Slow start dooms Craig

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Gazette staff
Saturday, January 4, 2014

If Janesville Craig’s girls basketball team can ever find a way to avoid slow starts, the Cougars could be tough to beat.

Friday night at Middleton, Craig fell behind by 18 points in the first half and could not recover. The Cougars rallied to tie the Big Eight game in the fourth, but the Cardinals pulled away at the free-throw line for a 72-66 win.

Craig (7-3, 4-3) lost its third Big Eight game by six points or less.

“All three losses have been one- or two-possession games and all were on the road,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “So we know we can play with anybody on our schedule, but we’ve got to get off to better starts. You can’t get down 18 to a team like Middleton—especially on the road—and expect to have success.”

The Cougars trailed 41-30 at half but outscored the first-place Cardinals 21-12 in the third to cut the deficit to two. Craig tied the game in the fourth but never took the lead as Middleton feasted at the free-throw line. The Cardinals made 18 free throws for the game, including 11 in the fourth.

Sophomore Anne Schumacher had 17 points to pace Craig, including five of the team’s eight 3-point baskets. Aleyha Slatter added 14 points for Craig, while Alli Calkins finished with 11 and Delaney Schoenenberger added 10.

“We just could never get the lead,” Storbakken said. “I think if we would’ve, that would’ve put a lot of pressure on Middleton because they had the big early lead.

“But we’ve got to put this one behind us and get ready for Parker. It’s a big game, it’s at our place and it’s two of the best teams in our conference. It should be exciting.”

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