Parker buries streaks
The Vikings exorcised nearly three decades of demons with a 53-48, comefrom-behind victory over the Cougars at Craig.
The win snapped two dubious streaks that had stood for a combined 52 years. It marked the first time since 1982 that Parker has swept the season series from Craig, and it also ended a winless streak against Craig in the Cougar gym dating back to 1986.
“Our kids might not have been around the last time we won here, but they heard all about it and how long it has been,” Masterson said. “What I was most proud of tonight was that we didn’t panic when we got down early.”
Parker (5-14, 2-13) kept its composure despite being down 22-5 late in the first quarter. The Cougars (0-18, 0-15), behind nine points from Cody Dare, stormed out to an early double-digit lead and led 22-8 after one quarter.
The Vikings regrouped and opened the second quarter on an 11-2 run to quickly cut the deficit to seven. After Craig converted on back-to-back possessions to push the lead back to nine, Parker’s Creed Knutson made three-pointers on backto-back possessions to slice the lead to three by halftime.
“I thought if we could get their lead down to where it was manageable, to like five or six, we’d be in pretty good shape the second half, and that’s how it turned out,” Masterson said.
“And give Craig credit. They came out and hit shots, and we had a little trouble adjusting to the triangle-and-two defense they threw at us.”
As good as the Cougars were the first quarter, they looked like an 0-18 team in the middle two quarters. Craig managed only 10 points in the second and third periods combined, and trailed 38-32 after three quarters.
Parker used a 10-0 run early in third, capped off by reserve Austin Lloyd’s basket at 2:40, to take the lead for good.
Craig first-year coach Mike Miller said the same problems continue to plague his team.
“We seemed to hit the wall in the second quarter when Cody when out of the game with his second foul,” Miller said. “And we never recovered like I thought we would in the second half. We missed some lay-ups again and took some bad shots.
“The season has been frustrating for everybody. The players, the coaches, the parents, the fans. But our kids continue to work hard, and I can’t fault our effort. It comes down to putting together four quarters, and we haven’t done that yet.”
Parker led by nine on three occasions in the fourth quarter, but Craig fought back behind a Dare three-point play and a Nate Brault three-pointer with 1:09 left that cut the lead to six. The Cougars had a chance to tie the game after forcing a turnover, but Brault’s threepointer from the top of the key rimmed out.
The Vikings put the game away behind two free throws from Jordan Thompson with 37 seconds left.
Tyler Teubert paced Parker with 15 points and 11 rebounds but had plenty of help. Knutson added 14 points, while Thompson finished with 12, including a crucial three to beat the buzzer at the end of the first quarter.
Dare’s 16 points led all scorers.
PARKER 53, CRAIG 48
Parker (53)—Simonson, 1-0-3; Thompson, 2-7-12; Teubert, 5-5-15; Knutson, 5-1-14; Fiedler, 2-1-5; Schroeder, 0-2-2; Lloyd, 1-0-2. Totals: 16-16-53.
Craig (48)—Brault, 3-0-9; Condon, 1-2-4; Dare, 6-4-16; Holznecht, 4-0-9; Johnson, 1-0-2; Bordwell, 1-0-2; Pickarts, 1-1-4; Kyle, 1-0-2. Totals: 18-7-48. Janesville Parker 8 17 13 15—53 Janesville Craig 22 6 4 16—48
Three-point goals—Parker 5 (Knutson 3, Thompson, Simonson), Craig 5 (Brault 3, Holznecht, Pickarts). Free throws missed—Parker 15, Craig 2. Total fouls—Parker 11, Craig 21. Fouled out—Holznecht.
Sophomores—Craig 46, Parker 36.