Parkway senior Brant Barna throws down a slam on senior night in Parkway’s 75-53 loss to Marion Local. Barna had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Panthers. (Times Bulletin/Pat Agler)
By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
ROCKFORD — The final home game for six Parkway seniors was celebrated on Friday night as the Panthers hosted Marion Local. It’s been a difficult year for Parkway, and Friday night was an uphill battle from the start, with Marion Local claiming a 75-53 victory to move to 15-3 on the season and 7-1 in MAC play. Parkway falls to 4-15 and 0-8.
Seniors Noah Gehron, Austin Dennison, Dakota Schaffner, Matt Heindel, Brant Barna and Austin Adams took the home floor for the last time, with all but Adams getting a starting assignment. Adams, however, is typically a starter.
The Panthers took an early 2-0 lead on a Heindel seven-footer, but back-to-back 3-pointers by the Flyers put Marion Local in front.
The Flyers built their edge to 9-4, but the Panthers pulled within one when Tanner Bates drained a 3-pointer and was fouled on the shot. He stroke to the line and converted the rare four-point play to get Parkway within one at 9-8. Marion Local’s Adam Bertke’s second three of the game followed, however, and the Flyers moved out to a 19-10 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Though Barna got the scoring started in the second, it was all Flyers from there. Marion Local put together a 9-0 run that busted the game wide open. Marion Local led by a 28-12 margin when Parkway’s Brody Adams knocked down a long 3-pointer to temporarily stop the bleeding. The Flyers scored the next seven straight, however, and had built a 39-17 advantage before the Panthers scored the final six points of the period, on threes by Bates and Austin Adams, to cut the deficit to 16 at the half.
In the third, Bates provided another triple to again trim the margin to 16, and moments later he would get Parkway to within 45-32 with another 3-pointer, but Parkway would get no closer. The inside presence of the Flyers’ 6-foot-10 Luke Knapke, along with the 6-foot-6 Bertke and the 6-foot-7 Ryan Bruns, was simply too much.
Knapke dominated the second half of the game and finished with a game-high 24 points for the Flyers. Bertke added 13 and Bruns, while limited to six points, added a pair of blocked shots in limited playing time due to fould trouble.
Parkway’s offense came almost exclusively from the outside and Bates led the way with 17 points off the bench. The 6-foot-5 Barna added a dozen and contributed a game-high eight rebounds, but front court-mate Heindel was limited to eight points and only one board.
The Panthers return to action on Saturday, with both the varsity girls and varsity boys teams heading to Lincolnview for a double header. The girls game tips-off at approximately 6:30 p.m. with the boys to follow.
Score by quarters
Marion Local 19 20 17 19- 75
Parkway 10 13 13 17- 53
Marion Local (75)
Bertke 13, Mescher 3, Nagel 0, Seitz 0, K. Homan 0, Bruns 6, Griesdorn 11, T. Homan 9, Schwieterman 4, Knapke 24, Rethman 5, Brunswick 0
Gehron 4, Schaffner 0, Dennison 0, B. Barna 12, Bates 17, Heindel 8, J. Barna 0, B. Adams 8, Gibson 0, A. Adams 4