The days of the Park High School boys basketball team losing its first two games of the season seem like a distant memory.
Now the Panthers have their minds on stacking victories.
The winning streak reached four on Friday night when Park defeated Mount Horeb 67-64 at the Rick Majerus WBY Shootout at Concordia University in Mequon. The Vikings (7-3) are ranked eighth among Division 2 teams in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association state poll.
The Panthers (4-2) trailed 35-32 after the end of the half, but turned up the defensive pressure in the second half.
“I give our kids credit,” said Park coach Jim Betker, who returned to the sidelines after missing the first five games of the season because of health issues. “Our kids really stuck with it and applied pressure on defense in the second half. We started to dictate the tempo and closed the gap.”
The adjustments limited the Vikings to 29 points in the final 18 minutes.
On offense, senior Larry Canady led the Panthers with 24 points. Fellow senior Demonta Hudson scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half.
“This is a group of seniors that has been together for a long time,” Betker said. “They stick together.”
CASE 76, REEDSBURG 52: The Eagles continued to play great defense at the Just A Game Shootout at Wisconsin Dells, winning there for the second straight day.
Case (6-2) trailed 13-6 early, but got more intense on defense and ended the first half with a 31-6 run.
On Thursday, the Eagles defeated Verona 67-41, holding the Wildcats to 16 points in the second half.
“Our defense is really starting to gel together,” said Eagles coach Jacob Berce. “Even if guys aren’t scoring, they are putting in great effort on defense and really making an impact.”
The Eagles pushed their lead to 28 in the second half against Reedsburg (5-4). Freshman Terryon Brumby led Case with 19 points and JaKobe Thompson scored 16.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL 69, WILLIAMS BAY 46: Bennett Robson and Neal McCourt each scored 16 points as the Hilltoppers won the consolation game at the Williams Bay Tournament in Williams Bay.
“Bennett has been great,” Catholic Central coach Kyle Scott said. “He has been our most consistent force.”
On Thursday, Robson scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as Catholic Central lost to Faith Christian 53-48 in the first round of the tournament.
On Friday, the Hilltoppers (4-6) led by 16 at the end of the first half. McCourt made four 3-pointers and had four rebounds in a victory that ended a five-game losing streak.
“Yesterday we couldn’t get over the hump,” Scott said. “Today was good. We desperately needed a win.”
NEW BERLIN EISENHOWER 84, HORLICK 63: Marquise Milton scored a game-high 26 points, but the Rebels lost a nonconference game at New Berlin.
Milton, a senior guard, scored 16 of Horlick’s 31 points in the first half, but the Rebels (3-5) trailed 44-31 at halftime.
Horlick also got 15 points from Maurice Ward, who made three 3-pointers.
MUKWONAGO 68, WATERFORD 42: The Wolverines couldn’t shake off a slow start and lost a nonconference game at Mukwonago.
The Wolverines (1-8) scored just 22 points in the first half, trailing 40-22.
Willie Ketterhagen led the Wolverines with nine points. The Indians improved to 4-5.
Doctors of PT Holiday Classic
ST. CATHERINE’S 71, BRADFORD 41: Azarien Stephens filled up the scorebook with 23 points, nine rebounds, three steals and two assists as the Angels rolled to a nonconference win on the second day of the three-day event at Carthage College.
St. Catherine’s (6-1), ranked third among Division 3 teams in the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association state poll, led 30-21 at halftime, then limited the Red Devils (2-8) to 20 points in the second half.
Stephens made six 3-pointers as the Angels made 10 of 20 attempts from beyond the arc.
Jermaine Tomlin added 12 points, four rebounds and a steal, while Tyrese Hunter scored 10 points had four assists and a steal.
In the final game of the Classic at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, St. Catherine’s will play Westosha Central (6-1), ranked seventh in Division 2 and a WIAA state semifinalist last year.
BURLINGTON 63, ST. JOSEPH 54: The Demons shot well from the free-throw line and won a nonconference game at Carthage.
The Demons (7-3) led 26-22 at the half and did enough in the second half to preserve the win. Burlington went 15 for 20 at the line.
Three Demons scored in double figures, led by Joey Berezowitz with a team-high 21 points that included 9 of 11 from the line. Ethan Safar added 11 points and Trent Turzenski had 10.
INDIAN TRAIL 69, PRAIRIE 61: The Hawks fell into a deep hole early and tried to recover, but lost a nonconference game at Carthage.
The Hawks (5-3) trailed 33-11 in the first half, then cut the deficit to 54-50. But Prairie could not get any closer.
“To our kids’ credit, they never quit tonight. They continued to battle and I am very proud of their effort tonight,” Prairie coach Jason Atanasoff said.
For the Hawks, Christian Cape scored 20 points, while Isaiah Hoyt and Quinton Stafford each added 12.
CATHOLIC CENTRAL: The Lady Toppers played two games on Friday at the Williams Bay Tournament, which was reduced to three teams after one team dropped out of the tournament.
Catholic Central (8-4) dominated both games, beating Faith Christian 53-11 in the first game and host Williams Bay 51-17 in the second.
The Lady Toppers’ dominating defense held Faith Christian to just three points in the first half.
“Our defense was big tonight as we forced a lot of turnovers and took them out of their game,” Catholic Central coach Joe Spierenburg said.
Emma Klein scored 11 points against Faith Christian and 15 against Williams Bay. Elizabeth Klein had 14 against Williams Bay.
Defense was key again in the second game, Spierenburg said. The Lady Toppers forced a lot of turnovers, took a big lead and never trailed.
BRADFORD 56, ST. CATHERINE’S 49: Sadie Gilbert scored a team-high 17 points in a losing effort for the Angels during the second day of the Doctors of PT Holiday Classic at Carthage College.
“(Sadie Gilbert) has been playing phenomenally for us,” St. Catherine’s coach Keino Turner said. “Teammates are confident in her and she leads from the front consistently.”
The Angels (1-9) trailed 26-25 at halftime. In the second half, both teams were in foul trouble and Red Devils (3-7) made enough free throws to win.
Gilbert, a senior guard, made six field goals and went 4 of 6 from the line. Fellow senior Shea Coca added eight points.
“There is a lot of talent on this team,” Turner said. “We’ve just been struggling to take the opportunities when we get them.”