Craig girls roll past West
Janesville Craig is dialing up the defense to close out the high school girls basketball season.
For the second straight game, Craig's girls team held its opponent to 10 first-half points or fewer.
The Cougars' staple 2-3 matchup zone, combined with a bit of backcourt pressure at times, led them to their third consecutive victory as they cruised past visiting Madison West 56-23 on Bob Suter Court on Thursday night.
Craig is 10-11 overall and 9-8 in the Big Eight. West fell to 3-17 and 2-15.
“Our 2-3 is tough,” Craig head coach Kerry Storbakken said. “That's our staple, and if we shoot well we're going to be a dangerous team. Defensively, we've been there most nights. They're moving and communicating, bumping cutters and rebounding. It's good to see.”
The Cougars held the Regents to just three first-half baskets and forced 13 turnovers.
Senior Hannah Halverson ignited the Craig offense, scoring 13 of her game-high 17 points before the break as Craig took a 26-8 lead.
“It sunk in before the game (that this was the last home game) but then I just didn't think about it,” Halverson said. “We (the team) have been spending more time together off the court, too, and I think that's been helping us toward the end of the season. It helps with our chemistry.”
The story followed the same script in the second half.
West didn't make a basket from the field until there was 4:59 left and made just two in the second half overall.
With the big lead, the Cougars spread the ball around and had eight players finish with at least four points.
Halverson, Ali Carlson and Sam Pierson combined for 32 points in their final home game on Senior Night.
“We knew we needed to come out strong in this game and to finish the season strong,” Halverson said.
“To be the three leading scorers and come out together on Senior Night, it was just the way you'd like to write it up,” Storbakken said. “I'm happy for Hannah; she had a great game. Sam had some blocks, some big rebounds and eight points. They gave us some great minutes.”
Craig closes out the regular season Saturday at 2:45 p.m. at Verona and opens WIAA tournament play next Friday at seventh-seeded Muskego.
CRAIG 56, WEST 23
West (23)—Connor 0-1-1, Manke 0-3-3, Carr 1-2-4, Jackson 1-1-4, Darvin 1-1-3, Monette 1-0-3, Walters 0-3-3, Woock 1-0-2. Totals: 5-11-23.
Craig (56)—Wojcik 1-1-4, Havlerson 6-3-17, E. Pierson 1-1-4, Al. Carlson 2-3-7, Parkhurst 2-0-5, Goswick 2-0-6, S. Pierson 4-0-8, Am. Carlson 2-1-5. Totals: 20-9-56.
Madison West 8 15—23
Janesville Craig 26 30—56
Three-point goals—W 2 (Jackson, Monette), C 7 (Halverson 2, Goswick 2, Parkhurst, E. Pierson, Wojcik). Free throws missed—W 8, C 9. Total fouls—W 17, C 18.
Last updated: 10:22 pm Thursday, February 16, 2017