Janesville68.6°

Stoughton finds the target against Craig boys

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STANLEY B. MILAM
December 31, 2010
— Winless Stoughton came to Janesville on Thursday shooting less than 30 percent from the field.

The Vikings headed home with their first win of the season after stunning the Cougars with eight 3-point goals and a 71-60 victory.


Stoughton jumped out to a 17-6 lead and never trailed. Craig worked hard to trim the deficit to 55-52 midway through the fourth quarter, but Stoughton made key free throws down the stretch, when the Cougars were forced to foul.


The key to Stoughton's win was assembling what his team has been doing all season into a complete game, said Stoughton coach Matt Hockett.


"We had to play a complete 32 minutes," he said. "We weren't perfect tonight, but we played well enough the entire game to win against a very good team. Craig beat Edgewood, a team we play twice during the season, so we knew we had to play well tonight for four quarters to win."


Craig coach Mike Miller said Stoughton's physical game was a problem for Craig.


"They're a physical team, and we don't handle physical teams very well." Miller said. "Our effort was good, but they made more plays than we did."


Despite Stoughton's 0-8 record coming into the Cougar gym, the Craig players did not underestimate Stoughton, Miller said.


"We talked about how hard we played against Edgewood, and I told them Stoughton is going to come in here and play very hard against us," Miller said. "We knew they were a good team and very physical, and we got that tonight."


Miller was aware of Stoughton's poor shooting from the floor.


"They definitely hadn't shot the ball that well, but they came out and shot it well tonight," he said. "We made some adjustments and took away some of the threes, but they continued to make plays. I give them a lot of credit. They made plays when they had to, they knocked down shots when they had to, and they're a good physical team."


Heading back into Big Eight Conference play, Miller said his team takes nothing away from the Stoughton loss.


"We have lost enough games that we don't learn anything from another loss," he said. "We are excited to get back into the Big Eight."


Craig (2-8) hosts Madison La Follette on Tuesday.


STOUGHTON 71, CRAIG 60


Stoughton (71)—Cleveland, 4-5-14; Nyhagen, 4-0-10; Fuller, 3-0-6; Liggett, 4-1-11; Giese, 1-0-2; Kowalkowski, 3-6-14; Bruesegar, 4-2-10; Schultz, 1-0-3; Graffin, 0-1-1. Totals: 24-15-71.


Craig (60)—Johnson, 1-4-6; Dare, 2-1-6; Pickarts, 6-1-15; Wright, 3-2-8; Eden, 2-1-5; Cooney, 2-0-6; Brault, 4-0-8; Sarow, 2-2-6. Totals: 22-11-60.


Stoughton 17 19 15 20—71


Craig 11 13 21 15—60


Three-point goals—Stoughton 8 (Cleveland, Nyhagen 2, Liggett 2, Kowalkowski 2, Schultz), Craig 5 (Dare, Pickarts 2, Cooney 2). Free throws missed—Stoughton 13, Craig 12. Total fouls—Stoughton 21, Craig 21. Fouled out—Fuller, Johnson.


Sophomores—Craig 58, Stoughton 39. Craig record: 8-2. Craig high scorers: Paul Foster, 20, Jeremiah Ngobi, 9; Troy Malmanger, 8; Nate Hoag, 8.



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