The Parkway North Vikings girls basketball has a busy two days ahead of them.
The Vikings (7-3) will entertain the Marquette Mustangs (7-2) at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Then, Parkway North plays at 4 p.m. Saturday in the St. Joseph’s Shootout at 4 p.m. The Vikings will face the Edwardsville Tigers (14-1). Edwardsville also will be back two games in two days as the Tigers have a home game set for Friday night against O’Fallon (Ill.)
“We will have little prep with playing a very tough Marquette team on Friday,” Parkway North coach Brett Katz said about meeting powerful Edwardsville. “We do not have any history with Edwardsville. They are an area power every year. I know they have talent and size all over the floor.
“They are well coached and always well prepared. We love playing in the event (Saturday) and look forward to the challenge of another very quality opponent.”
The Vikings are coming off a big win this past Tuesday. Parkway North avenged its loss to three-time defending state champion Incarnate Word Academy that came in the 45th annual Visitation Tournament with a win over the Red Knights on its home court.
In the Visitation Tournament, Incarnate Word topped Parkway North 61-43.
“”We didn’t play very well the first time around,” Katz said. “We allowed to many easy baskets to them especially in the paint and in transition.”
This time, the result was different but the score was the same.
Parkway North defeated the Red Knights 61-43. The Vikings defense held Incarnate Word offense to just 28 percent shooting from the floor.
Vikings junior 5-foot-3 point guard Aliyah Williams led the way with 27 points.
Parkway North does not shy away from playing talented teams. The Vikings rallied to beat Whitfield 59-50 and finish third in the tournament after their loss to Incarnate Word.
“Another good win against a team with a great collection of talent,” Katz said.
However, Parkway North then lost at Ladue 51-28. The Rams are 8-2 and have won six games in a row.
It was not a good game for the Vikings. It was something Parkway North wanted to put behind them quickly.
“We honestly were looking to bounce back from a poor performance against Ladue last Friday night,” Katz said. “Give credit to Ladue, they are very good, and made us look very average at best. “
The Vikings turned it back on to thwart Incarnate Word. The win makes it three years in a row in regular season play Parkway North has notched wins over the Red Knights. They are the only local team to do that.
“We played pretty well against IWA on Tuesday,” Katz said. “I feel we can be even better than we were. We shot pretty well and made some plays when we needed to.
“I thought we did a decent job of taking away some of the things they like to do. I did feel like we could of played a lot better in some spots.”
Katz said his squad likes the challenge of playing Incarnate Word Academy.
“Our kids are always excited beating IWA,” Katz said .”They have been the class of Missouri for so long. Pretty amazing that we have beaten them three years in a row. I don’t think any other area team has beaten them in the last three years other than Parkway North, and we have beaten them three times.
“First off, you have to play them to beat them. Not many teams want to play them. We know each other very well. Our kids at North are competitive and our not intimidated by the success they have had.”
Katz likes Williams is playing. At the Visitation Tournament, Williams was named to the all-tournament team. She scored in 35 points in the victory win over Whitfield besides scoring 24 in a tourney loss to Incarnate Word.
“Aliyah is off to a great start,” Katz said. “She has so many tools. She can take you off the dribble , create a shot for herself, and get her teammates involved. Shes a great player and she is doing a lot of damage against some really good teams. “