Ngobi, Murphy lead Craig over East

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John Barry
Friday, January 17, 2014

JANESVILLE—Madison East’s boys basketball team had no answer for Mike Murphy and Jerry Ngobi on Friday night.

The two Janesville Craig sharpshooters combined for 52 points to lead the Cougars to a 74-67 Big Eight Conference win.

Murphy had a game-high 28 points, including five 3-point baskets, while Ngobi had his way around the basket in finishing with 24.

Craig (5-6 in the Big Eight) got back to the .500 mark (7-7) on the season thanks to a 12-3 run to start the fourth quarter that pushed the lead to 13.

“East is very good team that made me extremely nervous coming in because they’re so quick and athletic,” Craig coach Mike Miller said. “But I’m very happy with our effort and feel fortunate to get out of here with a win.

“I thought our passing was very good once again, and Murph hit some big shots from very deep that were enough to get it done.”

The game was tied 29-29 at half, but the Cougars took the lead for good at 45-43 on Ngobi’s basket with 3:17 left in the third quarter. Craig led by four after three but pushed the lead to double digits midway through the fourth. Ngobi’s three-point play with 4:46 left made it 63-53 and the Purgolders (5-10, 3-8) got no closer than five the rest of the way.

Murphy had 17 in the second half, including 12 in the third. Ngobi had 18 second-half points and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line for the game.

“It starts with distributing the ball, and we did a pretty good job of that again tonight,” Miller said. “Defensively, we played man-to-man, and I thought we were a little slow. But East shot the ball better than I expected, especially coming here.

“We had too many turnovers (14), but we were very unselfish and found a way. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling.”

De’Shawn Burks had 21 points to lead East, while Martin Lackey added 16.

Craig plays at Madison West on Thursday night.

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