JANESVILLE

Moral victories are no longer acceptable for Janesville Parker’s boys basketball program.

Head coach Matt Bredesen said his team is way past the point of just trying to be competitive game in and game out.

He believes the Vikings have enough talent to win now.

Saturday at home, Parker nearly pulled off an upset of Middleton but fell short in a 61-55 Big Eight Conference loss.

The Vikings built a seven-point lead in the second half but could not finish in losing their fifth straight.

“When we look down the stretch, we didn’t execute the way we needed to,” Bredesen said. “We didn’t get the opportunities we wanted and rushed some shots, I thought.

“We told the guys at halftime that we have to be past the point of just trying to be in games. We need to find ways to win, and today, we gave ourselves a chance at the end but didn’t finish once again.”

Middleton (7-11, 6-9) played well early on. The Cardinals, behind the hot-shooting of Cole Deptula, raced out to a 14-2 lead. Deptula had 17 points the first half and finished with a game-high 24, including seven 3-pointers.

Parker trailed by 10 at half but started the second half on a 9-0 run to get within one at 37-36 with 15:19 to play.

The Vikings eventually took the lead at 42-39 on Brady Biba’s 3-pointer with 12:52 left and pushed it to seven a minute late when Biba scored on a goaltending call.

Middleton battled back and eventually tied the game at 54-54 on a Deptula 3-pointer with 3:48 remaining.

The Cards took the lead for good on a free throw with 3:48 left.

Parker scored only one point the final 5:34.

“I’m sure when we go back and look at the film, we’ll use it as a learning lesson,” Bredesen said of the final five minutes. “Whether it’s running different plays, or the guys seeing different reads, we need to learn from it.”

Biba and freshman Sam Bess led Parker with 17 points each.

The Vikings host Madison West on Tuesday night.

MIDDLETON 61, PARKER 55

Middleton (61)—Raffel 1-0-2; Deptula 7-3-24; Patterson 2-0-4; Van Buren 3-4-10; Johnson 4-4-12; Fosdick 3-3-9. Totals: 20-14-61

Parker (55)—DeLong 1-0-3; Conners 3-0-8; Biba 7-2-17; Weis 2-0-5; Bess 7-1-17; Vernon 1-0-2. Totals: 22-3-55

Middleton 37 24—61

Janesville Parker 27 28—55

Three-point goals—Middleton 7 (Deptula 7), Parker 8 (Bess 3, Conners 2, DeLong, Weis, Biba). Free throws missed—Middleton 5, Parker 2. Total fouls—Middleton 9, Parker 18

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