Not even the loss of its leading scorer could derail Janesville Parker’s boys basketball team Friday night.
The Vikings ran their winning streak to four straight games with a 63-60 nonconference win over visiting Milwaukee Lutheran.
Jacob Naber led four players in double figures with 21 points as Parker improved to 5-2 overall.
Parker was originally scheduled to host Williams Bay on Friday, but the Bulldogs were forced to cancel due to COVID-19 concerns. Milwaukee Lutheran stepped in and brought a 4-0 record along.
The Vikings went on a 10-2 run to end the first half to open up an eight-point lead, and they never relinquished it.
“We’ve got a veteran group, and a lot of these guys are on their third year of varsity, so losing (Robert) DeLong, who was our leading scorer, didn’t force them to have to make any huge adjustments,” Parker coach Matt Bredesen said.
“Naber, who is on his second year of varsity, was really good tonight, especially down the stretch.”
DeLong was not in attendance Friday night but is not expected to miss an extended amount of time.
“The big thing for us is that when we knew we weren’t going to be able to play Williams Bay, I wanted to pick somebody up that would challenge us, and that’s what we got,” Bredesen said. “Milwaukee Lutheran is a very good program that was in the sectional semifinals last season.”
Naber continues to have a breakout season for the Vikings. The 6-foot-7 junior has worked hard on his game and it shows. He had 12 points in the second half, including a three-point play with 7:46 left that pushed Parker’s lead to 51-43.
Naber said the balanced scoring was the difference.
“We knew we were going to be without some good scoring with Rob out,” Naber said. “That meant all of us had to step up, and that it can’t be just one guy to take on the rest of them.
“I think we took good shots, too. That took away the stress of having to score with Rob out.”
Milwaukee Lutheran (4-1) went on a run to cut Parker’s lead to one at 58-57 with 1:45 left. The Vikings answered on Matthew Hartwig’s clutch basket on the ensuing possession to make it 60-57, and Braxton Conners made two free throws with 17 seconds left for Parker to make it 62-57 and a two-possession game.
Hartwig had 11 of his 15 points the first half, while Ethan Thompson finished with three 3s and 11 points for the Vikings. Brenden Weis added 10.
Parker will ride its four-game winning streak into Monday’s nonconference home game against Madison Edgewood.
“We’re making lots of steps all the way through the program,” Bredesen said. “We know it’s a strange year, but we’ve dedicated ourselves to making the most of it. We’re cherishing every opportunity we get and hope to get back at it Monday against Edgewood.”
PARKER 63, MILWAUKEE LUTHERAN 60
Lutheran (60)—Britton 0-5-5; Gray 2-0-4; Chapman 2-0-4; Johnson 9-1-21; Davis 1-1-3; Tucker 3-0-7; Thadison 2-1-5; Davenport 3-1-9; Bynum 1-0-2. Totals: 23-8-60
Parker (63)—Galvan 1-0-3; Thompson 4-0-11; Connors 0-3-3; Hartwig 5-5-15; Naber 7-7-21; Weis 3-4-10. Totals: 20-19-63
Milwaukee Lutheran 27 33—60
Janesville Parker 35 28—63
3-point goals—Lutheran 6 (Johnson 3, Davenport 2, Tucker), Parker 4 (Thompson 3, Galvan). Free throws missed—Lutheran 5, Parker 6. Total fouls—Lutheran 22, Parker 13