Janesville Parker Vikings miss chance to display improvement
That left the Vikings with a 74-49 loss to Middleton in a battle of teams fighting for first-division positions in the Big Eight Conference.
Parker High coach Ryan Masterson said he was disappointed with his team’s first-half effort when the Vikings had an opportunity to show they’re a legitimate upper-tier team.
“I know we can play better than we did tonight,” Masterson said. “That’s what’s so disappointing. We had a chance to play at a high level, and we didn’t do it.”
As a result, Middleton improved to 5-3 in the Big Eight and 6-5 overall, while the Vikings dropped to 4-4 and 6-5.
Parker fell behind early in the first quarter when the Vikings’ leading scorer and rebounder, Creed Knutson, picked up his second foul just 2:30 into the game. Knutson got his third foul less than a minute into the second quarter.
With Knutson on the bench the rest of the quarter, the Cardinals pulled out to a 37-16 advantage by halftime.
“We were outrebounded 17-6 in the first half and committed 17 turnovers, which is more than our average for an entire game,” Masterson said. “We only had four turnovers in the second half and outrebounded them, but we couldn’t dig out of that first-half hole.”
Masterson said his biggest disappointment was his players’ inability to perform at a high level.
“Our guys have to learn to play at that higher level,” he said. “Middleton and teams such as Madison Memorial have been there so long, and we just have to learn what it’s like to play at that level.
“We have to learn to come out and match those teams’ intensity,” he said. “Tonight, Middleton came out and gave us an early shot, and we couldn’t respond.”
The Vikings will have another chance to play in the upper division of the league Saturday afternoon when they host second-place Beloit Memorial (10-2, 7-1).
Looking back at Middleton, Masterson said Knutson’s foul trouble was a huge factor.
“He’s our leading rebounder and our leading scorer, by far,” Masterson said. “We were already in a hole, and then to have him sitting on the bench just made it that much harder.”
Erik Albeck led the Parker scorers with 14 points, while Andrew Somerville had 10.
Knutson, third in Big Eight scoring with an 18.7 average, was held to eight points, with limited playing time. He picked up his fourth foul near the end of the third quarter.
The Cardinals had 13 players score, led by Seth Coyne with a game-high 20 points, including a 12-for-13 night on free throws.
MIDDLETON 74, PARKER 49
Middleton (74)—Coyne, 4-12-20; Bavery, 5-0-14; O’Brien, 1-2-4; Williams, 3-0-6; Schmidt, 0-1-1; Joyce, 6-1-13; Buchanon, 1-0-2; Wipfli, 1-0-3; Raffel, 0-2-2; Hagstrom, 1-1-3; Meinholz, 0-2-2; Stubbe, 1-0-2; Gardner, 0-2-2. Totals: 23-23-74.
Parker (49)—Knutson, 3-1-8; Somerville, 1-8-10; Schroeder, 2-0-4; Albeck, 6-2-14; Lloyd, 0-2-2; Long, 0-2-2; Hyde, 1-3-5; Grafft, 1-0-2; Smith, 0-2-2. Totals: 14-20-49.
Middleton 18 19 19 18—74
Janesville Parker 8 8 13 20—49
Three-point goals—Middleton 5 (Bavery 4, Wipfli), Parker 1 (Knutson). Free throws missed—Middleton 7, Parker 13. Total fouls—Middleton 23, Parker 25.
Sophomores—Middleton 47, Parker 36. Parker leading scorers: Charles Organ, 10; Cabann Conley, 8.