Pheasants run past Freeman

Matt VanVliet lays in the ball off a fast break against Freeman. VanVliet had 15 points in the win. (Photo/Shane Merrill)

Shane Merrill | Writer

Parker                   17-21-21-15  74

Freeman                   11-9-12-2  34

FREEMAN-The Parker boys were looking to rebound after their second loss of the season last week as they headed to Freeman to face the winless Flyers. Freeman has had a tough year and Parker quickly rallied into control of the game, winning 74-34.

The Pheasants scored early and often in the contest, particularly in the last three quarters. After Freeman scored on their first trip down the floor, Parker went to work as Carter Robertson and Kaden Pesicka got the scoring going for the visitors. The duo combined for the first 10 points, as the Pheasants led 15-11 after one.

The scoring frenzy continued early in the second quarter as the Pheasants quickly built a 10 point lead, growing that into 15 with Robertson knocking down a trey at the buzzer, with the Pheasants up 38-20 at the half.

Defense continued to shine in the second half, with the visitors only allowing 14 points in two quarters. 

Matt VanVliet joined in on the scoring, knocking down several shots as the Pheasants led by 27 after three going on to win 74-34.

Parker had three players in double figures on the night led by sophomore Robertson with 22 points while Pesicka had 20 and VanVliet 15. 

Robertson also led the rebounding effort with seven while Davin Fuller had six. Cole Jurgens and Landri Holzwarth also led in steals with four and three respectively. 

The Pheasants shot a whopping 51 percent from the field while connecting on 83 percent of their free throws, a continued improvement from early in the season. Parker also held the Flyers to 31 percent from the field and won the rebounding battle 31-15.

“We started out slow, but our last three quarters were much better,” remarked head coach Lance Friesen. “I’d like to see our intensity increase and even though it’s a big win there are many things we can get better at.”

Parker next faced Hanson before a long end-of-themonth break. 

Hanson outguns Pheasants

Parker             8-0-12-17  37

Hanson        13-8-15-24  60

PARKER — The Hanson Beavers were too much for Parker to handle last Thursday night, handing Parker their third loss of the season in a highly anticipated match up that saw stout defense hamper scoring on both ends of the floor.

The Beavers got the scoring going in the first quarter, rattling off the first five points. Parker got on the board with Matt VanVliet and Kaden Pesicka scoring to pull Parker within one 5-4. Hanson continued to build their lead, but a Davin Fuller jumper just before the break had Parker within five, 13-8 after one.

The scoring was none existent for the home team in the second quarter, literally. The Pheasants could muster no offense whatsoever, as the Beavers closed every possibly lane and contested every shot. Parker did a solid job on defense, holding the Beavers to just eight points, however Hanson led 21-8 at the half.

Parker did manage to pick things up in the third quarter, behind VanVliet, Fuller and Pesicka, mustering 10 points. However Hanson continue to lead 34-18 after three.

There was one last glimmer of hope in the fourth quarter, trailing by 20 early as Pesicka, Fuller and Colby Olson combined for seven straight points to pull the Pheasants back within 13 points with six minutes to go. The run never materialized again, and back to back Beaver three pointers put the finishing touches on the game, as Hanson went on to win 60-37 and improve to 7-1 on the year.

Leading Parker on the night was Pesicka with 14 points while Fuller had 11. The Pheasants shot 29 percent from the field, but did hold the hot shooting Beavers to just 36 percent. Free throws continued to improve for Parker, hitting 87 percent from the line. The Beavers also won the rebounding battle 36-26.

“We played well at times defensively,” remarked coach Lance Friesen. “Defensive transition and keeping penetration out of the lane are still things to get better at. We knew we needed to improve offensively against physical pressure defense. Hanson pressured and gets a lot of credit for not letting us get into a flow. Excited to get back to work as we get a few practices in a row so we can get better.”

Next up Parker (8-3) enters a long break and will not return to action until Tuesday, Jan. 28 against Irene-Wakonda. 

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