Craig advances in regional
JANESVILLE The bad news for Janesville Craig’s girls was that they scored only four points in the first quarter of their WIAA Division 1 regional basketball opener here Tuesday night.
The good news was Craig High’s opponent scored only three.
The sixth-seeded Cougars (7-14) took advantage and went to a 42-33 win over Kenosha Tremper (3-18) as they snapped an eight-game losing streak.
That moved Craig into a regional final Saturday against the host Panthers (16-5) at Oregon. The winner plays Janesville Parker (15-5) or Kenosha Bradford (9-12) in the semifinals of the Badger Sectional at Beloit College.
During its losing streak, Craig was forced to play from far behind seven times, often unable to overcome huge first-quarter deficits. The tournament game started out in a similar fashion for the Cougars with eight turnovers, only six shots and fouls mounting up on both post players, Emily Hinman and Anne Morgan.
However, Tremper had an equally tough first quarter, making only one field goal and turning the ball over six times.
The first half ended with Craig up 12-9.
“We got off to a slow start again tonight, but our defense made the difference in the first half,” said Craig coach Mark Marsden. “They are a much taller team than we are, and I think that bothered us early. But we got after it and played well underneath.
“The only problem I saw was that both our ‘bigs’ (Morgan and Hinman) had two early fouls each.”
Craig took control in the third quarter, led by Morgan and Hinman, who combined for 10 points and muscled in contested shots underneath, despite the Tremper height advantage. Morgan, a 5-11 junior, led Craig scorers with a 10-point game.
Tremper was paced by 5-8 junior Rachel Jones, who scored a game-high 18, including eight in the final quarter to keep Kenosha within striking distance until she fouled out. Tremper pulled to within six twice in the final quarter, but could get no closer.
Craig’s defense made the difference, Marsden said.
“Our kids played good team defense, and we were able to play 10 kids to keep our rotation going,” he said. “They were scrambling and digging for loose balls all night, and it paid off in the end.”
The Cougars also overcame Tremper’s press in the second half.
“We turned the ball over a couple of times, but we were able to handle their press,” Marsden said. “Earlier in the year, that would have been a nightmare for us. We have come a long way in that department”
Marsden said the Trojans were a much better team than their record indicates.
“They are a very physical team with a lot of height, and Jones is a good player who gets good looks and makes her shots,” he said. “I think that surprised us a little early in the game, but I think we adjusted well.”
CRAIG 42, TREMPER 33
Tremper (33)—Griffiths, 0-3-3; Jones, 7-4-18; Stangas, 2-1-5; Richter, 2-0-4; Mogesen, 1-0-3. Totals: 12-8-33.
Craig (42)—Smith, 0-4-4; Kennedy, 3-2-8; Hinman, 3-1-7; Morgan, 3-4-10; W. Storbakken, 1-0-2; Hamilton, 2-3-7; McGrath, 1-0-2; T. Storbakken, 1-0-2. Totals: 14-14-42.
Kenosha Tremper 3 6 9 15—33
Janesville Craig 4 8 18 12—42
Three-point goals—Tremper 1 (Mogensen). Free throws missed—Tremper 5, Craig 5. Total fouls—Tremper 23, Craig 13. Fouled out—Jones, Stangas.