Memorial overtakes Craig
The score didn’t tell the whole story.
The Cougars gave notice that they are competitive against the best team in the state and earned high praise from Memorial coach Steve Collins.
“They put up 23 on us in the first quarter, and when that happens, you know you are in a tough game,” Collins said after watching his Spartans improve their record to 6-0 in the conference and overall.
Craig led, 23-17, at the end of one and kept the pressure on the Spartans. Craig trailed by just two at half, 35-33. Craig coach Mike Miller said he thought his team played well and executed their game plan in the first half.
“We needed to run our offense, and just play solid defense,” he said. “I thought we did a good job of that in the first half.”
Craig’s post player, Will Eden, kept Memorial out of the paint forcing the Spartans to go outside. When Memorial’s Jamar Morris or Junior Lomomba got the ball underneath, the Cougar defense would collapse inside making it difficult for the Spartans.
“I thought we played well defensively,” Miller said. “We knew we had to stop their inside game, and we did that for the most part.”
Memorial came storming back after the half with a pressing defense that gave Craig problems. In the meantime, Morris and Jester Weah heated up, and the Spartans outscored the Cougars, 19-10, in the third quarter.
“I tried to ‘inspire’ them at halftime,” Collins said. “I told them I thought they could play better than they did in the first half.”
The Spartans did that.
Memorial’s Weah led all scorers with 14 points. Craig’s Brett Pickarts scored 12 on four 3-point goals. Jerry Ngobi came off the Cougar bench to score 12.
Miller said he was pleased with his team’s effort, despite falling to 1-8 overall and 1-5 in the conference.
“Our goal and expectation coming into this game was to continue to improve,” he said. “We did that, and I think it was a positive step as we head into the second half of the Big Eight season.”
MADISON MEMORIAL 70, CRAIG 58
Memorial (70)—Ortiz, 2-4-9; Weah, 7-0-14; Songolo, 3-2-10; Lomomba, 2-4-8; Morris, 6-0-12; Lindquist, 3-2-8; Nankivil, 1-0-2; Ferguson, 1-0-2; Walls, 1-0-2; Frederick, 0-2-2; Helle, 0-1-1. Totals: 26-15-70.
Craig (58)—Cooney, 1-0-3; Pickarts, 4-0-12; Foster, 0-3-3; Wright, 3-0-7; Eden, 2-0-4; Olson, 1-0-3; Ngobi, 5-1-12; Roth, 2-0-4; Malmanger, 0-3-3; Spoden, 0-2-2; Cook, 1-0-2; Schumacher, 1-0-3. Totals: 20-9-58.
Madison Memorial 17 18 19 16—70
Janesville Craig 23 10 12 13—58
Three-point goals—Memorial 3 (Ortiz, Songolo 2), Craig 9 (Cooney, Pickarts 4, Wright, Olson, Ngobi, Schumacher). Free throws missed—Memorial 3, Craig 2. Total fouls—Memorial 18, Craig 19.
Sophomores—Memorial 74, Craig 49. Craig high scorers—Mike Murphy 14, Alec McCann 14.