Janesville Parker continues to own overtime.
The Vikings moved to 3-0 in games this season that last longer than regulation, as No. 3-seeded Parker defeated host and No. 2-seeded Fort Atkinson, 73-70, in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal boys basketball game on Friday night.
“We’ve had a lot of resilience all year coming back,” Janesville Parker head coach Matt Bredesen said. “We’ve won three overtime games this year. It’s live and survive to play another day.”
Fort Atkinson (9-6) started off quick with a 6-0 run to start the game, but Parker (17-8) grabbed its first lead at 10-8 with 12:35 to play in the first.
The Blackhawks rattled off a 16-6 run to take a 24-16 advantage with 5:45 left until halftime. Scott Buchta powered the spurt by scoring eight points.
Senior Brenden Weis scored the final seven Parker points as Fort Atkinson took a 29-25 lead into the locker room.
The first real separation of the second half came when the Vikings were able to go on a 9-3 run to earn a 50-43 advantage with 6:23 left.
From there, Parker led for the rest of second half.
Inbounding down 59-56 with 9.6 seconds to play, the Blackhawks got the ball in to Carson Baker. The junior gave it up to Cade Cosson—who tried to giving it back to Baker but was denied a passing lane. Stuck without a dribble at the top of the key, Cosson found Logan Kees on the right wing. As the buzzer sounded, the sophomore’s 3-point attempt swooshed through the net.
“I thought at the end of regulation we did a really good job defending, the kid just hit a shot,” Bredesen said. “I thought we had it there. We wanted to make Baker give it up, and we did a nice job doubling on the ball screen. Kees just hit a shot.”
Parker led the overtime 66-63 after a 3-pointer from senior Ethan Thompson with 1:49 to go.
Then things got weird.
On the next possession, Baker got fouled by Thompson going for a loose ball, which prompted a bonus attempt at the free-throw line. However, Thompson also was called for a technical foul on the play. Baker went on to knock down all four free throws, and Fort Atkinson regained possession up one with 1:33 to play.
Cosson knocked down one-of-two free throws to make it 68-66 with 1:10 left in overtime. Weis knocked down a pair from the free-throw line with 1:02 to play, but Fort Atkinson regained the lead with 31.2 seconds left when junior Drew Evans connected on his own pair of free throws,.
With 18 seconds left, it was redemption time for Thompson. The senior drilled a 3-pointer on the left wing to give Parker a 71-70 lead.
“Huge 3, Thompson showed a lot of resilience,” Bredesen said.
On the next possession, Baker was blocked at the rim and the Vikings grabbed the rebound with 4.4 seconds remaining. Parker made the second of two free throws. Fort Atkinson turned the ball over on the inbounds, and the Vikings once again made one of two free throws.
A half-court attempt from Fort senior Greyson Wixom fell short as the buzzer sounded.
Weis finished with a game-high 24 points.
PARKER 73, FORT ATKINSON 70 (OT)Janesville Parker 25 34 14—73
Fort Atkinson 29 30 11—70
PARKER (fg ft-fta pts)—Thompson 3 3-4 12, Delong 3 3-4 9, Conners 1 2-2 5, Hartwig 4 3-4 11, Naber 4 4-6 12, Weis 7 9-9 24.
FORT ATKINSON — Glisch 1 0-0 2, Baker 4 7-8 16, Cosson 4 1-2 9, Buchta 3 0-1 8, Wixom 2 1-2 6, Kees 5 0-0 11, Opperman 1 0-0 2, Evans 6 4-4 16.
3-pointers: JP 5 (Thompson 3, Conners, Weis), FA 5 (Baker, Buchta 2, Wixom, Kees). Total fouls: JP 13, FA 18.