Pheasants slay Dragons

Carter Robertson shoots for two against the Blue Dragons last week. (Photo/Shane Merrill)

Shane Merrill | Writer

Parker 12-13-20-12        57

Garretson 20-7-9-13             49

GARRETSON-The Parker boys headed to Garretson last Tuesday night, looking for a spark to help close out their season as the region tournament looms. Parker got just that, rallying past the Blue Dragons 57-49, improving to 11-6 on the year. 

It was all Blue Dragons in the early goings, as the Pheasants seemed to struggle to find any rhythm. The Pheasants were able to hang around, but six straight points in the final minute had Parker down 20-12 after one.

Shots finally started to fall in the second quarter for the Pheasants who clawed their way to a tie late in the quarter, only to see the Blue Dragons retake the lead 27-25 at the half. 

Parker came out swinging in the second half, thanks to shots from seniors Kaden Pesicka and Matt VanVliet who pushed the Parker lead to 10 midway through the third. The Pheasants held on for a 45-36 lead after three.

VanVliet knocked in the first shot of the third quarter, pushing the Parker lead back to 11, the hosts continued to claw the entire way however, pulling back within four in the final minutes, only to have Fuller, Pesicka and VanVliet seal the victory, with Parker taking the win 57-49.

The Pheasants were fairly efficient from the field, hitting at a 46 percent clip, and connecting on 75 percent of their free throws. Leading Parker was Pesicka with 19 points while VanVliet had 13. Garretson on the other hand shot just 36 percent from the field, but hit nine of 11 from the stripe. The Blue Dragons also out rebounded Parker 35-20, but the Pheasants forced the hosts into 23 turnovers.

“We started slow, they hurt us on the boards early,” said coach Lance Friesen. “We were able to get stops in the second quarter and that carried over to the offensive end. The second half we did a better job attacking the hoop and getting stops.”

Up next Parker played an important match up against Bridgewater-Emery.

Pheasants slide by B-E

Parker 22-12-11-12      57

B-E 12-17-10-15      54

PARKER-In a game that had serious playoff implications, the Parker boys were able to deliver last Friday night, hosting the Bridgewater-Emery Huskies. The Pheasants led the whole way, and survived a late scare, going on to take the decisive win 57-54. 

Bridgewater-Emery took their only lead of the night off the first basket in the first quarter. The Pheasants then went to work as Davin Fuller and Carter Robertson combined for a 10-2 run, pushing the lead to 10-4. The Pheasants continued to lead thanks to hot shooting, with Cole Jurgens dropping a three and another Fuller bucket extending the lead to 22-12 after one. 

The Visitors made a scoring run to open the second, pulling within five, but the Pheasants were able to weather the storm, as Kaden Pesicka, Matt VanVliet and Fuller led the way with Parker leading 34-29 at the half.

Parker built on that lead in the third quarter, with Jurgens dropping back to back threes and helping push the Parker lead back to 10. B-E did mount a late rally, pulling within 45-39 as time expired on the third.

The Pheasants once again used an early scoring burst to extend their lead to nine with six minutes to go, but it was tit for tat from there, as the Huskies answered every Parker shot, pulling within 57-54 with thirty seconds to go. Thankfully for the Pheasants a last second three pointer looked good but went long, allowing Parker to escape with a 57-54 win, moving their record to 12-6 on the year.

Leading Parker on the night was Fuller who had his best game of his career with 17 points while Cole Jurgens notched 12. VanVliet also had nine points as did Carter Robertson.

The Pheasants shot the lights out, especially from deep, connecting on seven of nine three pointers, going a perfect 4-4 in the second half. Parker managed a total of 54 percent from the field while holding B-E to just 3 of 17 from long range and 35 percent for the game. 

“Played great offensively the first half and kept the ball moving,” remarked coach Lance Friesen. “They hurt us on the offensive boards in the 1st half, but the second half was much more physical and they applied more pressure. We did a nice job but need to get better at spacing and back-cutting against pressure.”

He continued, “ (It was a) Good win against a talented and physical team.”

Parker, seeded second in their region, next faces Flandreau and closes the year with Parkston.

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