Trent Moe cut Milton’s lead to 52-50 on a putback with 5:10 remaining, and B.J. Scharenbroch of the Vikings tied the game at 52-52 on a free throw with 3:54 left.
Walters made a free throw to give Milton the lead for good at 53-52 with 3:26 to play, and Drew capped a 7-2 run with his sixth three-pointer of the night to make it 59-54 with 2:23 left.
Even though Drew made three three-point goals in each half, Parker seemed content with allowing the Milton sharpshooter to square up and shoot from beyond the arc.
“We did a poor job of recognizing who the shooter was on the court,” Parker coach Jim LeMire said of the effort against Drew.
“I don’t know what it was,” LeMire said of his team’s uninspired play. “Maybe it was coming off the big win over (Madison) East or playing so soon, but we just seemed to be in a fog at times tonight.”
The free-throw line again proved to be an Achilles heel for the Vikings. Parker misfired on 12 of 27 attempts and remains well below 50 percent from the line for the season. The Vikings were in the double bonus with over two minutes left in the third quarter, but they missed nine attempts from the line in the second half.
Walters, a 6-5 junior, complemented Drew nicely by playing well down low. Drew had nine in the second half, including a crucial three-point play late in the third that gave the Red Hawks the lead for good at 46-45.
D’Merius Holbrook came off the bench to score nine for Parker (4-8), which managed only one field goal in the third quarter.
“You gotta respond to the challenge and we were able to do that the previous two games,” LeMire said. “Tonight, we just ran into a team that wanted it more.
“I felt good about the way we were playing coming in, but we took a step backward tonight.”
MILTON 68, PARKER 59
Parker (59)—Moe, 2-0-4; Sam, 1-1-4; Logue, 3-1-7; Fox, 1-1-4; Grafft, 7-8-23; Holbrook, 4-1-9; Scharenbroch, 2-3-8. Totals: 20-15-59.
Milton (68)—Ledger, 1-4-7; Drew, 6-4-22; Pollard, 2-4-8; Walters, 6-3-16; Brown, 0-1-1; Hammond, 2-0-4; Trewyn, 2-0-4; Jansen, 1-1-3; Nelson, 1-1-3. Totals: 21-18-68.
Janesville Parker 17 15 13 14—59
Milton 11 22 17 18—68
Three-point goals—Parker 4 (Sam, Grafft, Scharenbroch, Fox), Milton 8 (Drew 6, Walters, Ledger). Free throws missed—Parker 12, Milton 5. Total fouls—Parker 18, Milton 19. Fouled out—Sam.
Junior varsity—Milton 46, Parker 38.