Cougars put up a fight against East
Trailing 54-36 a minute into the fourth quarter, Craig High regrouped to pull within 58-48 with 1:11 remaining against the Madison East starters here Friday night. But the Cougars couldn’t get the deficit into single digits before falling 68-52 to the Big Eight Conference leaders.
“The biggest disappointment was, to start the second half, we gave up five or six offensive rebounds in a row,” Craig coach Mike Miller said. “If we rebound early in the second half, we are right in the game at the end.”
Rebounds have been a problem all year for the smallish Cougars, who fell to 0-16 in the conference and 0-19 overall. The Purgolders, ranked third in the AP Division 1 state poll, improved to 18-2 overall and 14-2 in the Big Eight.
Jeff Hull and UW football recruit Marquis Mason controlled the paint and led East with 19 and 16 points, respectively. Drew McAdams added 18.
“We were a little disappointed with the mental side of things and our effort,” East coach Rich Cleveland said. “At times, we got comfortable and had no effort, and that will drive any coach nuts.”
Adding to the misery, East was without standout point guard Nimrod Hilliard IV, who did not dress for the game. Cleveland would not give a reason for Hilliard’s absence, but said he would be back for tonight’s game at Madison LaFollette.
Meanwhile, Craig stayed close with six three-pointers. Bret Bates came off the bench and had three of the three-pointers, including two in the fourth quarter. The senior finished with 13 points.
Myles Johnson also had 13 for the Cougars.
Johnson gave Craig a 19-18 lead with 6:33 left in the second quarter before Bates made a three-pointer to give Craig another one-point lead at 23-22. East then used a 15-1 run for a 38-23 lead, thanks to six points from Mason.
Mason pushed the lead to 50-29 in the third quarter with a basket underneath, before Craig chipped away in the fourth quarter to pull close.
“I don’t think we were intimidated,” Miller said. “We played hard. We just didn’t play physical enough.”
EAST 68, CRAIG 52
Craig (52)—Pickarts, 2-0-4; Johnson, 5-2-13; Dare, 4-0-9; Holznecht 2-0-4; Bordwell 1-0-3; Bates, 3-4-13; Kyle, 2-0-4; Kitching, 0-2-2. Totals: 19-8-52.
East (68)—Durley, 3-0-7; McAdams, 8-0-18; Mason, 6-4-16; Hull, 8-3-19; Terry, 3-2-8. Totals: 28-9 68.
Janesville Craig 15 12 9 16—52
Madison East 18 20 14 16—68
Three-point goals—Craig 6 (Bates 3, Johnson, Dare, Bordwell), East 3 (McAdams2 Durley). Free throws missed—Craig 7, East 6. Total fouls—Craig 14, East 13. Fouled out—Condon.
Sophomores—East 60, Craig 41. Craig leading scorer: Peter Cooney, 34 points (9 three-pointers).