Start of new rivalry?
But you have to go back more than 25 years to find it.
The Cougars have owned their cross-town rival.
Maybe, Friday night was the start of a new one.
Jordan Thompson scored 19 points, and Parker High rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to post a rare victory over visiting Craig, 54-47.
Parker’s victory was the first over Craig since 2002 and only the second overall since 1992.
None of that mattered to second-year coach Ryan Masterson. Rebuilding a downtrodden Parker program is No. 1 on his priority list.
“When I took over, the first thing I said we had to do was beat Craig within three years,” Masterson said. “They’ve been good for so long, that in order to get this program headed in the right direction, we have to get the rivalry back with Craig.”
After a miserable first half in which the Vikings made only seven of 29 field-goal attempts, that notion looked dead in the water. Parker (3-5, 1-5) was content on playing all one-on-one basketball, while Craig (0-9,
0-6) ran its offensive effectively while clamping down on the defensive end. That style had the Vikings heading to the locker room with a 32-19 deficit.
“We hung our heads until coach came in and told us just to forget about the first half and concentrate on picking it up the second half,” Thompson said. “We were getting killed on screens (in the first half), and we just talked about how get around them.
“Defensively, we played a lot better the second half. And we got everybody involved on offense. That was the key.”
Parker quickly whittled away the 13-point deficit in the third period, behind two Thompson three-pointers, and a monster effort from Creed Knutson. The 6-foot-4 junior had seven points and eight rebounds in the third quarter as Parker outscored Craig 17-3.
The Cougars missed seven of eight free throws in the third and made only one of seven shots from the field.
“I’m disappointed with the way we came out the third quarter,” Craig coach Mike Miller said, “but I’m more disappointed in what we didn’t do the first half. I thought we forced some shots when we got up, and should have been up by more at half than we were.
“Parker came out the second half and made some adjustments defensively that gave us trouble. I can’t fault our effort, but it’s tough to win when you only score three points in a quarter.”
Parker led by one after three quarters, and the game stayed close until the Vikings went on a 8-0 run to take a 50-45 lead with 1:01 left to play.
Tyler Teubert scored 12 points for Parker, including a crucial jumper with 1:56 left that pushed the lead to 48-45.
Cody Dare was the only Cougar in double figures as the junior finished with 14 points.
PARKER 54, CRAIG 47
Craig (47)—Brault, 1-4-6; Bates, 1-2-5; Condon, 3-1-8; Dare, 5-3-14; Holznecht, 1-2-4; Johnson, 2-1-6; Kyle, 1-0-2; Kitching, 1-0-2. Totals: 15-13-47.
Parker (54)—-Simonson, 1-2-4; Thompson, 7-1-19; Teubert, 6-0-12; Knutson, 4-1-9; Fiedler, 2-0-4; Schroeder, 2-0-4; Husen, 1-0-2. Totals: 23-4-54.
Janesville Craig 15 17 3 12—47
Janesville Parker 12 7 17 18—54
Three-point goals—Craig 4 (Bates, Condon, Dare, Johnson), Parker 4 (Thompson 4). Free throws missed—Craig 10, Parker 6. Total fouls—Craig 15, Parker 20. Fouled out—Holznecht, Simonson.
Sophomores—Craig 61, Parker 32. Leading scorers—Brett Pickarts (JC), 13; Cameron Wright (JC), 11; Decker Thompson (JP), 11.