It was a full slate of action in most of the Madison-area conferences in boys basketball, with close games up and down the Big 8 and some thrillers in the Badger and Capitol conferences.
In the Big 8, Madison East put it together late to win over Verona 58-49 after being tied at 35 early in the second half. Madison La Follette easily defeated Middleton 54-46, while Madison Memorial topped Janesville Craig 67-58 after Craig led at halftime. Sun Prairie pulled away from Madison West down the stretch, 75-62. And, Beloit Memorial blitzed Janesville Parker in the second half to win 63-48 (recap below).
Badger North play was exciting in a couple of contests. In The Big 1070's Game of the Week, DeForest held on late to beat Waunakee on the road 56-51 to go up two games in second place and stay a game back of Mount Horeb in the conference race. Speaking of Mount Horeb, they easily defeated Portage 79-54. Beaver Dam won over Baraboo 52-39, and in overtime, Sauk Prairie took down Reedsburg 68-63.
The Badger South got in on the fun as well. Monona Grove won a thriller over Stoughton in a battle for second place, 63-61. Watertown nipped Edgewood 52-51, and Monroe held off Milton 82-71. Oregon remains in first place thanks to a 65-38 shellacking of Fort Atkinson.
It was the second night of play in the Capitol North, with some interesting results. Columbus held on to beat Lodi 64-57, while Lake Mills beat Luther Prep 63-50 and Lakeside Lutheran dominated Poynette 61-41. Lakeside Lutheran will cross the street to play Lake Mills on Tuesday night for the outright conference lead in the North.
The Capitol South got in on the fun too, with New Glarus hanging on to beat Marshall 74-72. Belleville beat Waterloo 74-62, while Wisconsin Heights dominated Cambridge 56-33.
You can see the full area scoreboard at WisSports.net.
RECAP: Beloit Memorial blitzes Janesville Parker in the second half, wins 63-48
Beloit Memorial got out to a hot start in both halves, and was able to hold off Janesville Parker's late rally to win by 15 on the home court on Thursday night.
A 7-0 run sparked the Purple Knights early, but Parker was able to answer with an 8-0 run of their own before the first half settled into a seesaw battle. The Vikings led by as many as seven before Beloit trimmed the margin just before halftime to 25-22.
Beloit exploded out of the locker room in the second half, going on an 18-4 run punctuated by a huge dunk by Azeez Ganiyu in transition to go from down three to up 11. From there, Jaden Bell dropped in 12 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, and Amariah Cook's double-double (12 points) and stellar defense (two blocks) helped the Purple Knights turn away the Parker Vikings 63-48.
The win moved Beloit into a tie for eighth place with Verona, while Parker is now alone at the bottom of the standings. Beloit Memorial visits Janesville Craig on Saturday night, with the winner moving as high as sixth place in the conference, while Parker will take on Verona with a chance to move up a notch or two in the standings as well in the packed-in Big 8.
BELOIT MEMORIAL: 22|41=63
JANESVILLE PARKER: 25|23=48
Beloit Memorial Scoring: Jaden Bell 17, Markai Payne 15, Amariah Cook 12, Azeez Ganiyu 10, Terrell Ringer 4, Kamryn Bach 3, Cam Boyd 2.
Janesville Parker Scoring: Tremar Curry 15, A.J. Thompson 8, Brody Dahlke 8, Matthew Hartwig 5, Robert DeLong 3, Brenden Weis 3, Connor Stricklin 3, Brady Biba 2.