Knutson, Parker dazzle Verona
Knutson scored a career-high 31 points, and the Vikings raced out to a 19-5 lead in the first quarter en route to a 79-66 Big Eight Conference win.
In beating Verona for the first time in five meetings, all since the Wildcats joined the Big Eight, Parker improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
“I told the guys coming in that I felt like we could compete with anyone, game in and game out,” Parker coach Ryan Masterson said. “So, no I’m not surprised that we were able to come up here and play as well as we did.
“The challenge was there for the guys to come out flying, and that’s what they did. It was a great team effort, and I couldn’t be happier.”
The Vikings charged out of the gate, taking a 13-2 lead. The Wildcats (0-4, 0-3) never got closer than seven the rest of the way as Parker answered every Verona run with one of its own.
Junior Andrew Somerville ran the point perfectly for the Vikings. The 5-foot-11 guard had a career-high 21 points, eight assists, and made 13 of 14 free throws.
“Andrew had an outstanding game for us,” Masterson said. “He handled the ball, dished the ball to the open man and made his free throws.”
As well as Somerville played, Knutson was even more dominating. The 6-5 senior had his way in the post the first half with the Wildcats before lighting it up from the outside in the second half. Knutson had three three-point baskets, including back-to-back threes in the fourth to keep the Wildcats at bay.
“They just could not stop Creed in the paint the first half,” Masterson said. “He’s a big body, with a nice touch around the basket. And if you try to shut him down in the post, he can step outside and hit the three like he did in the second half.”
Parker hosts eighth-ranked Sun Prairie tonight. Masterson knows the Vikings will need another great game.
“It’s going to take another strong start and another complete four-quarter game for us. But hopefully, tonight was a confidence booster for us.”
Erik Albeck added 12 points for Parker, while Bryan Dalton led Verona with 20 points.
PARKER 79, VERONA 66
Parker (79)—Somerville, 3-13-21; Long, 0-2-2; Schroeder, 3-0-6; Albeck, 4-3-12; Knutson, 12-4-31; Lloyd, 3-1-7. Totals: 25-23-79.
Verona (63)—Yapp, 1-0-3; Turner, 0-2-2; Burns, 4-9-19; Ray, 3-1-10; Hansinger, 1-1-3; Biddle, 1-4-6; Dalton, 7-7-20; Meyers, 0-3-3. Totals: 17-27-66.
Janesville Parker 19 13 25 22—79
Verona 5 19 18 24—66
Three-point goals—Parker 6 (Knutson 3, Somerville 2, Albeck), Verona 6 (Ray 3, Burns 2, Yapp). Free throws missed—Parker 8, Verona 5. Total fouls—Parker 19, Verona 20.
Sophomores—Parker 49, Verona 46. Parker record: 2-2 overall, 1-2 in Big Eight. Parker leading scorer: David Palan, 15.