Madison Memorial pulls away from Craig boys
Unfortunately for Craig High, that was the only thing Memorial’s powerful boys basketball team did wrong.
Memorial’s seven-time defending conference champions (4-0, 3-0) outscored the Cougars 43-22 in the second half and cruised to an 84-54 victory in Big Eight action here Friday night.
Brendan Ortiz rolled up a game-high 25 points, including six three-pointers, while Junior Lomomba added 19 to lead the state’s top-ranked team to victory.
The Spartans’ high-flying second-half act spoiled Craig’s hot-shooting first half that kept the Cougars (2-4, 0-3) in contention 41-32 at halftime.
“Our goal was to come in and try to run our stuff,” Craig coach Mike Miller. “We know they’re a very good team ranked No. 1 in the state, so we wanted to see if we could execute.
The Cougars didn’t let their coach down in the first half.
Cody Dare got things rolling with 10 first-quarter points, including a nifty up-and-under lay-up that helped the Cougars trail only 25-20 after the one quarter. Dare paced Craig with 14 points overall, while Myles Johnson scored 10.
Dare and Johnson helped keep the Cougars within a couple baskets of the lead for most of the second quarter until Tre Burnett’s three-point play with 0.8 seconds left built the Spartan advantage to nine.
“Craig just shot the ball so well in the first half,” Memorial coach Steve Collins said. “We had a couple breakdowns defensively, but we still had hands in their (Cougars’) faces, but they just shot the ball really well.”
But the Cougars couldn’t stay hot in the second half and quickly surrendered a 15-3 Spartan run to give Memorial a 56-36 lead with five minutes left in the third quarter.
A pair of breakaway lay-ups by Cougar center Will Eden slowed the Spartan attack, but it wasn’t enough to stop Memorial from hold a 21-point lead after three quarters.
“They missed shots, and we made shots that second half,” Collins said. “It’s a pretty simple game when that happens.”
The Spartans continued to make it look simple from there, leading by as many as 32 points in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t play a terrible second half, but we shot the ball better in the first half,” Miller said. “I thought our effort in both halves was very good. They (the Spartans) are just a very good basketball team.”
MEMORIAL 84, CRAIG 54
Memorial (84)— Ortiz, 8-3-25; Burnette, 7-2-17; Lomomba, 7-5-19; Weah, 3-2-8; Songolo, 2-2-7; Parkman, 1-0-2; Scurlock, 2-0-4; Lindquist, 1-0-2. Totals: 31-14-84.
Craig (54)— Johnson, 5-0-10; Dare, 6-0-14; Brault, 1-0-2; Pickarts, 2-0-5; Wright, 2-0-4; Cooney, 1-0-3; Eden, 3-2-8; Sarow, 2-0-4; Kitching, 1-0-2; J. Olson, 0-2-2. Totals: 24-2-54.
Madison Memorial 25 16 24 19 - 84
Janesville Craig 20 12 12 10 – 54
Three point goals—Memorial 8 (Ortiz 6, Burnette, Songolo), Craig 4 (Dare 2, Pickarts, Cooney). Free throws missed—Memorial 3, Craig 2. Total fouls—Memorial 10, Craig 14.
Sophomores—Craig 65, Memorial 61. Craig high scorer: Troy Malmonger, 14.