Verona again ends Parker season
JANESVILLE Janesville Parker High School's girls basketball program holds the Divison 1 record with 12 WIAA state tournament appearances.
But the Vikings’ noticeable absence from Madison the past few seasons is beginning to become a trend, courtesy of Verona.
Verona unleashed a 16-0 run in the second and third quarters and held on from there to eliminate the Vikings from the playoffs for a third straight season with a 44-33 victory in a Division 1 sectional final Saturday night at Janesville Craig.
Ali Tackett had 15 points, while Allie Stone added 11 to propel Verona (22-3) to its third consecutive trip to the state tournament, and its first trip to the Kohl Center.
“It feels just as good to go to the Kohl Center as it did the Coliseum,” Verona coach Angie Murphy said.
Meanwhile, Parker (19-6) again is left with a bitter taste of defeat against Verona.
“I’m getting pretty sick of seeing Verona in the sectional final,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “Sometimes somebody has got to mix it up a little bit.”
Unfortunately for Parker, its offense looked mixed up against the Wildcats’ 3-2 zone from the opening tip. The Vikings shot just 1-for-9 in the first quarter and trailed 8-5.
Parker finally got things rolling midway through the second with a 6-0 run to claim its first lead of the game, 12-8.
But the Wildcats stormed back with a 12-0 run to close out the half in control, 20-12.
“I thought the second quarter was probably the game,” Klawitter said. “It was the one quarter where we got beat by five points, 12-7, and got a little momentum towards the end of that quarter.”
Verona made it a 16-0 run with consecutive baskets at the start of the third period to open a 24-12 lead. Parker drew as close as five before the Wildcats scored the last five points of the third to rebuild a 31-21 lead.
Parker stormed back with an 8-0 run behind consecutive three-pointers from Danielle Flood and Savannah Shepler to draw to within 31-29 with six minutes to play.
Flood paced the Vikings with 12 points.
But that was as close as the Vikings got as the Wildcats sealed the victory with an 11-0 run en route to a 42-29 lead with a minute left.
“We knew they were going to make a run,” Murphy said of the Vikings. “They were hitting some deep three-pointers, but I’m a believer that if they can hit seven or eight of the deep threes, then they deserve to go to state. So we’ll take our chances.”
Murphy’s gamble certainly worked well for Verona, which will play Milwaukee Pius (23-3) in the state quarterfinals at 3:15 p.m. Thursday.
VERONA 44, PARKER 33
Verona (44)—Stone, 2-7-11; Zwaga, 2-0-4; Pfeffer, 4-0-8; Tackett, 5-4-15; Cropp; 1-3-6. Totals: 14-14-44.
Parker (33)—Flood, 4-2-12; Shepler, 1-2-5; Pernot, 1-0-3; Franklin, 1-0-2; Zinn, 2-2-6; Hartwig, 1-2-4; Dement, 0-1-1. Totals: 10-9-33.
Verona 8 12 11 13—44
Janesville Parker 5 7 9 12—31
Three point goals—Verona 2 (Tackett, Cropp), Parker 4 (Flood 2, Pernot, Shepler). Free throws missed—Verona 6, Parker 7. Total fouls—Verona 12, Parker 23.