Cougars rally to down Adams-Friendship
Once the Cougars found their bearings, they were able to dig out from an 11-0 hole to overtake Adams-Friendship, 49-43, in their Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Classic match-up at the UW Field House.
It helped matters that the Green Devils (5-3), ranked ninth in the Associated Press Division 2 poll, committed 20 turnovers to allow Craig (7-2) opportunities to regroup after misfiring on its first seven shots.
“You get up here at ‘The Barn’ and that basket is hanging out there,” Craig coach Bob Suter said. “It’s not like a high school gym. We got good looks, and normally we’ll knock those shots down. But the kids regrouped, and we really got going.”
Lance Fritz had two three-pointers in the opening run for Adams-Friendship (5-3) and led all scorers with 21 points. Tommie Gaston opened the game with a deep three-pointer as the Green Devils made four of their first five shots, and three of their five three-pointers came in the opening four minutes.
Cooper Cullen started the Craig rally with a three-point play, and Kyle Goike ended the quarter with a 25-foot three-point goal that banked in at the buzzer to cut Adams-Friendship’s lead to 18-13 and cap an 11-5 closing run.
Goike, who scored 12 points, opened the second quarter with another three-pointer. Cullen followed with a reverse lay-up, and Goike added a basket underneath to give the Cougars a 20-18 lead.
Bryce Wormet gave the Green Devils a short-lived 22-21 lead on a lay-up. Lucas Burns, who scored 13 points, answered with a three-pointer, and Craig never trailed again.
“We’ve done this a couple times, where we come out a little too slow and weren’t ready for the game,” said Cullen, who added nine points and smothered Gaston on defense. “Luckily, we have enough talent to get back in it.”
Cullen gave Craig its largest lead at 43-36 with 4:55 remaining. The 6-6 senior gathered in a sharp pass from Burns for a basket underneath.
Adams-Friendship pulled within 44-40, but Goike countered with a baseline jumper, and Jo Jo Pregont added two free throws as the Craig lead swelled back to 48-40 with 1:46 left.
“With the Christmas break we had one day to prepare for their 1-3-1 (defense), and it showed,” Suter added. “But I was proud of the way our kids responded in the second half. We got some baskets inside, got moving and played just enough defense to get a couple stops.”
CRAIG 49, ADAMS-FRIENDSHIP 43
Craig (49)—Roherty, 0-1-1; Cullen, 4-1-9; Goike, 5-0-12; Pregont, 3-4-10; Burns, 4-1-13; Kennedy, 2-0-4. Totals: 18-7-49.
Adams-Friendship (43)—Gaston, 2-0-6; Fritz, 8-2-21; Chetney, 1-0-2; Pease, 1-0-2; Deane, 3-0-6; Wormet, 3-0-6. Totals: 18-2-43.
Janesville Craig 13 14 10 12—49
Adams-Friendship 18 6 9 10—43
Three-point goals—Craig 6 (Goike 2, Burns 4). Adams-Friendship 5 (Fritz 3, Gaston 2). Free throws missed—Craig 5, Adams-Friendship 2. Total fouls—Craig 10, Adams-Friendship 15.