Sun Prairie pulls away from Craig girls
Middleton 5 0
Janesville Parker 4 0
Sun Prairie 4 1
Janesville Craig 3 3
Madison Memorial 2 3
Madison West 2 3
Beloit Memorial 1 4
Madison East 0 3
Madison La Follette 0 4
Sun Prairie 59, Janesville Craig 47
Madison La Follette at Madison East
Janesville Parker at Middleton, 7:30 p.m.
Liz Hrodey swears she didn’t say anything special.
But whatever the Sun Prairie High School coach told her team at halftime of Thursday night’s Big Eight Conference girls basketball game against Janesville Craig seemed to ignite the Cardinals.
Sun Prairie outscored the Cougars 21-5 in the third quarter, including a 10-1 run to start the second half, en route to a 59-47 victory.
Stephanie Haight scored 14 points to lead four Cardinal players in double figures, but it was the torrid start to the second half that doomed the Cougars.
“The girls just turned it on. That’s really all there was to it,” Hrodey said of the third quarter. “It wasn’t anything I said, I don’t think.
“It was a one-point game before that, and I think we realized that we had to come out and set the tone in the second half. Craig can be a dangerous team, especially in its gym.”
Craig (3-4, 3-3) played well the first half. Whitney Storbakken’s three-point basket with 4:58 left in the half gave the Cougars a 25-20 lead. Storbakken scored 13 points, but all 13 came in the first half.
Kristy Benson led the Cougars with 15 points, but she struggled with her shooting. The senior hit only four of 15 field-goal attempts.
Cougar coach Mark Marsden was disappointed with his team’s second-half performance.
“We played poorly the third quarter, defensively, rebounding and offensively, and there’s no excuse for that,” Marsden said. “After winning a tough game at (Madison) West on Saturday, I thought this was a game we could win tonight.
“You have to make adjustments on the court, and we didn’t do that in the third quarter. If you’re not shooting the ball well, which we weren’t doing in the third quarter, that doesn’t mean you stop playing defense or rebounding.”
Sun Prairie (5-2, 4-1) led 30-29 at half, but quickly pushed the lead to 40-30 when Haight buried a jumper from the free-throw line with 5:08 to play in the third. Marsden was forced to use two timeouts to try to slow the momentum, but the Cardinals scored the last nine points of the quarter to lead 51-34.
Craig was 1-for-14 on field-goal attempts in the third quarter, and only 5-for-28 the second half.
Marsden said inconsistency continues to be his team’s biggest problem. The Cougars look good at times and have struggled because of poor shooting at other times.
“When we’re struggling, we need somebody to step up and make some big shots,” Marsden said. “At times, we’ve done that this season, but other times like tonight, it doesn’t happen.
“It’s disappointing because we just can’t seem to put together four quarters. And until we do, it’s going to continue to be an up-and-down season.”
The Cougars hope to turn it back up on Friday and Saturday of next week when they host the Janesville Optimist Classic.
SUN PRAIRIE 59, CRAIG 47
Sun Prairie (59)—Renz, 1-0-3; Granitz, 4-2-10; Haight, 7-0-14; Albi, 5-3-13; Chase, 5-2-12; Yakey, 1-0-2; McCabe, 1-0-3; Wiersema, 1-0-2. Totals: 25-7-59.
Craig (47)—Benson, 4-7-15; Sanchez, 1-1-3; Storbakken, 5-0-13; Straw, 2-2-7; Hilden, 2-0-4; Morgan, 1-0-2; Hamilton, 1-0-3. Totals: 16-10-47.
Sun Prairie 18 12 21 8—59
Janesville Craig 18 11 5 13—47
Three-point goals—Sun Prairie 2 (Renz, McCabe), Craig 5 (Storbakken 3, Hamilton, Straw). Free throws missed—Sun Prairie 8, Craig 9. Total fouls—Sun Prairie 18, Craig 18.
Sophomores—Craig 71, Sun Prairie 19. Craig records: 6-0 in Big Eight, 6-1 overall. Craig scoring leaders: Brooke Friess, 16; Lindsey Oliver, 13.