Little things cost Janesville Parker
Unfortunately for the Janesville Parker girls basketball team, it missed a detail or two down the stretch against arch-nemesis Verona.
The Wildcats outscored the Vikings, 17-9, in the third quarter and held on to knock off Parker, 45-41, here Thursday night.
With the victory Verona (10-5, 8-4) moved into fourth place in the Big Eight, one game ahead of Parker (10-5, 7-5).
“We definitely played hard and shot the ball well, but we just didn’t have enough at the end,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “It was just some costly turnovers at some bad times, but overall, I’m not too disappointed.”
A wicked cold spell in the second half didn’t help Parker’s cause, either. The Wildcats took advantage of the Vikings’ shooting woes with a quick 9-0 to start the third quarter, en route to a 30-24 lead with 4:50 left in the period.
Parker, meanwhile, did not have a field goal in the third quarter and fell behind 38-32 by the end of the period.
Danielle Flood ended the draught with 4:44 left in the fourth with a steal at midcourt and lefty layup that pulled Parker within 39-36. Flood, who was coming off a career-high 38-point performance against Madison West, paced the Vikings with 16 points, while teammate Dani Fugate added 12.
But the Vikings just couldn’t get over the three-point hump from there.
After Parker’s Bria Gorman drilled a pair of free throws to keep the deficit at three, 44-41, with 17 seconds to play, Verona’s Ashley Bartow quickly answered with a free throw to make a two possession game, 45-41.
Bartow’s second free throw then missed the mark, but Tierra Smith snuck in and nabbed the rebound to help the Wildcats run out the final seconds of the game.
“When you’re down, you can’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Klawitter said. “We almost had them. We pulled within three down the stretch, and if we execute our press better, I think we had a chance.”
The Vikings played with less fear in the first quarter. Fugate’s five quick points helped Parker open a quick 9-2 lead. But a Vikings’ four-minute scoring draught helped Verona claim a 13-9 lead early in the second quarter.
Fugate then jump-started the stagnant offense with seven quick points to give the Vikings a 16-15 lead. Gorman later sank a three-pointer with two seconds left to give Parker a 23-21 halftime lead.
But it was all Verona in the third quarter, which proved to be the difference in the second half.
VERONA 45, PARKER 41
Verona (45)—Tvedt, 2-0-4; Witte, 0-2-2; Cropp, 4-3-13; Bartow, 4-7-15; Twing, 4-0-8; Smith, 0-2-2; Kant, 0-1-1. Totals: 14-15-45.
Parker (41)—Flood, 5-5-16; Fugate, 5-0-12; Dement, 0-1-1; Hartwig, 0-4-4; Schumacher, 0-1-1; Washington, 0-2-2; Gorman, 1-2-5. Totals: 11-15-41.
Verona 8 13 17 7—45
Janesville Parker 9 14 9 9—41
Three point goals—Verona 2 (Cropp), Parker 4 (Flood, Fugate 2, Gorman). Free throws missed—Verona 6, Parker 7. Fouled out—Cropp.