Evansville boys dominate Parkview
The Blue Devils were still in football mode the first time the two teams met in November as Parkview won by 12.
Saevre’s worst fears came true Thursday night.
Matt McElroy scored 24 points, and all-everything point guard Andrew Keister added 15, as Evansville muscled its way past the host Vikings, 59-33, in a key Rock Valley Conference game.
With the win, the Blue Devils (9-4, 6-2) moved into a second-place tie with the Vikings (9-3, 6-2). Meanwhile, unbeaten and third-ranked Edgerton (11-0, 6-0) grabbed a two-game advantage in the loss column.
Parkview couldn’t recover from Monday’s emotional loss at Edgerton. The Vikings had 23 turnovers and made only 14 of 50 field-goal attempts.
“We just didn’t get much of a rhythm going all game, offensively,” Saevre said. “That forced us to try and do some things that we’re not capable of.
“And Keister was a much different player tonight than he was the first time we played against them. He had his legs under him tonight, and he really played under control.”
Evansville put the clamps on immediately. The Blue Devils limited the Vikings to seven points in the first quarter in opening up a 10-7 lead. A 9-2 run to start the second quarter quickly pushed the lead to nine as Parkview had trouble handling Evansville’s press.
The Vikings had eight turnovers in the second quarter and trailed 27-14 by halftime.
Five Blue Devils scored in the second quarter, including the 6-foot-1 Keister, whose three-point play with 4:48 left in the half pushed the lead to 19-9.
Keister, a first-team All-Rock Valley selection a year ago in basketball, said the physical style of the game worked to the Blue Devils’ advantage.
“We’ve been on a roll lately and playing really well, so we just tried to stick to our style,” Keister said. “Once we got the big lead, you could tell Parkview was getting frustrated.
“I don’t mind a physical game as long as it’s called that way, and I thought for the most part, it was tonight.”
The Blue Devils went on a 7-0 run to start the second half in putting the Vikings away for good. Tommy Kremer scored on back-to-back fast breaks as Evansville went up 34-14 with 6:37 left to play.
Parkview got no closer than 16 the rest of the way as Evansville held the Vikings to single-digit scoring in the first three quarters.
McElroy, a 5-11 senior who plays much taller than that, had 12 points each half to lead a balanced attack.
The Vikings had no player in double figures as the starting five combined for only 21 points.
Evansville coach Chris Wagner said getting off to a fast start was crucial.
“We answered the bell right away, and a lot of that comes from being in situations like this in the past,” Wagner said. “Whether it was football, or the last couple years in basketball, our kids know you have to lace ’em and put forth your best effort.
“Our kids respect the heck out of Parkview and what their kids did to get ready for this season over the summer, but we worked hard, too.”
EVANSVILLE 59, PARKVIEW 33
Evansville (59)—Kremer, 3-3-9; Keister, 4-7-15; McElroy, 9-5-24; Nieman, 2-1-5; Diedrich, 1-2-4; Koch, 0-2-2. Totals: 19-20-59.
Parkview (33)—Wellnitz, 0-1-1; Melton, 4-0-8; Johnson, 3-1-8; Mumm, 2-0-4; Piper, 3-2-8; Brookens, 1-0-2; Wichser, 1-0-2. Totals: 14-4-33.
Evansville 10 17 15 17—59
Orfordville Parkview 7 7 9 10—33
Three-point goals—Evansville 1 (McElroy), Parkview 1 (Johnson). Free throws missed—Evansville 9, Parkview 7. Total fouls—Evansville 16, Parkview 25. Fouled out—Mumm, Wellnitz.