Breaking down Friday night’s Big Eight girls basketball game at Janesville Parker was fairly simple.
When the Vikings remained calm against Madison East’s full-court defense and executed the press break they worked on all week in practice, good things happened and they had a conference-title contender on the ropes.
When the Purgolders’ frenetic pressure forced the Vikings to play too fast and make sloppy passes, East felt fully in control.
East forced Parker into 22 turnovers and allowed the Vikings to make just four baskets in the final 16 minutes, pulling away to a 67-50 victory.
East is 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the Big Eight. Parker is 1-3 and 1-2.
“We had talked all week about how the press isn’t just for steals, the real point of a press is to speed you up and make you make bad passes and bad decisions,” Parker coach Jennah Hartwig said. “For some reason, we just didn’t want to run press break. And when we did, we didn’t make them pay by running offense.
“Physically we did OK, but mentally they just wore us down.”
The Vikings had six turnovers in the first six minutes in falling behind 11-2, but they were able to settle down after that.
In fact, Camryn Rosga made the third of her five 3-pointers of the night—a bank shot from the corner—with five seconds left in the half to give the Vikings a 29-26 lead at the break.
And they were up 34-29 when Rosga made another 3 on the team’s third possession of the second half.
“I was happy that we weathered the storm and just kept going at them,” Hartwig said. “I just wish we would have been able to run our offense a little bit more. In the second half, we just started taking too many outside shots. Those just led to long rebounds and sprinting back on defense again.”
Parker was 7 of 28 from beyond the arc in the game and 10 of 30 from two-point territory.
The Purgolders took over in the final 16 minutes, outscoring the Vikings 38-16.
Parker went eight minutes without a basket at one point but still trailed just 46-42 with 6:30 left to play. East used one last 15-3 run to break away down the stretch.
Senior Aireyanna Conners scored a game-high 22 points, while Auburn signee Erin Howard added 19.
Rosga had 15 to pace the Vikings, who also got 13 from junior Julia Hartwig.
Parker hosts league-leading Sun Prairie on Thursday night.
EAST 67, PARKER 50
East (67)—Filip 1-4-7, Hicks 1-0-2, Bentley 1-3-5, Boston 1-0-2, Howard 9-1-19, Moseberry 1-0-2, Hayes 3-2-8, A. Conners 8-3-22. Totals: 25-13-67.
Parker (50)—Benway 0-2-2, Shelton 4-2-10, Forrestal 2-0-5, Rosga 5-0-15, Graesslin 1-0-3, Burdick 1-0-2, Hartwig 4-5-13. Totals: 17-9-50.
Madison East 26 41—67
Janesville Parker 29 21—50
Three-point goals—ME 4 (Conners 3, Filip), JP 7 (Rosga 5, Graesslin, Forrestal). Free throws missed—ME 3, JP 6. Total fouls—ME 19, JP 17.