Janesville Parker offense stalls at Verona
It also means sometimes taking a painful learning lesson.
Despite averaging 66 points per game entering Thursday night, the Vikings were frustrated by Verona’s zone defense, causing missed shots and sloppy play in an ugly 38-33 road defeat.
“It was very frustrating and, I think, a lot of the reason we had such a low-scoring game,” said Dement in reference to the zone Verona stayed in throughout the game. “We couldn’t get the ball into the post, and it really affected our game.”
Daring Parker (7-3, 4-2 Big Eight) to beat them from the perimeter, the Wildcats were content with bottling up leading scorers Ashley Hartwig (16.0 ppg) and Dani Fugate (11.4 ppg) in the post and leaving open looks on the perimeter.
The shots were there, but the results were off. The Vikings shot 3-of-19 (15.8 percent) from the perimeter, while Hartwig didn’t make her first basket until the 1:47 mark in the third quarter. She finished with only seven points, but made two of Parker’s nine buckets, as Dement said her team didn’t “work well inside and out.”
“You have to slow tempo against them, (and) the girls really executed the game plan well,” said Verona coach Angie Murphy. “We made defense a priority. Hartwig is an excellent player. You have to know where she is at all times, and our girls did a good job of that.”
Even despite shooting 9 of 34 (26.5 percent), the Vikings—playing without senior guard Courtney Schumacher (ACL)—had an opportunity to claw back into the game.
Verona started the fourth quarter on an 11-4 run, making the score 36-26. After making its first fourth-quarter field goal with 2:06 remaining, Parker slowly chipped away, as its full-court pressure yielded turnovers, and Verona fouls stopped the clock.
Still, the problems continued to snowball as the Vikings shot 12 of 17 from the line, including 3-of-6 in the final minute, and were unable to take advantage of three turnovers.
Verona senior Ashley Bartow led all scorers with 18 points, including making all three of her fourth-quarter shots for seven points.
Tierra Smith added 10 for the Wildcats (6-2, 3-2).
Junior Dani Fugate and freshman Morgan McCullouch each had nine to lead the Vikings, whose 33 points were a season low.
“We didn’t execute, that’s pretty much it,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “I thought our inexperience was the bottom line tonight. It’s one of those nights.”
With six road games left, consider Thursday’s lesson filed away.
“We know that we should have won,” Dement said. “We should have played better, and we know as a team that we can play better.
“This is only going to push us.”
VERONA 38, PARKER 33
Parker (33)—Chesebro, 0-1-1; Fugate, 4-0-9; Dement, 1-5-7; Hartwig, 2-2-7; McCulloch, 2-4-9. Totals: 9-11-33.
Verona (38)—Hintz, 1-0-2; Smith, 5-0-10; Bartow, 8-0-18; Campbell, 1-2-4; Pierson, 1-0-2; Kant, 1-0-2. Totals: 17-2-38.
Janesville Parker 7 6 9 11—33
Verona 9 6 10 13—38
Three-point goals—Parker 3 (Fugate, Hartwig, McCulloch), Verona 2 (Bartow 2). Free throws missed—Parker 6, Verona 2.