Janesville Parker’s girls basketball team spent too much time playing catch-up Friday night.

Middleton scored 13 straight points midway through the first half, and the Vikings were left to come from behind the rest of the way.

Parker got close several times throughout the second half but never cleared the hump, and Middleton held on for a 58-53 Big Eight Conference victory at Parker High.

“It was just a horrible first half,” Parker coach Jennah Hartwig said. “They just weren’t ready to go in pregame; they weren’t ready. We had a good week of practice, so I was happy with the week we put in ... and we just didn’t execute.

“We let them push us around under the basket and we didn’t cover the 3 and they shot well when it was open. It’s just really disappointing.”

It was 10-10 at the midway point of the first half when the Cardinals seized control with their 13-0 run. It began when Middleton missed a free throw but grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked the ball out to Josie Lemirande for a 3-pointer in the corner.

Karina Bursac, who had eight of her team-high 12 points in the first half, had a pair of buckets during that stretch. And Evie Coleman made a pair of free throws and a corner 3.

Parker cut its deficit to six late in the first half but trailed 34-23 when Lemirande made another 3 in the final 30 seconds.

“It was better, but then we’d have a pass and someone just assumes it goes out of bounds and doesn’t make a play,” Hartwig said. “They fought, but you know what? That’s not good enough. We can’t get ourselves into a big hole and then just fight to be even. We’ve just got to get tougher, physically and mentally.”

Parker got within three points twice early in the second half and both times had chances to get closer and couldn’t capitalize.

The Vikings got within two, 48-46, on Brooke Graesslin’s fourth 3-pointer of the night with 4:47 remaining. And they were within one twice in the final three minutes.

The first time, Middleton made a pair of free throws to get its lead back to three. The second time, Middleton connected on a long baseball pass for an easy layup with about 1:40 to play.

Middleton held on from the free-throw line, though it converted just 17 of 29 foul shots on the night.

Junior Julia Hartwig scored 13 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, and Graesslin added 12 points for Parker.

The Vikings are off until playing Walworth Big Foot in a nonconference game Dec. 27 in Wisconsin Dells.


Middleton (58)—Schwartz 0-2-2, Lemirande 2-0-6, Coleman 1-3-6, T. Tanin 2-0-5, H. Dunn 2-0-4, Schauer 1-0-2, Bursac 5-2-12, C. Dunn 1-5-8, Flottmeyer 3-2-8, S. Tanin 1-3-5. Totals: 18-17-58.

Parker (53)—Benway 4-1-9, Shelton 3-0-7, Forrestal 0-2-2, Rosga 2-0-6, Graesslin 4-0-12, Hartwig 7-3-17. Totals: 20-6-53.

Middleton 34 24—58

Janesville Parker 23 30—53

Three-point goals—Middleton 5 (Lemirande 2, Coleman, T. Tanin, C. Dunn), Parker 7 (Graesslin 4, Rosga 2, Shelton). Free throws missed—Middleton 13, Parker 3. Total fouls—Middleton 12, Parker 22. Fouled out—Forrestal, Hartwig.

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