Parker girls have room for improvement
JANESVILLE Technically, Janesville Parker's girls basketball team won its home opener Tuesday night.
The Vikings overcame 29 turnovers and a miserable second half in holding off Madison La Follette, 48-42, in the Big Eight Conference opener for both teams.
Yet longtime Parker coach Tom Klawitter was anything but pleased afterward as he watched his young team squander a 17-point halftime lead.
"We were terrible the second half, and that's what I told them," Klawitter said of his team. "You've got to go forward and not backward. They're better than that, and they know it.
"That second half is not what our program is all about. Our program is about going out there and doing what we do in practice, and to make sure we're competing at the level I expect us to."
Parker (2-0, 1-0) enjoyed a 17-point lead and eventually pushed the margin to 21 early in the fourth. La Follette (0-1, 0-1) got within five with 1:11 left thanks to an impressive 19-3 run.
The Vikings held off the Lancers by making five of six free throws down the stretch, including three in the last 35 seconds from Ashley Hartwig. Hartwig and senior Dani Fugate led the Vikings with 15 points each.
"We won on the scoreboard, but I thought there were times where they outmuscled and outhustled us, and there's no excuse for that," Klawitter said.
"It comes down to our turnovers, and I'm not sure what's up with that. We dribble with our heads up and see the floor, and we don't have a problem with it."
Parker was in cruise control early on. The Vikings jumped out to a six-point lead after one and quickly pushed the margin to double digits early in the second quarter. Fugate finished the first half with 11 points, one more than La Follette scored as a team.
Parker hosts Madison Memorial on Friday night.
PARKER 48, LA FOLLETTE 42
La Follette (42)—Newman, 4-5-13; Meiller, 3-2-8; Grahn, 6-3-16; Corcoran, 1-0-2; Smith, 1-1-3. Totals: 15-11-42.
Parker (48)—Shepler, 3-1-7; Smith, 2-1-5; Fugate, 6-2-15; Hartwig, 2-11-15; McCulloch, 1-0-3; Dubanowich, 1-0-3. Totals: 15-15-48.
La Follette 6 4 9 23—42
Parker 12 15 9 12—48
Three-point goals—La Follette 1 (Grahn), Parker 3 (Fugate, McCulloch, Dubanowich). Free throws missed—La Follette 12, Parker 7. Total fouls—La Follette 19, Parker 21. Fouled out—Newman, Grahn.
Sophomores—Parker 62, La Follette 30. Parker leading scorers: Kaitlyn Foster, 12; Bree Porter, 11; Brook Nunn, 10; Kristin Dubanowich, 10. Parker is 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big Eight.