Craig dodges letdown against Parker
JANESVILLE—Kerry Storbakken worried about a letdown.
Coming off an upset win over sixth-ranked Middleton, the Janesville Craig girls basketball coach wasn’t sure what to expect from his young team Thursday night.
Would the Cougars continue their winning ways or come out flat against crosstown rival Janesville Parker?
Storbakken got the answer he was looking for in a 45-34 Big Eight Conference win.
Craig (16-4, 13-4) used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to take control and cruised from there in sweeping the regular-season series.
“I knew the kids were playing with confidence coming in, but I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Storbakken said. “Parker always plays well here, and Craig hasn’t won here too often.
“It’s always a pressure cooker here, and even though we didn’t play as well as we have offensively, I thought we played very well on the defensive end.”
Offense was non-existent the first quarter. Parker took its only lead of the game at 2-1 on Paiton Foster’s jumper with less than a minute gone by, but Craig went on a 7-2 run to end the quarter to take an 8-4 lead. Neither team scored the final 5:36 of the first quarter.
Parker eventually cut the lead to one on Paige Smith’s basket with 2:41 left in the half, but Craig went on a 9-0 run in building a 21-12 halftime lead. Al Hughes, who led Craig in scoring with 11 points, capped the 9-0 run with a 3-pointer 26 seconds left.
The Vikings continue to struggle shooting the ball. Parker was 1-for-14 from beyond the arc for the game and missed six of seven free-throw attempts.
“There isn’t much to say,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “Bottom line is that they shot better than we did tonight.
“I challenged them at half to come out and play with some pride, which I thought they did, but we just didn’t make enough baskets. I liked our effort, but when the ball isn’t going in the basket, there’s not much you can do.”
Leading by nine at half, Craig allowed the home team to get no closer than five the second half. The Vikings cut it to 21-16 with 5:32 left in the third, but Delaney Schoenenberger hit a 3 on Craig’s next possession and the Cougars finished the quarter on a 5-0 run to take an 11-point lead.
Calkins shared team-high scoring honors with Hughes with 11, while Schoenenberger and Anne Schumacher added nine each.
Smith, who came into the game as the Big Eight’s second-leading scorer, finished with a game-high 12 points.
“Give these kids credit,” Storbakken said of his team. “As young as we are, to be 16-4 is pretty impressive. They’re playing with a lot of confidence right now, and as we get ready for tournament play, that’s a good thing.”
CRAIG 45, PARKER 34
Craig (45)—Schumacher, 3-0-9; Hughes, 3-4-11; Slatter, 1-2-4; Calkins, 5-0-11; Schoenenberger, 3-2-9; Foster, 0-1-1. Totals: 15-9-45.
Parker (34)—Smith, 6-0-12; Dubanowich, 3-0-7; Thompson, 3-0-6; P. Foster, 3-0-6; Porter, 1-0-2; K. Foster, 0-1-1. Totals: 16-1-34.
Janesville Craig 8 13 12 12—45
Janesville Parker 4 8 10 12—34
Three-point goals—Craig 6 (Schumacher 3, Hughes, Calkins, Schoenenberger), Parker 1 (Dubanowich). Free throws missed—Craig 5, Parker 6. Total fouls—Craig 14, Parker 16.
Sophomores—Craig 35, Parker 30.