Janesville Parker gives Memorial a tussel before falling
JANESVILLE Janesville Parker High School respects the defending Division 1 state boys basketball champion Madison Memorial Spartans, but the Vikings have their pride, too.
Parker went after the No. 2-ranked Spartans hard, but Memorial, who has made eight straight trips to the WIAA state tournament, proved to be a bridge too far.
After making several strong runs at the visiting Spartans, the Vikings came up on the short end of a 59-44 Big Eight Conference score Tuesday night.
Parker fell to 6-12 overall and 4-10 in the Big Eight. Memorial improved to 16-1 and 13-0 in the Big Eight.
Coach Ryan Masterson counted the Vikings’ blessings.
“Overall, I thought we did a pretty good job,” Masterson said. “We didn’t turn the ball over that much, and we were right with them.’’
Memorial busted out to a 7-0 lead with its No. 1 and No. 2 scorers, Junior Lomomba and Jamar Morris, watching from the bench. The pair did not play last Friday at Sun Prairie for an athletic code violation.
“Even with those guys out, they have such talent and depth,” Masterson said. “I was telling our coaching staff, we had to play a perfect game. We did a lot of things good; it was that we didn’t do enough.’’
Parker bounced back with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 9-7 with five minutes remaining. Lomomba and Morris each entered the game with 2:53 left.
Lomomba hit a pair of free throws, and Memorial went on to take a 13-7 lead into the second quarter.
Parker didn’t let Memorial off the hook, and battled back from a 22-12 second-quarter deficit to trail 24-17 at the half on Erik Albeck’s basket at the buzzer.
Albeck sat down with a team-high 14 points after fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Albeck, who is headed for Sioux Falls University on a Division 2 football scholarship, said the Vikings had the fuel to upend the Spartans.
“We feel like we can compete with any team in the league,” Albeck said. “We proved it tonight. We were within six and then we made errors that killed us.’’
Decker Thompson’s three-point basket in the third quarter pulled Parker within 33-27 with 2:20 remaining, but Memorial closed the quarter with a 40-31 lead.
Albeck scored on an alley-oop to cut Memorial’s lead to 40-33 to open the fourth quarter, but that was as close as the Vikings would come to the lead. Lomomba made six of eight free throws in the fourth quarter to ensure the victory.
Lomomba, a Cleveland State recruit, scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
“When we play these teams, like the Middletons, we match their intensity real well,” Albeck said. “It goes back to composure. We crack on some possessions, and it kills us.’’
MEMORIAL 59, PARKER 44
Memorial (59)—Ortiz, 4-2-11; Weah, 3-2-8; Songolo, 2-0-6; Lindquist, 3-3-9; Lobomba, 4-11-19; Morris, 1-0-2; Ferguson, 2-0-4. Totals: 19-18-59
Parker (44)—Somerville, 1-5-7; Smith, 3-1-7; Albeck, 5-3-14; D. Thompson, 2-2-7; Grafft, 2-0-4; Treinen, 0-3-3. Totals: 14-14-44
Madison Memorial 13 11 16 19—59
Janesville Parker 7 10 14 13—44
Three-point goals—Memorial 3 (Ortiz, Songolo 2), Parker 2 (Albeck, D. Thompson). Free throws missed—Memorial 9, Parker 9. Total fouls—Memorial 20, Parker 16. Fouled out—Albeck.