Janesville68.5°

Craig girls hang on at Beloit

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Mike Ramczyk/Special to the Gazette
December 7, 2007
— As veteran leaders, senior Kristy Benson and junior Whitney Storbakken answered the call for Janesville Craig’s girls basketball team in a close game Thursday night.

Benson and Storbakken each scored 11 points, including several key free throws down the stretch, as Craig High held off a late Beloit Memorial rally to win 41-35, giving the Cougars their second Big Eight Conference victory of the week.


“In the fourth quarter, we did a good job attacking,’’ coach Mark Marsden said after his Cougars improved to 2-1 in the conference and 2-2 overall. “This is always a tough place to play, and we knew they would come back.”


Inconsistent play nearly spelled disaster for the Cougars. But they dominated the early action.


After Craig jumped to an 11-4 lead, its pressing half-court defense and fast-break scoring kept the Purple Knights (2-2, 1-1) on their heels. That gave the Cougars a comfortable 30-18 halftime lead.


Throughout the half, Craig was able to trap Beloit at will, forcing many turnovers and dominating overall.


In the third quarter, however, it was the Knights’ turn. Senior standout Brianne Monahan made her presence felt down low, hitting short turnaround jumpers and making put-back baskets from offensive rebounds.


Craig didn’t have an answer for Monahan in the second half, and the 6-1 post player finished with 15 points.


Beloit’s big deficit was erased when the Knights went on a 14-3 run spanning the entire third quarter and late into the fourth. Craig’s offense became stagnant and struggled through the second half.


“We weren’t able to knock down a shot or a free throw for awhile,” Marsden said. “They adjusted like any good team would.


“With Monahan, it’s pretty hard for us to match up man-to-man. We weren’t scoring, so we couldn’t press.”


But, as Marsden said, any good team would adjust, and that’s exactly what his Cougars did at the end. The coach implemented a trapping full-court press in the final minutes, and it dirupted the Purple Knights.


Craig forced numerous turnovers, but the Cougars were unable to convert free throws to put the game away. The same was true for Beloit in its bid to come back, as each team missed 14 times from the line.


Finally, with 16 seconds left, Storbakken iced the victory with a free throw.


And in the end, Marsden was pleased with the poise and toughness his team showed when the going got tough at Barkin Arena.


“I’m proud of the kids. I’m really pleased with our improvement,” the Craig coach said.


CRAIG 41, BELOIT 35


Craig (41)—Benson, 3-5-11; Storbakken, 5-2-11; Straw, 3-2-8; Morgan, 1-3-5; McQueen, 2-2-6. Totals: 13-14-41.


Beloit (35)—Monahan, 6-3-15; Tann, 5-0-11; Hankins, 1-0-2; Carroll, 1-0-2; Bolton, 0-1-1; Slavish, 0-1-1; Pritchard, 0-2-2; Tester, 0-1-1. Totals: 13-8-35.


Janesville Craig 16 14 3 8—41


Beloit Memorial 7 11 10 7—35


Three-point goals—Craig 1 (Storbakken), Beloit 1 (Tann). Free throws missed—Craig 14, Beloit 14. Total fouls—Craig 15, Beloit 20. Fouled out—Bolton.


Sophomores—Craig 63, Beloit 43. Craig record: 3-0 in Big Eight, 3-1 overall. Craig scoring leaders: Lindsey Oliver, 14; Kelsey Kennedy, 14.


n Middleton 65, Sun Prairie 38—Three Middleton players scored in double figures as the state’s third-ranked Division 1 team kept pace with fourth-rated Janesville Parker at 2-0 in the Big Eight.


Danielle Beckwith and Emily Newman led Middleton with 16 and 15 points, respetively. Paige Albi scored 16 and Stephanie Haight had 14 for Sun Prairie, which fell to 1-1 in the conference.


MIDDLETON 65, SUN PRAIRIE 38


Middleton (65)—Larson, 8; Acker, 5; Bond, 4; Kessenich, 4; Simon, 3; Beckwith, 16; Newman, 15; J. Owen, 10. Totals: 27 5-9 65.


Sun Prairie (38)—Granitz, 5; Renz, 2; Albi, 16; Haight, 14; Chase, 1. Totals: 12 13-18 38.


Middleton 7 20 18 20—65


Sun Prairie 6 14 6 12—38


Three-point goals—Middleton 6 (Acker 1, Beckwith 1, Newman 4), Sun Prairie 1 (Albi 1). Free throws missed—Middleton 4, Sun Prairie 5. Total fouls—Middleton 17, Sun Prairie 15.


Sophomores—Middleton 59, Sun Prairie 29.


n West 34, East 24—Ellie Pierson led the way with 11 points as Madison West evened its Big Eight record at 1-1 and dropped Madison East to 0-2.


WEST 34, EAST 24


East (24)—Ramsey, 4-0-10; Heidorn, 3-0-7; Johnson, 1-0-3; McClain, 1-0-2; Schoenemann, 1-0-2. Totals: 10-0-24.


West (34)—Kuhn, 1-0-2; Corkery, 1-0-2; Pizzingrilli, 2-0-4; Heller, 1-2-4; Poffenberger, 3-3-9; Pearson, 4-3-11; Christianson, 1-0-2. Totals: 13-8-34.


Madison East 5 7 4 8—24


Madison West 11 5 10 8--34


Three-point goals—East 4 (Ramsey 2, Heidorn, Johnson). Free throws missed—West 5. Total fouls—East 11, West 11.



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