A seven-minute scoring drought cost Janesville Parker’s boys basketball team a shot at its second Big Eight Conference win Saturday.
Verona used a 16-0 run early in the second half to open up a double-digit lead en route to a 62-55 win at Parker High.
Parker (2-11, 1-8) cut the lead to four with 40 seconds left, but Verona (6-5, 4-5) answered on the other end with a layup off a perfectly-executed press break and got a free throw from Tyler Slawek with 15 seconds left to conclude the scoring.
Chris Galvan scored a game-high 26 points for Parker, but a balanced Verona attack and the 7-minute scoring drought proved to be the Vikings’ downfall.
“I think more than anything, we got a little tentative that second half,” Parker coach Keith Miller said. “We started looking for that first open shot instead of a good shot. There’s a big difference between taking a smart shot and taking a quick shot.
“And even though we knew that Verona wants to play fast, that doesn’t mean we have to. We gave up 29 points the first half, which is too many, mainly because we weren’t patient enough on offense.”
Parker trailed 29-28 at half, but took its last lead of the game at 34-33 on Brody Dahlke’s 3-pointer with 15:22 left. The Vikings didn’t score again until 8:22 remained when Brody Lippens hit a 3-pointer to end a 16-0 Verona run.
Dahlke had five 3’s and finished with 15 points to go along with Galvan’s 26, but no other player had more than five.
Slawek had 21 points to lead three players in double figures for the Wildcats.
In completing the season sweep of Parker, Verona made 16 of 21 free throws, including 11 of 12 in the first half.
“I think the one thing that we really need to work on is our energy level,” Miller said. “When Brody (Dahlke) hit the 3 to get us within four, I thought our energy level really went up. But we need to have that the whole game and not just when things are going good.
“And when we’ve got a chance to knock down shots, we have to hit a couple of them. That run they made is not nearly as bad if we make a couple shots during that stretch.”
Parker hosts Madison La Follette on Friday.
VERONA 62, PARKER 55
Verona (62)—Clements 1-4-6; Kelliher 6-4-16; Kemper 0-2-2; Slawek 7-2-21; Van Handel 4-3-11; Reilly 2-1-6. Totals: 20-16-62
Parker (55)—Dahlke 5-0-15; Biba 2-1-5; Galvan 11-3-26; Ellison 1-0-2; Curry 2-0-4; Lippens 1-0-3. Totals: 22-4-55
Verona 29 33—62
Janesville Parker 28 27—55
Three-point goals—Verona 6 (Slawek 5, Reilly), Parker 7 (Dahlke 5, Lippens, Galvan). Free throws missed—Verona 5, Parker 2. Total fouls—Verona 10, Parker 20. Fouled out—Kemper.