Shane Merrill | Sports
Just before their Christmas break, the Parker Pheasants welcomed the undefeated Parkston Trojans to town, and nearly came away with an upset, with the lead just slipping through their fingers.
Parker opened the first quarter trading jabs, but a strong push late was enough to give Parker as much as an 11 point lead, thanks in large part to shots from Davin Fuller and Carter Robertson. The Trojans tried to answer, but the Pheasants still led 19-11 after one.
Fuller opened the scoring in the second quarter, pushing the lead back to 10, with both teams again trading buckets, until Robertson knocked down a three to extend the lead to 12, their largest of the game. The Trojans finally settled in however pulling within seven, 35-28 at the half.
Parkston continued to chip away in the third quarter, and tied the game for the first time at 36 all just two minutes into the quarter. Neither team got comfortable again, with the Pheasants managing one scoring burst but Parkston rallying right back, pulling within 47-45 at the quarters end.
The Trojans took their fist lead fo the second half on their first possession of the final frame, knocking down a three to go up one. Seth VanVliet and Jaivyn DeBoer scored back to back buckets, giving Parker a three point lead, but it was tit for tat from there, as Parkston went ahead by three in the final two minutes, only to have Robertson tie the game for the final time at 58.
It appeared the Pheasants would have a chance to play for a win in the final 30 seconds, but missed opportunity spelled doom for the home team, as Parkston knocked down two final free throws to take the win 60-58.
Robertson led the home team with 21 points while Fuller was close behind with 19. Fuller also led the rebounding effort with seven while Landri Holzwarth had 6.
“I thought we started out very strong and played well against Parkston’s man defense. The guys followed the gameplan and were executing what we practiced. Parkston is a very good team, and I am very proud of our guys for battling the entire game and keeping the lead until the last seconds. We will learn from this game and continue to develop and get better. I am very pleased with the team and how they played,” said coach Austen Hurley.
Up next Parker played conference foe Beresford.