Craig boys leave West behind
The Cougars capped off a 15-5 season with a convincing 58-42 victory over Madison West in a Big Eight Conference finale for Craig here Thursday night.
Lucas Burns scored 16 points, and hot-shooting Charlie Roherty added 14, as Craig put the finishing touches on a 12-4 conference season and an undisputed second-place finish behind five-time champion Madison Memorial.
With WIAA Division 1 tournament play beginning on Tuesday night at home against Oregon, Suter is pleased with the way his team is playing.
“I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, and we can be better, but I think we’ve had a pretty consistent season,” Suter said. “Our defense has been pretty good. Now we just have to make a couple adjustments on the offensive end and clean a few things up.
“Tuesday starts a new season, where every game is sudden death. I’m pretty sure our kids realize that and will be ready to play.”
Craig was ready from the opening tip against the Regents (9-10, 8-7). The Cougars jumped out to 10-3 lead and never looked back.
West was content on shooting everything from beyond the arc, but the plan backfired. The Regents were only 3-for-20 from three-point range, including 1-for-11 in the first half.
The Cougars led 17-9 after the first quarter and pushed the lead to double digits in the second quarter. Jo Jo Pregont’s free throw with 1:15 left in the half gave Craig a 26-15 lead, and it was 26-17 at the break.
“We did some good things in the first half, especially on the defensive end, but we were still sloppy at times handling the ball,” Suter said. “We still want to catch, pass and rebound with one hand, instead of making the sure play with both hands.”
Roherty, who has 10 three-point baskets in his last two games, hit three from beyond the arc in the third quarter as Craig extended the lead to as many as 19 points. Roherty’s third three of the quarter gave the Cougars a 37-23 lead with 4:10 left, and the senior’s driving layup with 2:12 left in the third pushed the lead to 43-24.
“Charlie’s getting hot at the right time,” Suter said. “We had nine more threes tonight, and if we can keep shooting the ball well from out there, it should open things up more underneath for Jo Jo.”
With Sun Prairie on the schedule tonight, West coach Boyce Hodge sat his starters most of the second half. Not that it mattered, as Craig was well ahead when Hodge made his move.
“I wasn’t going to sit my kids,” Suter said. “I know West’s got a game tomorrow, but our kids needed the work. There are definitely things we can improve on.”
CRAIG 58, WEST 42
West (42)—J. Horton, 1-0-3; Johnson, 0-1-1; Carter, 2-0-4; M. Horton, 2-0-5; Gaines, 4-0-8; Simon, 0-2-2; Collins, 2-0-4; Harth, 3-1-7; Athanas, 1-0-2; Reynolds, 1-0-2; Kell, 1-0-3; Domann, 0-1-1. Totals: 17-5-42.
Craig (58)—Roherty, 5-0-14; Cullen, 3-0-6; Goike, 2-0-5; Pregont, 4-1-9; Burns, 5-3-16; Kennedy, 0-1-1; Kuehne, 1-0-3; Craig, 1-0-2; Wright, 1-0-2. Totals: 22-5-58.
Madison West 9 8 12 13—42
Janesville Craig 17 9 17 15—58
Three-point goals—West 3 (J. Horton, M. Horton, Kell), Craig 9 (Roherty 4, Burns 3, Kuehne, Goike). Free throws missed—West 3, Craig 6. Total fouls—West 9, Craig 7.
Sophomores—Craig 52, West 49. Craig finished 3-17 overall and 3-13 in the Big Eight . Craig leading scorers: Alex Lowe 21, Michael Pregont 10.