Memorial's power shows against Parker
Fans in the Janesville Parker High School gym Tuesday night saw proof positive that Madison Memorial deserves its No. 2 state ranking and is considered one of the better high school boys basketball teams in the country.
Behind a strong, balanced attack and a swarming press, Memorial outscored the Vikings, 85-33, to clinch a tie for its sixth straight Big Eight Conference title.
Memorial (18-1, 16-1) now will await a big Thursday, Feb. 26, regular-season finale at home against second-place and fifth-ranked Madison East (16-2, 14-2) that could decide everything.
East, however, needs a victory at home Thursday against Madison La Follette to remain in contention. If the Purgolders win that, they can tie for the championship by beating Memorial for the second time this season.
If it comes down to that and East can’t duplicate last month’s 53-44 victory over the Spartans, everything in the Big Eightagain will belong to Memorial—just like the last five years.
Memorial jumped all over Parker (1-18, 1-16) from the opening tipoff and rolled up a 13-2 lead before Vikings coach Ryan Masterson called a timeout with 5:43 left in the first quarter. Memorial’s starting five scored at will in the opening quarter, led by 6-7 senior forward Jeronne Maymon, who had eight of his game-high 21 points.
Parker had only eight points in the opening quarter, followed by just two in the second, making it 51-10 at halftime.
“They are that good,” Masterson said of the Spartans. “We could have played better, especially in the first half, but I doubt you’ll see Memorial lose another game this season, including the state tournament.”
To put the game in tournament context, Memorial was without its sixth man, who did not play because of a family funeral, and a starter earlier this year, who is nursing an injury.
Memorial coach Steve Collins said there was no chance his players would look past Parker.
“These kids were playing for something tonight—another conference championship,” Collins said. “We are also gearing up for tournament play, so there was no letting up, and I think you saw that right away tonight.”
Masterson said his players might have been in awe of Memorial at the beginning.
“They just came down the lane untouched in the first half,” Masterson said. “We didn’t lay a hand on them. I think we did a better job defensively in the second half, but the damage had been done.”
Parker’s Creed Knutson scored all of his 10 points, and teammate Tyler Teubert added six, to help the Vikings outscore Memorial 17-16 in the third quarter. But the Spartans broke loose in the final period when both coaches cleared their benches.
Parker senior starter Jason Knutson, playing his last home game, added six points.
While the Spartans and East await their showdown, Parker finishes its Big Eight schedule at Middleton on Feb. 26.
“That’s a game we’re looking forward to,” Masterson said. “A win there would be a great way to end the regular season and head into the tournament.”
MEMORIAL 85, PARKER 33
Memorial (85)—Jones, 1-0-3; Creamer, 9-0-18; V. Blue, 3-1-7; Lomomba, 3-3-9; Maymon, 9-3-21; E. Blue, 2-5-9; Fruhling, 2-0-4; Henderson, 2-0-5; Klatt, 1-0-2; Laubmeier, 2-1-5; Olson, 1-0-2. Totals: 35-13-85.
Parker (33)—Simonson, 1-0-2; Thompson, 1-1-4; J. Knutson, 3-0-6; C. Knutson, 2-4-10; Teubert, 3-0-6; Lehr, 1-0-2; Moe, 1-0-3. Totals: 12-5-33.
Madison Memorial 26 25 16 18—85
Janesville Parker 8 2 17 6—33
Three-point goals—Memorial 1 (Henderson), Parker 4 (C. Knutson, Thompson, Moe). Free throws missed—Memorial 4, Parker 4. Total fouls—Memorial 10, Parker 13.
Sophomores—Memorial 75, Parker 39. Parker leading scorers: Andrew Somerville, 12; John O’Leary, 10.