Marques Flowers is a lucky man.
As head coach of the Madison Memorial girls basketball team, he’s not only in charge of the best team in the Big Eight Conference but possibly the entire state.
The Spartans are that good.
Mia Morel had 25 points and Leilani Kapinus added 21 on Thursday night to lead Memorial to a 77-33 Big Eight win at Janesville Parker. The last nine minutes were played with a running clock as the Spartans built a 40-point lead.
Second-ranked Memorial improved to 11-0 overall and 8-0 in the Big Eight.
The Spartans opened the game on a 13-0 run and led 45-16 at half.
Parker had its three-game winning streak snapped in falling to 5-7 and 2-6. The Vikings had more turnovers (41) than points (33).
Flowers knows he has something special.
“These girls put in a lot of work, and this is something that has been growing for four years,” Flowers said. “It’s been fun to see them grow and mature and turn into the kind of team that we thought they could be.
“We’re not the biggest team, but we’re super athletic. Going forward, it’s important that they stay focused and enjoy what’s in front of them.”
Super athletic is an understatement.
The Spartans created havoc for the the Vikings with their full-court pressure. Parker had trouble getting the ball past half court and trailed 13-0 before Tina Shelton hit a 3-pointer with 13:09 left in the half.
Kapinus, a Penn State University recruit, scored all 21 of her points in the first half.
Parker coach Jennah Hartwig said the Spartans were as good as advertised.
“Someone’s going to have to play awfully well to beat them,” Hartwig said. “They can go nine deep and are so athletic. They’re certainly good enough to win state.
“We struggled mightily with their press even though we knew it was coming. They play very physical defense, and that’s compliment, and we didn’t handle it very well.”
Shelton and Abby Blum had seven points each to lead Parker.
The Vikings host Beloit Memorial at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
MEMORIAL 77, PARKER 33
Memorial (77)—Kapinus 10-0-21; Morel 9-6-25; White-Eagle 1-0-2; Brown 1-0-2; Rankins 4-1-9; Thorns 2-2-6; Rauwolf 2-2-7; Peters 1-0-3; Growal 1-0-2. Totals: 31-11-77
Parker (33)—Shelton 2-2-7; Luek 1-2-4; Booth 0-5-5; Demrow-Calvin 1-3-5; Blum 3-0-7; Ayers 0-2-2; Lippens 1-0-3. Totals: 8-14-33
Madison Memorial 45 32—77
Janesville Parker 16 17—33
3-point goals—Memorial 4 (Kapinus, Morel, Rauwolf, Peters), Parker 3 (Shelton, Blum, Lippens). Free throws missed—Memorial 3, Parker 5. Total fouls—Memorial 15, Parker 10