Dec 14: La Crosse Central vs Holmen

Central High School's Terrance Thompson takes a shot in front of Holmen's Sawyer Phillips in the first half of an MVC game at Holmen.

HOLMEN — The shift in momentum was lightning-quick and a perfect example of what the Central High School boys basketball team has become.

Holmen spent the first 11 minutes of Friday night’s MVC game against the Red Raiders building some confidence. The Vikings led on three occasions and only trailed by six points when Jimmy Gillespie knocked down a pair of free throws with 6 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first half.

That’s when Central’s defense and Johnny Davis destroyed that confidence and set themselves on the path for a 71-39 victory in front of a crowd of more than 1,100 people at the Bernie L. Ferry Field House.

The Vikings didn’t score again for more than 4 minutes, and the Red Raiders turned their six-point lead into a 35-12 first-half advantage until Kevin Koelbl knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:47 left.

The 17-0 run included five Holmen turnovers, and a left-handed dunk in traffic by Davis, who scored 11 of the points over a 3-minute span.

Noah Parcher mug


“We started off a little shaky, but that happens sometimes,” said Central point guard Noah Parcher, who had six points and nine assists. “We had to pick up the pressure and go on a run, and we did it.”

Johnny Davis finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, but his performance during the 17-point run was what changed the game. He started the run by scoring in the lane with his left hand and followed it up with another layup off a pass from Parcher.

The dunk gave the Red Raiders (4-0, 1-0) a 33-12 lead and followed a missed shot at the other end.

“I didn’t even know if I was going to dunk that one,” Davis said. “But I got up there and dunked it. It hyped us up, and we needed that after the way the game started.”

The Vikings (2-3, 1-1) twice gave themselves the lead with a 3-pointer early but ended up making just 5 of 25 attempts (20 percent) from long range. Gillespie made two of them, but he was 2-for-9 on 3-point attempts and finished with a team-high eight points.

Gillespie and Cameron Weber each made a 3 early with Gillespie’s giving Holmen a 3-2 lead and Weber’s providing an 8-7 advantage. That was Holmen’s last lead after the Red Raiders scored the next nine points.

“I thought we got some really good looks, but we shot terribly,” Holmen coach Steve Blank said. “They speed you up.”

Parcher and teammate Austin Brown did speed Holmen’s offense up with steals during the game-changing run. Parcher fed Brown for a basket after one of them and Davis for a basket after the other.

David Hayden added 12 points (two 3-pointers), and Jordan Davis had nine points and six rebounds for Central, which shot 58 percent (29-for-50) from the floor and held the Vikings to 27.9-percent shooting (12-for-43).

Parcher and Johnny Davis said it felt good to get back into conference games and that winning on Holmen’s home court is never an easy.

“The environment was great just like we knew it would be,” Parcher said. “We had a lot of people here and won a game we needed to win.”

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Todd Sommerfeldt can be reached at Todd.Sommerfeldt

@lee.net or via Twitter @SommerfeldtLAX