Parker girls get big win at Verona
Parker High fell to the host Purgolders last week, 49-36, after misfiring on 13 of 21 free throws for its first loss of the season.
Those misfires turned into points for Parker here Saturday as the Vikings made 20 of 26 free throws to hold off Verona, 47-35, for a critical conference victory.
“We haven’t shot free throws well the last few games,” Shepler said after the Vikings followed up the loss by making just 20 of 35 free throws in Thursday’s 56-42 win over Madison West. “Making 20 of 26 is amazing for us. I can’t even believe it.”
Parker (3-1, 2-1)) took advantage of Verona’s 21 fouls and made eight of 10 fourth-quarter free throws to derail the Wildcats’ late rally.
“Making the free throws helps, but defense won the game,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “I thought our girls really executed well today.”
Ashley Hartwig led Parker with 13 points, while Shepler added 11.
Brianna Witte had 13 points to lead Verona (2-2, 1-2), which was coming off an emotional 59-53 loss to Middleton.
Parker led most the game, after Danielle Flood’s three-pointer from the top of the key gave the Vikings an 8-6 lead after the first quarter. The lead grew to 21-13 after a 12-5 kept Parker in front for good.
Shelper made back-to-back three-pointers to ignite that surge.
“They shut down Rachel (Cropp) and Ashley (Bartow), which are two of our main scorers,” Witte said. “We were a little slow. We had two games this week. We got into foul trouble, and they made us use our bench a little bit, which threw us off.”
Even after suffering six fouls in the first 2:47 of the second half, Verona rallied from a 33-20 deficit with three fourth quarter three-pointers. The Wildcats cut the Parker lead to 37-33 on a jumper by Bartow with 4:22 left.
On the next possession, Flood made two free throws to end the 13-4 Verona run. Hartwig added a jumper, followed by a three-point play by Courtney Schumacher to give the Vikings a comfortable 44-33 lead with 1:28 left.
“We didn’t take stupid shots, and we made our free throws,” Shepler said.
Parker made just 11 shots field-goal attempts, compared to Verona’s 13, but the Wildcats were outscored 20-3 on free throws.
“I thought our kids handled things pretty well,” Klawitter said. “I’m very happy to come out of here with a win.”
PARKER 47, VERONA 35
Parker (47)—McDonald, 0-3-3; Schumacher, 1-1-3; Larson, 0-1-1; Flood, 1-4-7; Dement, 2-4-9; Hartwig, 4-4-13; Shepler, 3-3-11. Totals: 11-20-47.
Verona (35)—Tveldt, 2-0-6; Witte, 5-0-13; Bartow, 2-0-4; Twing, 1-0-2; Cropp, 2-1-6; Smith, 1-0-2; Kant, 0-2-2. Totals 13-3-35.
Janesville Parker 8 16 7 16—47
Verona 6 11 3 15—35
Three-point goals—Parker 5 (Shepler 2, Dement, Flood, Hartwig). Free throws missed—Parker 6, Verona 3. Total fouls—Parker 10, Verona 21.
Sophomores—Verona 47, Parker 36. Parker record: 3-1 overall, 2-1 in Big Eight. Parker leading scorers: Anna Athmann, 8; Dani Fugate, 8.