A four-game losing skid came to an end Friday night for Janesville Parker’s girls basketball team.
Tina Shelton scored 25 points, and Jena Forrestal drained four clutch free throws the final 40 seconds to lead the Vikings to a 62-55 Big Eight Conference win over Madison La Follette.
Parker (2-4, 1-3) built a 13-point lead early in the second half but had to hang on to pick up its first conference win.
“Everybody that was in the game for us tonight, whether it was a starter or someone off the bench, contributed,” Parker coach Jennah Hartwig said. “And we haven’t had a lot of close games the last couple years, so it was nice that when we did tonight, the girls kept their composure.
“This was a good win, and one we had to have. These are the games you have to win because we’re going to have some games where it’s going to be tough for us because we’re so undersized.”
Parker, behind 14 first-half points from Shelton, led 35-29 at the break.
Shelton scored the first five points of the second half to push the Vikings’ lead to double digits at 40-29.
La Follette (2-2, 2-2) refused to go away and eventually cut the lead to at 57-55 on two free throws from Megan Lowery with :50 to play.
Forrestal hit two free throws with 40 seconds left to push the lead to 59-55.
The senior point guard added two more with 17 seconds left to make it 61-55. Forrestal finished with a season-high 16 points.
Shelton, who sat out all of last season with a leg injury, carried the load offensively for the Vikes. The senior added 11 points the second half in reaching a career-high with 25.
She said winning trumped her point total.
“We needed that win to kind of get our engines revving,” Shelton said. “We’ve been working really hard in practice, and we all felt like the wins would eventually come.
“We always play with a lot of heart and compete as hard as we can, but we also want to win. It’s a lot more fun when you win.”
Parker plays at Madison East on Tuesday night.
PARKER 62, LA FOLLETTE 55
La Follette (55)—Driver 4-1-10; Myhr 1-3-6; Woods 4-1-9; Green 3-0-8; Lowery 6-5-17; Fair 2-0-5. Totals: 20-10-55
Parker (62)—Ayers 3-1-7; Shelton 8-7-25; Forrestal 3-8-16; Booth 1-2-5; Egger-Ahrens 1-0-3; Demrow-Calvin 3-0-6. Totals: 19-18-62
Madison La Follette 29 26—55
Janesville Parker 35 27—62
Three-point goals—La Follette 5 (Green 2, Driver, Fair, Myhr), Parker 6 (Shelton 2, Forrestal 2, Booth, Egger-Ahrens). Free throws missed—La Follette 5, Parker 9. Total fouls—La Follette 21, Parker 17. Fouled out—Woods, Green, Lowery