Parsons picks up 700th win as Van Buren rolls
KEOSAUQUA — Head coach Fred Parsons hit an historic milestone, and the Van Buren boys cruised to their 12th victory in the final game of the regular season Tuesday.
The Pioneers earned a 76-26 victory over Maharishi School, helping Parsons secure the 700th victory of his coaching career in front of a home crowd in Keosauqua.
“I was hoping I’d [hit the milestone] this season not just for me, but for the fact that it meant we could win games. The milestone just doesn’t speak for me, but it speaks for the players, as well,” said Parsons, who received a “700” game ball during a ceremony after the game.
The win puts the 52-year coach in elite company as only the second to ever eclipse the 700-win mark in Iowa prep boys’ basketball. Current WACO head coach Bob Hilmer is the only coach — active or inactive — ahead of Parsons on the wins list.
Tuesday, the Warriors owned the paint from the start and caromed out to a 31-7 lead after one quarter. Maharishi School scored just two points in the second quarter, and Van Buren entered the locker room up 54-9.
The Pioneers did play a solid third quarter, scoring 15 points to Van Buren’s 16, before scoring just two more points in the fourth.
“I thought our gameplan was good, and we stayed with it pretty well,” said Parsons.
Thomas Fitzsimmons led the Warriors with 25 points inside. Garrett Saunders scored 14 points, and both Tanner Smith and Pedrick Garrett netted 10. Brandon Plecker and Will Mertens scored six apiece, and Noah Whitten tacked on five points for Van Buren.
Maharishi School was led on offense by sophomore Lalith Pullapantula and his seven points. Avery Mullenneaux, a junior, scored six points on 3-for-4 shooting, and junior Suraj Pullapantula scored five. Bimba Shrestha finished with four points and Rashan Anderson pulled down four boards.
Van Buren takes a trip to Highland for the fourth-seeded Southeast Iowa Super Conference shootout game Friday. Maharishi School, a 10 seed, heads to Columbus.