Craig girls fall under three-point barrage
During a two-minute span, Beloit Memorial hit four consecutive three-point shots off four Craig High turnovers on the way to a staggering 25-3 advantage in the quarter.
That offset Craig’s 20-15 lead after the first quarter and gave the Purple Knights a 40-23 halftime command.
But amazingly, that almost wasn’t enough. Beloit had to withstand Craig’s ferocious fourth-quarter comeback to escape with a 72-65 victory in a Big Eight Conference game at Barkin Arena.
“They hit every single shot they put up. I don’t think they missed any,” Craig coach Mark Marsden said of Beloit’s sizzling second quarter.
“Our defense wasn’t very good. We weren’t closing out, we weren’t blocking out, and our kids didn’t show up until the third part of the third quarter and the fourth quarter.”
As a result, both teams wound up with 1–1 conference records and 2-1 season marks.
It took the Cougars time to rebound from the hammering they took in the second quarter. But when they did, they gave the Craig fans a lot to cheer about.
Craig cut its 18-point deficit to 11 by the end of the third quarter. The Cougar shooters started to warm up when Amanda Hamilton sank two three-pointers and Kelsey Kennedy added a long-range basket.
Hamilton continued her hot streak with eight more points in the fourth quarter. While the Knights consistently missed free throws that could have kept them out of reach, Craig narrowed the gap to just four points at 66-62 with 50 seconds left.
At that point, the Cougars were forced to foul, and Beloit finally made its free throws down the stretch.
Craig was called for 31 fouls, with Hamilton and Ally Marshick fouling out. That allowed Beloit to shoot 48 free throws, and the Knights made 22 to Craig’s 14 of 24.
“You can’t win when you allow your opponent to shoot that many free throws,” Marsden said. “I was disappointed in our defense.
“To give up 72—we never do that,” said Marsden, whose team allowed only 46 total points in winning its first two games. “We’re going to really have to evaluate how we play defense.”
Beloit’s Megan Slavish took apart the Cougar defense for a game-high 24 points. Hamilton led Craig with 17, including five of the Cougars’ nine three-points goals.
Despite his disappointment, Marsden saw a bright spot in his team’s performance.
“They don’t give up,” he said of the Cougars. “But we played horrible in the second quarter, making fundamental mistakes. And we put them on the line every other possession.”
BELOIT 72, CRAIG 65
Craig (65)—Hamilton, 6-0-17; Kennedy, 2-1-6; Morgan, 5-7-17; Marshick, 1-2-4; Hinman, 2-1-5; Legreid, 1-0-2; W. Oliver, 2-2-8; Storbakken, 1-1-4; L. Oliver, 1-0-2. Totals 21-14-65.
Beloit (72)—Gill, 3-2-8; Heldt, 1-6-8; Slavish, 9-5-24; Gauvin, 2-1-6; Hai. Lawver, 3-1-10; Johnson, 1-3-5; Mauel, 0-1-1; Han. Lawver, 3-3-10; Totals: 22-22-72.
Janesville Craig 20 3 18 24—65
Beloit Memorial 15 25 12 20—72
Three-point goals—Craig 9 (Hamilton 5, Kennedy, W. Oliver, 2, Storbakken). Beloit 6 (Slavish, Gauvin, Hail, Lawver 3, Han. Lawver) 6. Free throws missed—Craig 10, Beloit 26. Total fouls—Craig 31, Beloit 19. Fouled out—Hamilton, Marshick, Storbakken, Slavish.
Sophomores—Craig 73. Beloit 40. Craig scoring leaders: Michaela Holzhuter, 16; Kristi Crandall, 17; Maddie Philipps, 16.