Janesville Craig finds Sun Prairie’s pressure point
Once the water started roiling, the Cougars defeated Sun Prairie, 52-31, in a Big Eight Conference game Tuesday for their first league win.
“Defense is offense,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “We proved that tonight.’’
Junior point guard Kristi Crandall scored 15 points, and senior guard Brooke Negus added 11 for the Cougars. McKayla Yentz scored 14 points for Sun Prairie.
“Our point guard, Crandall, stepped up for us,” Storbakken said. “We’ve been driving into her to get to the basket, get to the rim, settle on the 15-footer, and then open it up. She let the game come to her.”
Crandall got the offense in gear. Negus sparked the defensive end.
“She had a good floor game,” Storbakken said of Negus. “She takes care of the ball and played good defense. She guarded their best player (Yentz) and did a nice job there.’’
As Craig’s pressure mounted, Sun Prairie turned the ball over. The Cardinals were guilty of 17 turnovers in the first half.
Craig was slow to take advantage of their defensive effort, scoring just seven points in the first quarter. The result was a 7-7 tie.
The Cougars had their own ball-handling issues, committing eight turnovers in the first quarter, while making just three of 12 shots.
Negus scored five points, including one of her two three-pointers, to get Craig rolling in the second quarter. The Cougars made five straight free throws en route to a 16-5 edge and a 23-12 lead at the half.
Crandall got rolling in the third quarter with eight points. The outburst included two of her three three-point baskets. The Cougars pounded the Cardinals, 17-7, to take a commanding 40-19 lead into the fourth quarter.
“It wasn’t just me, our whole team played well together,” Crandall said. “We finally clicked, and that didn’t happen in the first two games this year.’’
Crandall said she settled down and was comfortable on the floor for the first time.
“The first two games, I was a little nervous,” Crandall said. “But I got the jitters all out and I’m ready to play.’’
CRAIG 52, SUN PRAIRIE 31
Sun Prairie (31)—Conom, 2-4-8; Baldwin, 1-0-3; Gaffney, 0-1-1; Hoffman, 1-0-2; Yentz, 5-4-14; Jiannacopoulous, 1-1-3. Totals: 10-10-31
Craig (52)—Holzhuter, 3-2-8; Negus, 3-3-11; Perleberg, 2-0-4; Crandall, 6-0-15; Kelly, 1-0-2; Kennedy, 1-1-3; Calkins, 4-1-9. Totals: 16-7-52
Sun Prairie 7 5 7 12—31
Janesville Craig 7 16 17 12—52
Three-point goals—Craig 5 (Negus 2, Crandall 3). Free throws missed—Sun Prairie 8, Craig 3. Total fouls—Sun Prairie 15, Craig 20. Fouled out—Yentz.