Shane Merrill | Sports
Coming into last Thursday, the Parker boys had ran off a 2-4 record, but were within striking distance in all four of their losses. Parker entered the Big East Conference tournament with the seventh seeded, meaning they met eventual champion Flandreau in the opening round.
Parker vs. Flandreau
In their opening round game the Parker Pheasants met up with number two seed Flandreau and after putting a scare on the Fliers, fell in the contest 63-52. Parker opened the game firing on all cylinders, leading the Fliers by 10 points late in the period and were up 15-11 after one.
The second quarter saw an offensive burst from Flandreau, as the Fliers put up 20 points while holding Parker to just nine. Carter Robertson managed to bank in a half court buzzer beater, pulling Parker within 31-24 at the half.
The Fliers expanded their lead to 20 points in the third quarter, but Parker came storming back as three pointers fell from Landri Holzwarth, but it was too little too late as the Fliers took the win 63-52.
Robertson led the Pheasants with 16 points while Davin Fuller had 12 and Holzwarth 10. Fuller also had eight rebounds. The Pheasants shot just 34 percent from the field, but hit 90 percent from the free throw line.
Parker vs. Beresford
After their disappointing loss to open the tournament, Parker faced off against a familiar foe in Beresford. The Pheasants had suffered a tough loss to the Watchdogs just one week prior, but this time the Pheasants changed up their defense and took the win 60-50.
It was all Parker from start to finish, as their press caused problems for the Watchdogs, never letting them get into an offensive rhythm. Parker got several fast breaks for buckets, and managed to hit well from beyond the arc in the win. Beresford was able to make a run in fourth quarter, but Parker held for a victory.
Robertson led the Pheasants with 23 points while Fuller had 16 and Jaivyn DeBoer 10.
Parker vs. MCM
In their second rematch of the tournament, Parker faced off against McCook Central/Montrose in the fifth place game. Parker could never put the Fighting Cougars away, and the host team was able to survive several Parker game winning attempts, taking the one point win, 47-46.
Both teams struggled from the field in the first quarter, and were tied 10-10 after one. MCM took the edge in the second quarter, going ahead by as many as eight, but a Parker comeback pulled the Pheasants within 24-20 at the half.
Things started to get interesting in the third quarter, as Parker rallied ahead by a point, and were back and forth with the Fighting Cougars, trailing by three, 37-34 to start the final quarter. A Carter Robertson three tied the game early in the fourth. Parker finally found some space, as Landri Holzarth stole the inbounds pass and hit Davin Fuller, who buried a deep three, pushing Parker ahead. Robertson was also fouled in the front-court on the play, with the basket counting and giving the ball right back to the Pheasants. Robertson then drained his next attempt, a jumper from the free throw line, pushing Parker ahead by five with six minutes to play. MCM managed to come all the way back, and several Parker looks fell in and out, with Parker trailing 47-46 with just over a minute to play. The Pheasants could never put the game away from there, having three attempts but not managing to score, as MCM missed back to back opportunities at the free throw line, but managing to hold the winning score 47-46 as the horn sounded.
Robertson had 19 points in the victory for Parker while Jaivyn DeBoer and Davin Fuller had nine points apiece. Robertson rounded out with a double-double also leading in rebounds with 11 while Fuller had 10 and Landri Holzwarth 10. Neither team shot well, as Parker hit just 31 percent from the field while MCM was 28 percent. Free throws didn’t fall when they were needed as Parker shot just 50 percent, five of 10 from the line. MCM hit 70 percent from the line but got to the stripe 17 times.
“This past weekend at the BEC Tournament was a great showing of how hard our team can play,” said coach Austen Hurley. “Against Flandreau our team took on a very tough Flandreau team and played tough as nails the entire game. I believe we surprised some people with our style of play and keeping the game close. Against Beresford, the guys wanted redemption from the last time we faced the Watchdogs. The guys came out with a vengeance and started out strong and never looked back. Beresford did a great job of making adjustments at half time, but our players were determined to win. On Saturday, we battled from start to finish against MCM. In the end we lost by one point. The game really came down to turnovers and free throws, which he struggled with throughout the game. However, our guys battled to put us in the best position. Unfortunately, we came up short. I am very pleased with how we are playing and the maturity we have on and off the court. We are continuing to keep getting better and determined to prove to teams how good we are.”
Parker next faced neighboring Freeman.