Round 1 went to the Purple Knights.
Jaden Bell scored 23 points, including 18 in the second half, to lead Beloit Memorial’s boys basketball team to a 74-66 win over Janesville Parker in a Big Eight Conference makeup game Thursday night.
The two teams play twice in one week, as the Purple Knights are scheduled to host the Vikings at Barkin Arena next Thursday.
Beloit (3-16, 3-13) snapped a nine-game losing streak thanks to a decided rebounding advantage and the strong play of Bell. The 6-foot-2 senior guard took over late in the game, scoring seven of his team’s final 11 points, including a pivotal 3-pointer with 1:38 left that pushed the lead to 65-60.
“I told the seniors before the game that they owed me for taking an L to Parker last year,” Beloit coach Dondre Bell said. “They had to come here to Janesville Parker for the last time as seniors and make something special happen, and they did. Jalen is one of those seniors, and he really stepped it up tonight.
“We needed to come in here and take advantage of our athleticism and crash the glass.
“For seeding purposes and for our mental purposes, it was important to get out of here with a win.”
Parker (4-16, 2-14), which has now lost seven straight, once again could not find the right formula to finish. The Vikings have now lost three straight games that were all winnable going into the final minutes of play.
Leading by four at half, Beloit stretched the lead to as many as seven early in the second half.
Parker stayed close and eventually cut the margin to two at 60-58 on Brenden Weis’ steal and dunk with 3:24 to play.
The teams traded baskets before Bell took a 3-pointer from the right corner with his team up two that found nothing but net to push the lead to 65-60 with 1:38 left.
Parker failed to score on its next possession, and Bell again delivered with a three-point play to make it 68-60 with 1:19 left.
The Vikings got no closer than five after that.
Weis had a game-high 25 points for Parker, but once again the ending didn’t go according to script.
“We knew Bell was the guy that made them go,” Parker coach Matt Bredesen said. “And we knew their speed and quickness was a tough matchup for us.
“But I also thought they shot better tonight then what I’ve seen from them on film. We came out in a little zone that first half, and they buried three straight 3s.
“And we missed a lot of shots in the paint, and that’s a big concern. We just didn’t finish.”
Parker plays at Madison Memorial tonight, while Beloit hosts Verona.
BELOIT 74, PARKER 66
Beloit (74)—Bell 9-3-23; Garrett 3-0-6; Chandler 5-2-15; Gamiyu 4-2-10; Hanna 4-0-8; Phiffer 4-0-8; Farr 1-0-2; Harris 0-2-2. Totals: 30-9-74
Parker (66)—DeLong 2-3-9; Conners 4-1-11; Biba 5-1-11; Hartwig 1-1-3; Weis 8-4-25; Thompson 2-1-7. Totals: 22-11-66
Beloit Memorial 35 39—74
Janesville Parker 31 35—66
3-point goals—Beloit 5 (Chandler 3, Bell 2), Parker 11 (Weis 5, Thompson 2, DeLong 2, Conners 2). Free throws missed—Beloit 6, Parker 4. Total fouls—Beloit 10, Parker 15