Fast starts becoming Janesville Craig trademark
The Cougars did it their last game against Beloit, and they did it again Thursday evening in a 56-42 win at Madison La Follette.
Craig jumped out to 9-0 lead in the win over the Purple Knights on Dec. 2, and the Cougars jumped out to a 13-4 lead against the previously unbeaten Lancers.
“We talk about that,” said Craig coach Kerry Storbakken. “You hit some shots, you get some steals, and it just snowballs. It’s the perfect start for you and the opposite for La Follette.
“We moved the ball, we’re pressing, we’re getting some tips, and kids are in the flow.”
Senior forward Emily Hinman scored the first seven points of the game for the Cougars on her way to a team-leading 14 points on the game.
Hinman, one of only two returning starters from last season for Craig—along with fellow senior Amanda Hamilton—also led with 14 rebounds.
“Emily is a three-year varsity player, and she’s a senior, and she stepped up tonight like we expect her to,” said Storbakken. “She had a great game—offensive rebounds, just controlling the post. It was great to see.”
La Follette started out in a 1-3-1 zone to defend the quick Craig attack, but thanks to some backside layups and offensive rebounds, it didn’t last.
“It was tough in there being able to work it around yet being able to hit the open person,” said Hinman. “But with the give-and-go’s and with kicking it in and then popping it right back out, we were able to hit all the shots we needed to that helped us push it up.”
Fast starts weren’t limited to the first half. Craig went on a 13-0 run to open the second half on its way to building a 44-22 lead.
La Follette (2-1) didn’t have an answer and suffered their first Big Eight Conference loss. Meanwhile, Craig (3-0) remained undefeated and improved to 2-0 in conference play.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Hinman. “I’m sure the team feels that they’re so excited. But we’ve got to keep our head in the game and always push it. We practice hard, we play hard, so it’s just kind of rewarding for us.”
Craig puts its undefeated record on the line when its travels to Madison Memorial on Saturday at 2:45 p.m.
CRAIG 56, LA FOLETTE 42
Craig (56)––Hinman, 5-4-14; Legreid, 2-2-6, ; Crandall, 1-0-2; Marshick, 4-1-10; O’Donnell, 3-1-8; Hamilton, 0-4-4; Kennedy, 0-1-1; Storbakken 3-2-9; Holzhuter, 0-1-1.
La Follette (42)––Stephens, 2-2-7; La Plant, 2-0-4; Newman, 1-4-6; Gloede, 6-2-17; Singh, 1-2-4; Burks, 0-1-1; Baltisberger 1-1-3
Craig 16 15 19 6––56
La Follette 9 11 7 15––42
Three-point goals––Craig 4 (Marshick, O’Donnell 2, Storbakken), La Follette 4 (Stephens, Gloede 3). Free throws missed––Craig 8, La Follette 1. Total fouls––Craig 16, La Follette 19.
Sophomores––Craig 54, Madison La Folette 39. Craig’s leading scorers––Katie Villa 18, Ali Calkins 9.