Beloit Memorial Comes Back in 4th Quarter to Beat Janesville Parker
It was a true tale of two different halves in Janesville as the Beloit Memorial Purple Knights stormed back in the fourth quarter to defeat the Parker Vikings, 69-62.
For much of the game, Memorial found themselves down by as much as 11 points at one point in the game, while also frequently facing deficits of six to eight points throughout the contest.
“We just kept battling all night and the hustle really picked up in the second half,” said Memorial head coach Jay Bryant. “We didn’t play well in that first half but we were able to get somethings going in the second half to get the W.”
In the first half, the Vikings simply seemed to be out working the Knights for every loose ball and every rebound found the hands of a Viking effectively boxing out his man.
Cavann Conley and Tanner Smith lead the charge for Parker in the first 24 minutes of the game combining to score close to half of the Vikings 34 points as the teams went into the locker room.
Adam Thompson was also a standout for the Vikings, finishing with 14 points, six assists, and six rebounds. Conley added 16 points, two assists and collected nine rebounds in the loss.
The Knights faced a five point deficit at the half thanks to a small run mounted by Memorial with under two minutes left to play.
Andre Neal and Denzel Barnes both scored just before the half to give Memorial some momentum heading into halftime.
“I don’t think they could handle Barnes underneath, so we just tried to work it into him and run the offense through him,” said Bryant. “I got on him pretty good in the locker room at the half to keep hustling and he really responded.”
And after the halftime speech by Bryant, Beloit Memorial looked like an entirely different team.
“Our first half was a little something to be desired but we really got it going in that second half,” said Bryant. “We have to get after it otherwise were are just an okay team, so when we get after it, it is good for us. We got to alway get after it and hustle.”
Late in the third quarter, with just over three minutes to play, The Knights brought the Viking lead to within three points at 43-40 as Janesville called a quick time out.
“In the huddle I just told the guys to keep battling,” said Bryant. “I knew that if we kept applying the pressure to them to finish out the third that we could have some success moving into the fourth.”
At the end of three quarters, Janesville Parker led 51-44 and the Knights looked like a team that was down and out. But after a quick six point run by Beloit, the game was within one point early in the fourth quarter.
The Knights relied heavily upon both Neal and Barnes in the final quarter to recapture the lead, and then extend the lead late in the game. Memorial made six free throws with under four minutes to go in the game that ultimately was the difference in the ball game.
Key contributors for Beloit Memorial were the obvious candidates in Barnes and Neal, but other players like Draylen Fair, Jaylyn Edwards and Jaivion Peacock all stepped up and were impact players in the five point victory.
“It was big to get Barnes going down low tonight and have him make an impact in the post,” said Bryant. “But you know, it was a team effort. I mean Fair came in and had a tremendous game, Edwards is always reliable for us and played some great defense and Peacock made a couple buckets down the stretch that were huge.”
Barnes finished with 15 points, four assists and seven rebounds while Neal finished with 13 points, five assists while also adding seven rebounds. Peacock added an additional 11 points and nine rebounds in the contest as well.
“I think we eventually wore them down tonight,” said Bryant. “I think our press wore them down and in the first half, they got all the rebounds, but in the second half we got all the loose rebounds and we out hustled them in the second half.”
It will be a quick turnaround for both teams as the Knights will take on Janesville Craig tomorrow night, and the Vikings will play Madison East at home as well.
“We just have to get better every night and improve night after night,” said Bryant. “We played poor in the first half but stepped it up in the second and we’ll have to do that to improve and keep the intensity up game after game.”
By: Tyler Zavadsky Twitter:TylerZonESPN
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