West's late basket beats Craig boys
Trying to snap a 27-game Big Eight Conference losing streak against winless Madison West on Friday night, the Cougars found a new way to lose. A controversial game-ending call.
Jesse Taylor’s rebound basket that appeared to come after the buzzer had sounded lifted the Regents to a 56-54 win in the Craig High gym.
West (1-9, 1-6) took a 54-52 lead on Malik Bellmar’s lay-up with 15 seconds left, but Craig (2-10, 0-8) tied the game with seven seconds left on Myles Johnson’s acrobatic shot. Johnson had a chance to give the Cougars the lead after being fouled on the play but missed the ensuing free throw. That set up Taylor’s heroics.
Kwami Latimer put up the initial Regent shot with a floater in the lane with two seconds left, and Taylor snagged the rebound and convert before time expired.
Craig coach Mike Miller was not making any excuses afterward.
“What we’re concentrating on is our team, I thought, played pretty well at times,” Miller said. “Some people call games ‘winnable games,’ but we think we can win any game.
“We just have to keep improving and working hard and not hang our heads. Sometimes things just don’t go your way.”
After a sluggish first half where neither team could get anything going offensively, shots started to fall in the third quarter.
Trailing by three at halftime, West outscored the Cougars 16-12 in the third to take a one-point lead into the fourth. The Regents pushed the lead to as many as six in the fourth, but the Cougars kept clawing back.
Brett Pickarts, who had two three-point baskets in the fourth for Craig, sliced West’s lead to 51-48 on a three-pointer with 1:25 left. West pushed the lead back to four on a free throw, but Craig tied the game on two free throws and Cody Dare’s steal and lay-up with 38 seconds left.
Dare had 14 points to lead Craig, while Pickarts finished with 10.
Malcolm Wilson and Quinton Gray had nine points each to lead West.
“I’m happy with our effort, and I thought we played pretty well down the stretch,” Miller said. “We just have to keep working.”
WEST 56, CRAIG 54
West (56)—Latimer, 2-1-6; Coluccy, 1-0-2; M. Wilson, 3-2-9; Jackson-Bey, 2-1-5; Bester, 1-0-2; Taylor, 2-2-6; Bellmar, 2-0-4; Gray, 3-3-9; Tran, 3-0-6; C. Wilson, 1-0-3; Brown, 2-0-4. Totals: 22-9-56.
Craig (54)—Johnson, 2-0-4; Dare, 6-1-14; Pickarts, 4-0-10; Eden, 0-4-4; Roth, 2-0-4; Wright, 1-0-2; Sarow, 1-4-6; Cooney, 1-1-4; Brault, 1-3-5. Totals: 18-14-54.
Madison West 9 7 16 24—56
Janesville Craig 6 13 12 23—54
Three-point goals—West 3 (Latimer, M. Wilson, C. Wilson), Craig 4 (Pickarts 2, Cooney, Dare). Free throws missed—West 14, Craig 9. Total fouls—West 22, Craig 14.
Sophomores—Craig 62, West 56. Craig record: 10-2 overall, 6-2 in Big Eight.