If Janesville Parker’s boys basketball team shows the fight it displayed in the first nine minutes of the second half Friday, better results might follow.
On this night, however, the increased intensity came a bit too late.
Sun Prairie, ranked No. 3 in the state Division 1 coaches poll, blitzed out to a 20-point lead in 12 minutes and rolled to a 73-54 Big Eight Conference victory.
The Cardinals are 3-0 overall and in league play. Parker fell to 0-6 overall and 0-4 in league.
“We definitely took a step forward in our never-die attitude,” Parker coach Keith Miller said. “We learned from our past mistakes. Against East, we came out of halftime down 12 and feeling good about ourselves, and we came out flat and they ran us out of our own gym.
“It was good to see that fire, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall. I think there are some fixes we’re still in the process of making.”
The Vikings made just one basket in the opening 10 minutes in falling behind 25-9.
Taylor Jansen scored 11 of his 16 points in a first half where Miller used three early timeouts in an effort to keep his team calm. Parker trailed 39-24 at halftime.
“Sometimes I think they over-exaggerate what’s happening. We’re down eight and it feels like 15, or we’re down 12 and it feels like 30,” Miller said. “If we stop, calm down and take a deep breath ... and realize we’re OK and let’s move forward.”
The Vikings did show progress out of the break.
Senior Chris Galvan, who scored a game-high 27 points by making 11 of Parker’s 16 baskets, helped energize the team by grabbing a couple key rebounds and making six baskets in the first seven minutes of the half.
Twice the Vikings cut their deficit to nine points, once on Galvan’s putback with just over 13 minutes left and once on his driving bucket with 11:15 to go.
Sun Prairie never let Parker get any closer, as senior forward Marlon Ruffin scored 12 of his team-high 22 points in the second half.
“Chris told me after the game, ‘I wish I would have came out with that physicality.’ His points also came with our guys attacking their defense and finding him. It wasn’t him all on his own,” Miller said. “We can’t be satisfied or happy with where we’re at right now, because it’s not good enough. But I see us having the right mindset and going the right direction.”
Parker plays at rival Janesville Craig on Thursday night.
SUN PRAIRIE 73, PARKER 54
Sun Prairie (73)—Jansen 6-4-16, Williams 2-2-6, Schaeffer 2-0-5, Ruffin 8-6-22, K. Johnson 0-2-2, Nelson 3-0-6, Austin 1-1-4, A. Voigt 3-2-8, B. Voigt 1-2-4. Totals: 26-19-73.
Parker (54)—Dahlke 2-0-5, Lippens 0-2-2, Biba 1-2-4, Galvan 11-3-27, Thompson 0-3-3, Ellison 1-8-10, Stricklin 1-1-3. Totals: 16-19-64.
Sun Prairie 39 34—73
Janesville Parker 24 30—54
Three-point goals—Sun Prairie 2 (Schaeffer, Austin), Parker 3 (Galvan 2, Dahlke). Free throws missed—Sun Prairie 8, Parker 7. Total fouls—Sun Prairie 23, Parker 20. Fouled out—Thompson.