Janesville50.5°

Middleton girls too much for Parker

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JOHN N. BARRY
January 15, 2011
— Don’t be surprised to see Middleton High School’s girls basketball team makes a long postseason run.

The Cardinals are that good.


They showcased their many talents with a convincing 56-32 victory over Janesville Parker in a Big Eight game here Friday night, which lifted the first-place Cardinals to 8-0 in the conference and 10-1 overall.


Fourth-ranked Middleton’s relentless defense forced Parker turnovers, while the Cardinal offense put up 39 points in the first half.


Parker played well early on but had no answer for the constant backdoor cuts and over-the-top passes that resulted in easy baskets for Middleton.


“We missed some assignments defensively, and at times, we were afraid to come help on No. 34 (Kerry Gardner),” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said after his team fell to 5-3 in the conference and 8-3 overall. “And we got beat on the boards, especially on the offensive boards.


“Our effort was there for about 2˝ quarters, but then we looked like deer in the headlights at other times.”


Parker took its last lead at 9-8 on Frankie Larson’s basket with just under three minutes left in the first quarter. Middleton led 15-11 after the opening quarter before a 12-5 run to start the second pushed the lead to double digits. The Vikings got no closer than nine and trailed 39-22 at half.


Gardner led a balanced Middleton attack with 17 points, while Rachel Eklund added 15.


Danielle Flood was the only Viking in double figures, finishing with 13 points.


Leading by 17 after three quarters, Middleton was content to run clock. The Cardinals scored only 17 points in the second half, but they held the Vikings to only nine, including one in the fourth quarter.


With Middleton clearly distancing itself from the rest of the Big Eight, Klawitter is hopeful his young team learned a valuable lesson Friday night heading into the second half of the season.


“We’ve just got to be able to take of the basketball a little better and stay in the game early,” Klawitter said. “Had we done that tonight and not turned the ball four or five times under their basket, we probably could’ve stayed in the game.”


The Vikings won’t have long to regroup, with a Big Eight game at Beloit Memorial at 2:45 p.m. today.


MIDDLETON 56, PARKER 32


Middleton (56)—Gardner, 6-5-17; Eklund, 6-3-15; Passini, 2-0-4; Gunderson, 4-1-9; Staples, 2-2-7; Williams, 1-1-4. Totals: 21-12-56.


Parker (32)—Larson, 2-0-4; Flood, 6-1-13; Dement, 1-0-2; Hartwig, 3-0-6; Fugate, 1-1-4; McDonald, 1-1-3. Totals: 14-3-32.


Middleton 15 24 9 8—56


Janesville Parker 11 11 9 1—32


Three-point goals—Middleton 2 (Staples, Williams), Parker 1 (Fugate). Free throws missed—Middleton 9, Parker 4. Total fouls—Middleton 13, Parker 20.


Sophomores—Middleton 58, Parker 38. Parker leading scorer—Jackie Shepler, 11.




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