Basketball weekend

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Dave Wedeward
Thursday, November 29, 2007

High school boys

Janesville Craig at Middleton

Time: 7:30 tonight.

Craig record: 1-0 (def. Madison Edgewood, 63-52, NC).

Middleton record: 0-1 (lost to Verona, 58-55, NC).

Players to watch: Craig—Lucas Burns, 6-6, sr. (scored 24 points, made all 12 free throws, two three-point goals, had 10 rebounds against Edgewood). JoJo Pregont, 6-6, jr. (scored 17 points, had three three-point goals, 10 rebounds). Joey Kennedy, 6-0, jr (had 10 points, including a back-breaking basket to end the first half).

Middleton—Brett Semenas, 6-2, sr. (led the Cardinals with 10 points in the opener); Kevin Kruckenberg, 6-1, sr.

Free throws: Craig tips off its Big Eight season as one of the favorites to challenge four-time defending champion Madison Memorial, whom the Cougars host Saturday. Middleton was the top challenger in finishing second the last two years, but the Cardinals return no starters.

Prediction Machine says: Craig 62, Middleton 56.

Janesville Parker at Madison La Follette

Time: 7:30 tonight.

Parker record: 1-0 (def. Clinton, 52-30, NC).

La Follette record: 1-0 (def. Milwaukee Bay View, 61-53).

Players to watch: Parker—Riley Grafft, 6-10, sr. (scored 14 points in the opener); Jared Fox 6-0, sr. (scored 11).

La Follette—Cashton Craig, 6-0, sr. (All-Big Eight first team last year and coming off a 24-point game); Steve Chapiewsky, 6-2, sr.; Caleb Krueger, 6-3, sr.

Free throws: Parker begins its Big Eight season against one of the preseason favorites. Cashton Craig is La Follette’s only returning starter, but the Lancers are deep in athleticism with many familiar names from their championship football team.

Prediction Machine says: La Follette 67, Parker 55.

Madison Memorial at Janesville Craig

Time: 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

Craig record: 1-0 (pending tonight’s outcome).

Memorial record: 21-3 last season, 16-0 in Big Eight (conference and season opener tonight at Madison East).

Players to watch: Memorial—Jeronne Maymon, 6-6, jr. (All-Big Eight first-team selection last season with a 16.8 scoring average; ranked among the state’s top three juniors).

Free throws: Depending how they fare tonight in a tough test against Marquis Mason and East, the Spartans could bring a Big Eight-record 37-game conference winning streak to Janesville. Four years ago, Craig broke Madison La Follette’s then-record 33-game streak.

Prediction Machine says: Craig 56, Memorial 52.

Janesville Parker at Middleton

Time: 2:45 p.m. Saturday (WCLO radio, 1230 AM).

Parker record: 1-0 (pending tonight’s outcome).

Middleton record: 0-1 (pending tonight’s outcome).

Free throws: The Vikings will be looking for their first win over Middleton since the 1994-95 season. Their chances of breaking a 24-game streak look far better than recent times without rangy Will Hudson in the Cardinals’ lineup.

Prediction Machine says: Middleton 52, Parker 44.

High school girls

Janesville Craig at Middleton

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday (WCLO radio, 1230 AM).

Craig record: 0-1 (lost to Mukwonago, 62-52).

Middleton record: 2-0 (def. Verona, 56-51, NC; Fond du Lac, 46-31, NC).

Players to watch: Craig—Kristy Benson, 5-7, sr. (made 16 of 20 free throws and scored 30 points against Mukwonago).

Middleton—JoLyn Owen, 5-8, sr. (led the way with 22 points in a come-from-behind victory over Verona); Kate Kessenich, 5-4, sr.; Cassey Simon, 5-7, sr.; Lauren Gunderson, 5-8, sr. All were starters on last season’s 18-4 team.

Free throws: With this tipoff of the Big Eight race and Middleton as a co-favorite after sharing the title last season with Janesville Parker, don’t think the Cardinals have forgotten Craig. They came into Cougar Country with a 14-0 conference record last season and a chance to clinch the undisputed championship, only to be shocked by Benson’s last-second bank shot, which gave Craig a 55-54 victory. The Cardinals then lost to Parker, 48-43, and had to settle for a title tie.

Middleton remains deep, talented and experienced, with 15 players getting a good share of the action so far.

Prediction Machine says: Middleton 51, Craig 40.

Janesville Parker at Madison La Follette

Time: 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Parker record: 1-0 (def. Milwaukee South, 80-28, NC).

La Follette record: 1-0 (def. Monona Grove, 37-29, NC).

Players to watch: Parker—Catie O’Leary, 5-10, jr. (Big Eight Player of the Year last season, scored 24 points in the opener); Kellie Koebler, 5-3, sr. (nine points in the opener); Alex Klawitter, 5-8, sr.

La Follette—Kendra Shillinglaw, 6-2, sr.; Samia Taylor, 6-0, jr.

Free throws: With an obvious showdown coming Saturday night, the key for defending co-champion Parker may be to not look past this Big Eight opener. La Follette won only six games last season, but the Lancers have size and two returning starters who averaged eight points apiece a year ago.

Prediction Machine says: Parker 58, La Follette 37.

Janesville Parker at Middleton

Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday (WCLO radio, 1230 AM).

Parker record: 1-0 (pending Friday’s outcome).

Middleton record: 2-0 (pending Friday’s outcome).

Free throws: Middleton set the early tone with a 45-27 blowout of Parker in their first meeting last season, but everything changed when the Cardinals faltered down the stretch. Parker forced a co-championship by beating Middleton, 48-43, at Janesville in a regular-season finale.

Prediction Machine says: Middleton 48, Parker 42.

Madison Memorial at Janesville Craig

Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Craig record: 0-1 (pending Friday’s outcome).

Memorial record: 5-16 last season, 4-12 in Big Eight (conference and season opener Friday night at Madison East).

Players to watch: Memorial—Kelsey Strom, 5-6, sr.; Tiffany Jones, 5-05, sr.; Sara Heine, 5-4, sr.

Free throws: Memorial struggled last season, even with Justine Hayes, one of the state’s top players. Craig beat the Spartans in a regular-season finale, 48-42.

Prediction Machine says: Craig 50, Memorial 36.

Last updated: 9:36 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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