Craig girls roll past Bradford
But that didn’t stop the Cougars.
Craig rolled past Kenosha Bradford, 71-41, as three Cougars scored in double digits.
It was the first game in 11 days for the Cougars, who improved to 14-7 and will host Westosha Central (16-5) in a regional final at 4 p.m. Saturday.
“We were a little sloppy, but I kind of expected that,” said Craig standout Kristy Benson. “We didn’t really finish everything we could have.
“It’s hard getting a little bit of the slop off.”
Craig coach Mark Marsden was a little nervous about how the team would perform after a week and a half break.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “And we showed it a little tonight with some missed layups and free throws right in the beginning of the game.
“It’s tough to prepare for a team with four wins. It’s hard to keep the team ready.”
Still, the Cougars led from start to finish, beginning with a shot from Whitney Storbakken at 7:15 in the first quarter.
Craig went on a 10-0 run to start the game and took a 10-point lead into the second quarter. The Cougars led 34-13 at halftime.
“I knew tonight was going to be a tough game,” said Bradford coach Matthew Hardy. “I knew they were going to get into our face and play defense.”
And the Cougars did.
Bradford’s first points came at 3:10 in the first quarter with a basket from leading scorer Olivia Hardy. The Red Devils only had three players with a field goal in the first half.
“I knew the key to tonight was going to be free throws,” cooach Hardy said. “If we could avoid fouling them, we had a shot. Sure enough, they hit most of their free throws.”
The Cougars finished 15-for-18 from the line.
And after a slim first half, the Red Devils more than doubled their score in the third quarter, thanks to a hot hand from Hardy and strong shooting from the field.
“We wanted to keep them under 30,” said Marsden. “But if you look at their average, they score about 40 points a game.”
Benson finished with 20 points to take game honors. Danielle Straw had 17 for Craig, and Storbakken had 10.
Hardy led the Red Devils with 19 points, including three goals from behind the arc.
And as the Cougars look to the rest of the sectional field, the focus right now is getting stronger on defense.
“Defense has been our Achilles Heel all year,” Benson said. “We need to fix our defense a bit.
“If we’re going to play man, we have to fix that. “If we are going to play zone, we going to have to work a little bit on that.”
CRAIG 71, BRADFORD 41
Bradford (41)—Hardy 8-0-19, Barsuli 1-1-4, Fuhrer 3-1-7, Thomas 1-0-2, Hotchkiss 2-0-4, Wenberg 2-1-5. Totals: 17-3-41.
Craig (71)—Smith 1-0-3, McQueen 1-1-3, Benson 7-6-20, Sanchez 2-4-8, Storbakken 4-2-10, Straw 7-2-17, Morgan 4-0-8, Hilden 1-0-2. Totals: 27-15-71.
Kenosha Bradford 6 7 16 12—41
Janesville Craig 16 18 20 17—71
Three-point goals—Kenosha Bradford 4 (Hardy 3, Barsuli), Janesville Craig 2 (Straw, Smith). Free throws missed— Kenosha Bradford 4, Janesville Craig 3. Total fouls—Kenosha Bradford 18, Janesville Craig 8.