Shane Merrill | Writer
In their third conference match-up of the season, the Parker boys were set to travel to Beresford to take on the Watchdogs on Saturday, Jan. 4.
Parker used a strong second half to edge the host, improving to 4-1 on the season.
The first two quarters were not the best of the season for the Pheasants. After posting a nearly 70 percent shooting clip two nights prior, the Parker boys found it difficult to hit from anywhere on the floor. Beresford quickly built a 7-0 lead. Davin Fuller, rattling home back to back baskets, pushed the score to 7-4.
Beresford had the last laugh, taking a 9-4 lead after one. The second wasn’t much better for the Pheasants, although a three from Carter Robertson and a Fuller two pulled Parker within two, 11-9. That was as close as Parker could get the rest of the half, trailing by five, 16-11 at the half, hitting just 27 percent of their shots.
The dismal shooting did improve in the second half for the Pheasants, as a defensive zone change seemed to breathe new life into the visitors. Parker rattled off 10 straight points to start the quarter, going up 21-16 before Beresford clawed back to life tying things at 24 entering the final frame.
Parker somehow found a way at the end, as Robertson and Fuller helped ease Parker to a 28-24 lead with five minutes to play. That lead stretched to 32-26 and although Beresford managed to cut the lead to one with 20 seconds left, Fuller helped seal the win at the free throw line going 3 of 4 in the closing seconds giving Parker a 37-33 victory.
Leading Parker was Fuller with 15 points while Robertson had nine and Colby Olson five. Parker shot an improved 37 percent in the second half for a 33 percent clip for the entire game. One steady improvement was free throw shooting where the Pheasants improved substantially, hitting at a 71 percent clip from the stripe.
“(It was a) physical game that made us show toughness. Our defense traveled and it was a great win,” commented coach Lance Friesen. “We never got into an offensive rhythm and Beresford gets a lot of credit for that. Great start to the year. We have a big week ahead of us.”
Parker looked to keep their winning streak alive traveling to Bon Homme on Tuesday and the three Big East Conference tournament games to close the week.
Parker takes on Beresford in a rematch to open the first round of the tournament.
Pheasants rattle EPJ Move to 3-1
The Parker boys continued their early season success last Thursday night, traveling to Elk Point to take on the EPJ Huskies. The Pheasants and Huskies hadn’t met in several years, but the reunion was a good one for the Pheasants, as Parker grabbed a quick lead en route to a 61-45 win.
The shots fell early and often for Parker, who posted eight three pointers in the first half.
Cole Jurgens led the Pheasants early, sinking his first three buckets after a Kaden Pesicka three opened the game, but the pesky Huskies hung around in the first, trading jabs on the way to a 19-18 Parker lead after one.
The second was all Pheasants as shot after shot fell for the visitors with three straight threes from Colby Olson, Pesicka and Carter Robertson extended the Parker lead to 30-22 midway through the quarter. The Pheasants closed with another solid run, scoring six points in the final 60 seconds with a Pesicka buzzer beater topping it off, taking a 39-26 lead into the locker room.
Pesicka continued the hot streak into the third quarter, opening with a deep three to push the lead to 16. The Huskies never threatened again, and Parker continued to build that lead into a 24 point advantage midway through the fourth, closing out the game with a 61-45 victory.
Leading Parker was Pesicka with 20 points while Jurgens posted 15. Davin Fuller also had seven while Robertson had six.
Parker shot 57 percent from the floor, but free throws remained hard to come by, going just two of 10 from the stripe.
“We shot really well. The ball moved and people took quality shots,” remarked coach Lance Friesen. “Defensively we struggled early to help on their big kid and we had a hard time keeping the ball out of the lane in penetration. We regrouped and did a much better job after halftime defensively. EPJ is an athletic team. This was a quality win.”
Parker next played at Beresford before traveling to Bon Homme and regrouping for the BEC tournament.
Parker tames Black Panthers
After a nearly two-week hiatus, the Parker basketball team was back in action last Tuesday night. The Pheasants took part in the annual Parkston Classic against the always tough Platte-Geddes Black Panthers.
The Pheasant-Panther match-up was supposed to take place on Saturday, but a snowstorm stopped travel allowing the match-up to wait another three days.
Parker grabbed a lead early in the contest thanks to a three from Cole Jurgens putting Parker up 3-2. That blossomed into a 10-4 lead thanks to buckets from Davin Fuller, Colby Olson and Kaden Pesicka. The Pheasants held on the rest of the quarter leading 16-11 after one.
Carter Robertson opened the second with a long three pointer, keeping Parker out front. The Pheasants held on most of the way, but a late surge was enough for Platte-Geddes to retake the lead 31-28 at the half.
Parker out scored Platte-Geddes 12-1 in the opening minutes of the third, regaining the lead and pushing it to 40-32 with two minutes to go. Fuller was able to rattle in a shot from the paint in the closing seconds of the third, keeping Parker out front 42-37 as time expired on the third.
The Black Panthers had one last gasp, pulling within two, 49-47 with four minutes to play, but Parker held strong with Fuller, Pesicka and Jurgens helping close the door at the end, giving Parker a 55-49 win.
Leading Parker was Pesicka with 15 points while Robertson and Fuller each had 14. Jurgens also led the rebounding effort for the Pheasants with nine while Pesicka grabbed seven and Robertson six.
After the game Fuller was named Most Valuable Player for the contest.
“Platte-Geddes has a really nice team, but we were able to match their energy and effort,” remarked coach Lance Friesen. “We rebounded well and took care of the ball which put us in a position to win. Offensively we moved the ball and took good shots, and we were balanced in scoring again which really helps. I like how we are playing and hope we can increase our intensity and execute better as we look to improve.”
Up next the Pheasants open a busy two week schedule playing at Elk Point on Thursday before traveling to Beresford Saturday and Bon Homme on Tuesday, Jan. 7.