Edgewood’s boys basketball players took their time, probing their way through their swing offense while looking for open looks.
Janesville Parker’s defenders were happy to be patient right along with the Crusaders on Monday night. And the persistence paid off for the Vikings.
They held Edgewood to just one made basket in the final 11 minutes, rallying from a seven-point deficit to win the nonconference game 51-44. Junior Brenden Weis’ steal and dunk with 10 seconds left was the icing on the cake of Parker’s fifth consecutive victory.
“When they’re moving around like that, it tires you out (on defense), but you’ve just got to think, ‘If I just get this stop on defense and then we score ...’” Parker senior forward Matthew Hartwig said. “Especially when they get on a little run. You’ve got to think what you can do personally to help get a stop and then go on offense.”
The Vikings showed that exact mentality down the stretch in the second half.
Edgewood made back-to-back 3-pointers with about 13 minutes left to take a 39-32 lead, and the Crusaders were up 41-34 with 11 minutes to go.
The Vikings, who had battled back from a seven-point deficit to forge a 29-29 tie at halftime, never panicked.
“When we had problems was when we sort of allowed them to get out and push the tempo; we’ve got to control the tempo,” Parker coach Matt Bredesen said.
“We called a couple timeouts and at times kind of shifted into our 2-3 matchup zone. ... I was a little hesitant to do it, because against Darlington they (Edgewood) shot lights-out. But we ended up doing pretty well.”
Edgewood made seven 3-pointers, but none in the final 11 minutes as Parker’s defenders closed out well even when the Crusaders got a look from beyond the arc.
Offensively, after Hartwig scored all 12 of his points down low in the first half, the Vikings turned to junior Jacob Naber in the second. He had 10 of his 19 points after halftime, including seven straight during a 9-2 run that gave Parker a 47-44 lead with 3:25 left.
Edgewood’s final points were scored with 4:42 remaining.
An Ethan Thompson free throw with 1:33 left put Parker up 48-44, and Weis had the highlight-reel finish when he slapped a pass away at the top of the key and then raced the other way for a one-handed dunk.
“That was game-sealer, and quite the exclamation point for a Parker game,” Bredesen said.
Weis finished with 14 points.
Just four Parker players scored as leading scorer Robert DeLong missed his second consecutive game, and the Vikings didn’t make a single 3-pointer. But that did not keep them from extending what has become an historic winning streak for the program. A four-game streak in 2010-11 had been the longest winning streak of the past two decades.
“It feels really good right now,” Hartwig said. “And I believe that we can keep this going as long as we can play team defense like we did tonight.”
Parker returns to the court Monday against Monroe.
PARKER 51, EDGEWOOD 44
Edgewood (44)—Krantz 2-1-6, Newton 1-0-2, Trudgeon 2-0-5, Regner 2-0-5, Jimenez 5-0-14, Nwankwo 3-4-10, Thomas 1-0-2. Totals: 16-5-44.
Parker (51)—Thompson 2-2-6, Hartwig 5-2-12, Naber 6-7-19, Weis 5-4-14. Totals: 18-15-51.
Madison Edgewood 29 15—44
Janesville Parker 29 22—51
3-point goals—Edgewood 7 (Jimenez 4, Krantz, Trudgeon, Regner), Parker 0. Free throws missed—Edgewood 1, Parker 9. Total fouls—Edgewood 17, Parker 12.