Keshawn Justice and several other Madison East starters laughed and smiled while watching the second half unfold before them.
The Purgolders had plenty of reasons to celebrate Tuesday.
Justice scored 23 points in an abbreviated outing and got some much-needed rest as Madison East dominated Janesville Parker in the second half for a 90-46 Big Eight Conference win at Parker High.
The Purgolders scored the first 17 points of the second half, breaking open what had been a 12-point game at halftime. Three days earlier in a season-opening loss to Janesville Craig, Madison East (1-1, 1-1 Big Eight) was stung by Jack Huml’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Justice, a Division I prospect committed to Santa Clara, played 35 minutes and scored 34 points in the defeat.
It was a different story Tuesday. The Purgolders steadily widened their advantage and played the final eight minutes with a running clock.
“It was a tough loss Saturday, so it was nice to get that taste out of our mouth,” Madison East coach Matt Miota said. “We turned up the pressure in the second half.”
Earl Lewis scored 15 points, Anthony Washington had 13, and Damontae Thompson added 10 in the win. East shot 54.8 percent from the field.
Parker (0-5, 0-2 Big Eight) played with patience in the first half and found open looks for 6-foot-6 forward Chris Galvan, who scored 16 of his 18 points before halftime. The senior had four of the Vikings’ 10 3-pointers.
“We know what Chris can do and so does the rest of the conference,” Parker coach Keith Miller said. “When Chris is in rhythm and Chris gets good looks, then the ball’s going in. It opens things up for the other guys, as well.”
Robert DeLong sank three 3s for nine points, a season-high.
“We didn’t close out well, and they can knock down shots,” Miota said. “That was the emphasis in the second half: to run them off the line and close out on their shooters.”
Parker’s shot attempts dried up when the Purgolders took over in the opening minutes of the second half. The Vikings went nearly six minutes without a basket before Galvan’s 3 with 12:17 to play.
The Vikings host Sun Prairie on Friday in another Big Eight contest.
EAST 90, PARKER 46
East (90)—Jones 2-4-9, Lewis 7-0-15, Thompson 4-2-10, A. Washington 5-2-13, K. Justice 10-1-23, White 2-0-5, D. Washington 2-1-5, Mielke 1-3-5, Wilcox 0-2-2, M. Justice 1-1-3. Totals: 34-17-90.
Parker (46)—Dahlke 1-2-5, Lippens 0-2-2, DeLong 3-0-9, Galvan 6-2-18, Thompson 1-0-2, Meyers 1-0-2, Bowers 1-0-3, Ellison 2-0-5. Totals: 15-6-46
Madison East 44 46—90
Janesville Parker 32 14—46
Three-point goals—Parker 10 (Galvan 4, DeLong 3, Dahlke 1, Bowers 1, Ellison 1), East 6 (K. Justice 2, Jones 1, Lewis 1, White 1). Free throws missed—East 6, Parker 2. Total fouls—Parker 20, East 15.