Shane Merrill | Writer
Hot off a hard fought overtime victory, the Parker Pheasants faced off against conference foe Flandreau, for a win both teams desperately wanted heading into the post season.
Unfortunately for the Pheasants, Flandreau and standout player Tash Lunday were too much down the stretch, with Flandreau edging Parker 65-57.
Both teams struggled in the early minutes of the first quarter, trying to find a rhythm during an early afternoon game. Both the Fliers and Pheasants finally got going, but Flandreau held a slight 15-9 lead after one.
Parker clawed right back into the game in the second quarter, pulling ahead midway through as Carter Robertson dropped in shot after shot to match Lunday for Flandreau, even pushing Parker into a late lead. Flandreau hit the final shot of the quarter after a Parker turnover, leading 25-24 at the half.
Both teams continued to trade shots in the third quarter, with Jaivyn DeBoer and Cole Jurgens picking apart the Flier defense, but Flandreau continued to maintain a slight advantage throughout the quarter, up four to start the fourth.
The Pheasants never did recover in the final quarter, as Flandreau continued to hold a slight lead and responded to every Pheasant rally. Parker did pull within four late in the game, but Flandreau held on for a 65-57 win.
Robertson led the Pheasants with 17 points while DeBoer and Jurgens had 11 each. Robertson also had six rebounds while Colby Olson had eight assists.
Flandreau managed to outshoot the Pheasants, hitting at a 50 percent clip while Parker shot at 43 percent. Free throws were also a major factor with Flandreau getting to the line for 27 attempts and making 18 while the Pheasants only had three attempts and were one of three from the line. Lunday also finished with 33 points for the Fliers.
“We played a very sharp first half and really were the aggressor. In the second half we had a hard time getting stops and controlling their best player. We showed grit down the stretch and made a run but we didn’t get enough stops to get a win,” said coach Lance Friesen.
Up next Parker headed to the post season with an 11-9 record, and the number three seed in Region 5A. They faced MCM Tuesday in Parker.
Pheasants pull stunner against Huskies
In perhaps their best game of the season, the Parker boys basketball squad put together four solid quarters along with a late overtime push to come away with a 53-51 victory against the Bridgewater-Emery Huskies.
Parker struggled in the early minutes of the first quarter, as B-E hit shot after shot wracking up a 19-7 lead. The Pheasants finally went to work, as Davin Fuller and Carter Robertson pushed the Pheasants back in play, with a late three pointer from Robertson making it 19-12 after one.
Both teams matched each other in the second quarter, with both rattling off 12 points, keeping it 31-24 at the half.
The Pheasants had a breakout third quarter, rattling off 10 straight points to take their first lead, with Jaivyn DeBoer and Cole Jurgens helping with the inside-outside game. Parker ended the quarter on a 17-7 run, pulling ahead by three to start the final frame.
Back and forth was the fourth quarter, as the Huskies rallied ahead only to have the Pheasants come right back. In the final minute with time ticking down, DeBoer was fouled sending him to the line, needed both free throws to tie. DeBoer calmly sank both, with just 16 ticks left on the clock, and a last second shot for B-E fell well short, sending Parker to their first overtime of the season.
DeBoer struck first for Parker in the overtime knocking down a three, but the Huskies came right back, again tying with three of their own. The Pheasants mustered two more points and that was just enough, as Parker squeaked out a 53-51 victory, improving to 11-8 on the season with one game remaining.
Robertson led the Parker attack with 18 points while Jurgens had 13 and DeBoer 10. Jurgens also led the rebounding effort with seven. Parker shot 40 percent for the game while holding the hosts to 32 percent. Free throws were also key, as Parker went 8 for 8 down the stretch and shot 81 percent overall.
“We had great defensive intensity the last three quarters. We attacked their zone and matchup zone well and we had a lot of players step up and make plays down the stretch for the team. It was a good team win,” remarked head coach Lance Friesen.
Parker had just one game remaining before the post season.