Matt Bredesen’s scouting report on the Verona Area High boys basketball was spot on.
Defending the Wildcats proved a bit more challenging.
Verona stuck to its game plan—spreading the floor to free up 3-point shooters—and defeated Janesville Parker 71-48 on Thursday as both teams opened the Big Eight season.
The Wildcats (1-1, 1-0 Big Eight) made four early 3s to help separate from the Vikings (0-2, 0-1 Big Eight) and finished 10 of 25 from long range.
“That’s what they do,” Bredesen, Parker's first-year coach, said of Verona’s style of play. “Their offense is to get 3s or to get to the rim.
“We really didn’t do a good job of making them do something they were uncomfortable with.”
Even when the 3s weren’t there, Verona’s offense kept producing points. The Wildcats went on a 9-3 run late in the first half to take a 16-point lead into the break and then scored the first seven points of the second half.
“If it was either getting the 3 or getting some action to the rim, it was encouraging seeing the way we shared the ball tonight,” Verona coach Jevin Budde said after his team rebounded from a season-opening loss to Elkhorn.
“Our guys turned down a good one and we got some great looks.”
Tyler Slawek led the visitors with 19 points and sent Verona into halftime with a 43-27 lead when he drove to the basket and sank a contested layup with 2 seconds remaining. Ryan Van Handel and Adam Bekx added nine points apiece.
Verona shot 56.9 percent from the field, with six different players making 3-pointers in the win.
“If we’re going to let anybody just kind take set horse shots, they’re going to make a lot of shots,” Bredesen said. “Defensively, we told them they were going to pick and pop.”
Parker was much more efficient offensively than it was against Stoughton on Nov. 20, but the Vikings only managed two more points despite shooting 44.4 percent from the field.
Brady Biba was a bright spot for the Vikings in the post. The 6-foot-5 junior led Parker with 15 points—all in the first half. Tremar Curry added 13 and Robert DeLong had eight.
“The offense we ran was not bad,” Bredesen said. “We had some pretty good offensive possessions.”
Reserve guard Jaevin Collins sparked a 9-5 run for Parker when he hustled for a long rebound and then banked in a short shot while being fouled with about seven minutes left in the game. Curry drilled a long 3-pointer over a defender soon after.
“Young guys are going to make mistakes and young guys are going to do good things,” Bredesen said. “We’ve got to praise them for the good things and teach them for the mistakes.”
Parker’s first-year head coach will get his first taste of the crosstown rivalry Saturday when the Vikings travel to Janesville Craig, which defeated Beloit Memorial on Thursday to improve to 2-0.
VERONA 71, PARKER 48
Verona (71)—Anderson 4-0-8, Klawiter 3-0-9, Bekx 3-0-8, Guy 3-0-6, Sutter 2-2-7, McCorkle 1-0-3, Slawek 8-1-19, Gonzales 1-0-2, Van Handel 4-0-9. Totals: 29-3-71.
Parker (48)—Dahlke 1-0-2, Lippens 1-0-2, DeLong 3-0-8, Biba 6-3-15, Collins 1-0-2, Galvan 1-0-3, Thompson 0-1-1, Weis 1-0-2, Curry 6-0-13. Totals: 20-4-48.
Verona 43 28—71
Janesville Parker 27 21—48
3-point goals—Verona 10 (Klawiter 3, Slawek 2, Bekx 2, Sutter 1, McCorkle 1, Van Handel 1), Parker 4 (Biba 2, Galvan 1, Curry 1). Free throws missed—Verona 6, Parker 10. Total fouls—Verona 15, Parker 13.