Parker smothers West's offense
But instead of letting the approximate 30-minute delay give them the chills, the Vikings retreated to their bus and used the distraction to their advantage.
“We just talked about teamwork, defense, keeping our heads in the game and playing Parker ball,” said senior Kayce Chesebro. “We were already focused and we never lost focus.”
The Madison Fire Department handled the first fire, which was caused by a smoke-spewing heater, and Parker’s defense put out Madison West’s potent offense in a 54-45 wire-to-wire victory over the Regents.
It was a stark contrast to the first meeting between these two schools, when Parker (12-6, 9-5) gave up 70 points in a six-point defeat on December 16.
“We really want to give back to them what they did to us on our home court,” said junior Dani Fugate, who led Parker with 15 points. “When we really focused on what we had to do, we got it done.”
The focus was not letting West (15-3, 11-3) get anything going toward the basket, clogging the lane and not letting the Regents’ press cause headaches. The results spoke for themselves, as Parker held West to its second lowest point total of the season and forced 16 turnovers (10 in the second half).
Senior Elyse Jackson scored a game-high 18 points for the Regents, but only one other player scored more than five. By comparison, Parker had four players with at least nine points, led by Fugate, Ashley Hartwig (12 points) and Chesebro (10 points).
“We bent a little bit tonight, but we didn’t really break,” said Parker coach Tom Klawitter. “The more shots you miss, the tougher they are to make, and I thought we forced them into a lot of tough shots.”
Parker’s offense was far from consistent—the Vikings had 17 turnovers—but started each quarter out on the right foot by scoring six of the first eight points to thwart off any potential comebacks. The biggest run came at the start of the fourth quarter after West had trimmed the lead to four.
Using its length inside, Parker grabbed three of its four fourth-quarter offensive rebounds on one series, eventually leading to a point-blank shot underneath to extend the lead to six. West would get no closer the rest of the way.
“Second shots either kill teams or make teams,” said Fugate. “Tonight, we really stepped up.”
PARKER 54, WEST 45
Parker (54)—McDonald, 1-0-2; Shepler, 1-0-3; Smith, 0-2-2; Chesebro, 3-4-10; Fugate, 6-1-15; Dement, 4-1-9; Thompson, 0-2-2; Hartwig, 4-3-11. Totals: 19-13-54.
West (45)—McClarn, 2-1-5; Nettles-Bey, 1-0-2; Dickerson, 0-2-2; Lee, 1-0-3; Hilliard-Williams, 1-2-5; Cannon, 4-0-8; Jackson, 8-1-18; Ward, 1-0-2. Totals: 18-6-45.
Parker 17 10 9 18—54
West 13 11 8 13—45
Three-point goals—Parker 3 (Shepler, Fugate 2), West 2 (Lee, Jackson). Free throws missed—Parker 18, West 2. Total fouls—Parker 11, West 26.