Offensive struggles doom Parker
On a night when not much went right for the Vikings, the bulk of their troubles came on the offensive end. That included free throws, as Parker High missed its first 10 before Andrew Somerville ended the drought with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
Despite the shooting struggles, Parker managed to cut the Middleton lead to three points twice in the fourth quarter but could not get any closer as the Cardinals held on for the 57-43 victory.
With the win, Middleton got back to .500 at 10-10 overall and improved to 9-8 in the Big Eight Conference. Meanwhile, Parker slipped to 8-13 and 6-11.
“Middleton is too good of a team for us to shoot like that,” Parker coach Ryan Masterson said. “I thought we played well, in some aspects of the game. We still had chances there at the end, but couldn’t quite get it done.”
Overall, Parker made 14 of 46 field-goal attempts (30 percent) and 11 of 25 free throws (44 percent).
The Vikings jumped out to an early 13-10 lead, but then were out-rebounded 10-2 in the second quarter and were outscored 14-3 as Middleton secured a 33-26 halftime lead it would not relinquish.
Even with the shooting struggles, Creed Knutson made four straight free throws to bring the Vikings within 33-30 with 7:13 left in the game. However, the Cardinals answered with a 6-0 run, which included a three-pointer from Sonny Bravery and a three-point play from Ian Joyce on consecutive possessions to give Middleton a 39-30 advantage.
Joyce had 11 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Seth Coyne led the Cardinals with 15 points overall, including making seven of his eight fourth-quarter free throws.
Knutson finished with a game-high 21 points, with 10 in the fourth quarter.
The senior started another Parker rally with a three-pointer and added two free throws to again pull the Vikings within three points at 39-36 with 5:03 remaining.
However, Antoine Buchanon countered with a layup, and Joyce added another basket underneath to spark a 15-3 run for Middleton that put the game away.
“I thought the game got away from us in the second quarter,” Masterson said. “We made some mental errors.
“We showed some signs of doing some good things. If we put four quarters like that together, we can play with anyone. Bu, for some reason we’re still not doing that, and it’s sort of disappointing at this point in the season.”
MIDDLETON 57, PARKER 43
Parker (43)—Somerville, 3-3-10; D. Thompson, 3-0-7; Schroeder, 1-0-2; Knutson, 6-7-21; Lloyd, 1-1-3. Totals: 14-11-43.
Middleton (57)—Bavery, 2-0-6; Coyne, 3-8-15; Wipfli, 2-0-6; Buchanon, 2-2-6; Gardner, 0-1-1; Stubbe, 1-0-3; Joyce, 4-6-14; Meinholz, 0-1-1; Schmidt, 2-1-5. Totals: 16-19-57.
Parker 13 3 10 17—43
Middleton 10 14 9 24—57
Three-point goals—Parker 4 (Knutson 2, Somerville, D. Thompson), Middleton 6 (Bavery 2, Wipfli 2, Coyne, Stubbe). Free throws missed—Parker 14, Middleton 10. Total fouls—Parker 24, Middleton 22. Fouled out—Schroeder.