Parkston edges Miller 72-71 in semifinal gameSPEARFISH — Parkston built an early lead and held off a late charge by Miller to win 72-71 Friday night at the girls’ Class A state basketball tournament in Spearfish.
By: By DENNIS KNUCKLES, Black Hills Pioneer
SPEARFISH — Parkston built an early lead and held off a late charge by Miller to win 72-71 Friday night at the girls’ Class A state basketball tournament in Spearfish.
The Trojans face St. Thomas More in the championship game at 9 p.m. today.
“What do you say about these kids?” said Parkston head coach Rob Van Laecken, adding each player showed a lot of heart and never quit. “Miller played hard and could have quit really early.”
Van Laecken is coaching in his 35th year and is bringing the school to its first state title game appearance. It will be going there much in part from senior Marie Malloy’s heroics.
Malloy led Parkston in scoring with 23 points and came up with a game-sealing steal at the end of regulation to keep its one-point margin.
Parkston used a field goal by Erica Herrold, a 3-pointer and a field goal by Marie Malloy to jump out in front 7-2.The teams traded field goals, but the Trojans held on to an 11-6 lead early.
Two free throws by Alexis Watts and a driving layup by Malloy kept Parkston in front 13-8.
Miller continued to battle and cut the Parkston lead to 16-15, but two free throws by Logan Wagner gave the Trojans an 18-15 lead after one quarter.
Miller was getting into foul trouble to open the second quarter, and Malloy was the catalyst of a 13-1 Parkston run to put the Trojans up 31-16.
Miller got its first score midway through the quarter on a field goal by Watts.
Parkston led 33-18, when Miller’s Jansen Hunter got hot and scored eight straight points to cut the Parkston lead to 35-26 with just over two minutes left in the half. Parkston held on to a 38-31 lead at the half.
The Trojans maintained a nine-point lead at 46-37 early in the third quarter, but Hunter scored five straight points for Miller to cut the Parkston lead to 46-42 midway through the quarter.
Malloy hit two field goals and Wagner and Krista Radke each added a field goal to give the Trojans a 54-48 lead after three quarters.
Miller made a run to start the fourth on two free throws by Watts and a put-back by Tara Parmely to cut the Parkston lead to 55-54. Wagner hit a 3-pointer to put the Trojans up 58-54 with six minutes left in the game.
But then it was Parkston that got into foul trouble, allowing Miller to gain the momentum.
Two free throws by Parmely, a field goal by Peterka and a field goal by Watts put Miller in front 60-58.
Parkston’s Wagner scored to tie the game at 60, but Miller’s Mallory Fischer hit a 3-pointer to Miller back in front 63-60 with under four minutes left in the game.
Malloy answered with a field goal and a free throw to tie the game at 63-63.
Parkston answered with two free throws by Wagner and a put back by Herrold to take the lead 67-63, with two minutes left in the game.
Miller had three starters foul out and the Trojans led 72-68, when miller’s Watts hit a 3-pointer, to cut the Parkston lead to 72-71 with 10 seconds left in the game.
Parkston turned the ball over but Parkston came up with a steal to preserve the win 72-71.
Erica Herrold had 19 points and Logan Wagner with 15 points. Watts scored 18 points for Miller and Hunter chipped in 16 points.