On the defensive: Parker girls top Sun Prairie
On a night when it was offensively challenged, Janesville Parker’s girls basketball team turned to its defense.
The Vikings held visiting Sun Prairie to only 10 field goals in a 43-34 Big Eight Conference win.
Parker (6-4, 5-2) managed only 12 field goals but ended the game with an 11-3 spurt in improving to 3-0 at home this season.
“What I’m most pleased about is that we have a lot of room for improvement as a team, and I saw some of that tonight,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “Offensively, with Morgan (McCulloch) coming back, it’s going to take us a while to get in the swing of things. But defensively, we were, for the most part, solid tonight.
“Obviously we’ve got things to work on still, but I like the fact that the girls are putting shots up and not hesitating. Hopefully some of those shots will start to fall.”
No shot was bigger for Parker on Friday than Kathryn Dubanowich’s 3-pointer with 2:02 to play. The junior’s bomb from the top of the key pushed Parker’s lead back to four and started the 11-3 run to end the game. Dubanowich had three of Parker’s five 3-pointers.
Neither team could get anything going the first 16 minutes. Sun Prairie (3-7, 3-4), which got a game-high 15 points from Bailey Huser, was 6-for-18 shooting at half. Parker fared even worse, misfiring on 16 of 19 shots. But the Vikings led 17-14 at the break thanks to eight first-half points from junior guard Jessica Thompson.
Parker stretched the lead to seven after three quarters, but Sun Prairie sliced the lead to one at 32-31 on Jenna Conom’s bucket with 2:20 left. Dubanowich’s 3-pointer pushed the lead back to four, and Thompson and Paige Smith made two free throws each in the last 23 seconds to seal the victory.
The Vikings play a nonconference game this afternoon at defending Division 1 champion Milwaukee Riverside. The Tigers are 1-6 this season, but Klawitter knows that means nothing.
“They’ve played every good team in the state, so I know their record is very misleading,” Klawitter said. “But hopefully this win tonight will carry over and we can build off of it.”