East trips up Craig
Makailah Dyer, a 5-foot-9 freshman point guard, scored 19 points in leading the Purgolders to a 45-39 victory over Janesville Craig.
With Cougar starter Ally Marshick out with strep throat, Craig High had a difficult time controlling the play underneath.
“She’s our best defensive player, and we missed her play tonight,” Craig coach Mark Marsden said. “Had we had Ally tonight, we could have played Dyer a little differently, but you have to remember that she had 19 points against us in the first time we played them.”
Craig won that game, 61-44, but the rematch was a different story.
Dyer got East (7-10, 6-9) off to a 16-10 first-quarter lead with half of her team’s points. And she later played a key role in the final period.
Craig (6-11, 5-10) made two runs at East, once coming back from seven points down to within 33-31 at the end of the third quarter, when Lauren McGrath was fouled on a three-point shot and made two free throws.
East opened the fourth quarter with a goal by Dyer, who scored eight of the Purgolders’ 12 points in the final period.
Craig was unable to mount a charge in the fourth quarter. The Cougars went scoreless the last 2:10 of the game, and Dyer sealed the deal with two free throws to give the Purgolders their final six-point margin.
East coach Kay Galuska said she had her players switch to a different zone defense.
“We went to a 1-3-1 and forced them to take the hardest shot in basketball, the baseline jumper,” Galuska said. “They (the Purgolders) believed in it and got the job done.”
East’s ability to handle the Craig press was attributed to Dyer’s maturity, her coach said.
“She’s just an freshman, but she has advanced so much,” Galuska said. “Earlier in the season, she was used to being able to just dribble through that press. Now she knows she has to pass the ball, move without the ball and get open.”
The Cougars had another tough shooting night. They were 1-for-10 on three-point attempts in the first half.
Taylor Storbakken came off the Craig bench to get two three-pointers in the second half and keep the game close, but East’s defensive change in the final minutes shut out the Cougar shooters.
“Some of our shots went, most didn’t,” Marsden said. “We couldn’t get our big people into the game.
“They have that great point guard in Dyer, and I thought they got some great back side play on our zone,” Marsden said. “All those things caused us problems.”
Up next for Craig is a trip to Verona on Monday for a make-up game.
“We’ll have our hands full with their height,” Marsden said. “They have a 6-5 player and a big point guard.’’
EAST 45, CRAIG 39
East (45)—Dyer, 8-2-19; Jackson, 4-1-9; Hudkins, 1-0-2; Almou, 4-1-9; Deang, 2-2-6. Totals: 19-6-45.
Craig (39)—Smith, 2-0-4; Hamilton, 1-0-2; Kennedy, 1-0-2; Morgan, 3-5-11; W. Storbakken, 3-0-8; Hinman, 2-0-4; T. Storbakken, 2-0-6; McGrath, 0-2-2. Totals: 14-7-39.
Madison East 16 4 13 12—45
Janesville Craig 10 8 13 8—39
Three-point goals—East 1 (Dyer). Craig 4 (W. Storbakken 2, T. Storbakken 2). Free throws missed—East 4, Craig 5. Total fouls—East 11, Craig 11.
Sophomores: Craig 54, East 34. Craig leading scorers: Michelle Straw, 13; Emma Becher, 10; Rachel Philipps, 10. Craig record: 14-3, 12-3 Big Eight.