Slatter leads Craig to comeback over La Follette
JANESVILLE--Janesville Craig’s girls basketball team saved its best for last Thursday night.
The Cougars, trailing by 14 points in the second quarter, erupted for 25 points in the fourth in rallying for a 58-54 Big Eight Conference win over Madison La Follette.
Craig (13-4, 9-4) improved to 10-1 at home this season and moved into sole possession of third place in the conference.
“Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy beating Parker, but tonight was our biggest win of the season,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “La Follette’s got a good team, and with (Nicole) Newman back, they’re even more dangerous.
“What I’m most proud of tonight was that we kept up our intensity and our focus, even when La Follette got the big lead. And that was especially evident in the fourth quarter when we came back.”
Craig trailed 40-33 after three quarters but rallied in the fourth behind Aleyha Slatter. The junior scored Craig’s first 10 points of the quarter to help cut the deficit to 44-43 with 5:20 to play. The Cougars grabbed their first lead of the game on two Al Hughes free throws with 4:41 left before the Lancers eventually took their last lead at 48-47 with 2:52 left to play.
Craig sophomore Delaney Schoenenberger gave her team the lead for good at 49-48 with 2:34 left on a driving layup, and it was all Cougars after that. Hughes had five free throws in the final 1:38, including two with six seconds left that made it a two-possession game at 58-54.
“We fought through a lot of things tonight, especially their size advantage underneath, and found a way to get it done,” Storbakken said. “And once we got the lead on them in the fourth, I thought they played a little tight.
“When we get the lead down the stretch, we’re going to be in pretty good shape because we’ve shot free throws well all year. Tonight we were 13 of 14 at the line in the fourth, and that’s huge.”
Hughes led a balanced attack for Craig with 18 points. Alli Calkins, who made a 3-pointer from halfcourt at the end of the first quarter, finished with 16 points. Slatter chipped in with 14.
Craig plays at Madison Memorial on Saturday night.