Early break revitalizes Craig
Janesville Craig girls basketball coach Kerry Storbakken’s early timeout on Thursday can be filed under the effective category.
With Craig High down 7-0 and struggling early against Beloit Memorial, Storbakken called a timeout with 5:29 left in the first quarter and made a defensive adjustment. He then proceeded to watch as the second-place Cougars played nearly flawless basketball the rest of the way en route to a 61-36 demolition of the Purple Knights in a Big Eight Conference game at Barkin Arena.
“He basically took a timeout, and we switched up our defense and started focusing,” said Craig senior point guard Amanda Hamilton, who paced the Cougars’ up-tempo attack with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.
What Craig (11-2, 7-2) did was switch from a full-court press to a half-court trap, and it created havoc for the Purple Raiders every time they crossed midcourt. Beloit (4-9, 2-8) turned the ball over 10 times in the second quarter as Craig rolled up an 18-2 advantage in the period to take a 29-14 halftime lead.
“I knew Beloit was going to play (well) down here,” Storbakken said. “They came out and hit us with a 7-0 (run). We’ve been starting off slow, so I was a little upset at the start again.”
He wasn’t upset with the rest of the game.
The Cougars attacked Beloit’s zone defense with precision, using two post players and repeatedly beating the Knights with a high-low attack. Running her offense often from the baseline, senior center Emily Hinman scored 20 points, including 6-of-6 from the free-throw line, and grabbed seven boards.
Senior Taylor Storbakken (11 points, 6 rebounds) teamed with Hamilton to form a guard duo that repeatedly made the right decisions.
“Taylor really complements Amanda,” Kerry Storbakken said. “She hit some shots tonight, so that was nice to see. They’re a good guard tandem. They work together (well), they push (the ball) up, and they’re under control.
“They make the other players better.”
Craig trailed 12-11 after the first quarter, but Hinman’s three-point play off a nice putback put the Cougars up 14-12 early in the second and ignited a 13-0 run from which Beloit—which was led by Artasia Gill’s 19 points and seven rebounds—would never recover.
Craig led by as many as 32 in the fourth quarter and made sure there would be no miracle comeback by going 18-of-22 from the charity stripe.
“Free throws and lay-ups,” Kerry Storbakken said. “If they go in, they’re the coach’s best friend.”
CRAIG 61, BELOIT 36
Craig (61)—O’Donnell, 2-0-4; Crandall, 2-2-6; Hinman, 7-6-20; Hamilton, 2-6-10; Marshick, 2-1-6; Storbakken, 4-2-11; Holtzhuter, 1-0-3; Perleberg, 0-1-1. Totals: 20-18-61.
Beloit (36)—Heldt, 2-2-6; A. Lawver, 1-0-3; Gill, 5-9-19; H. Lawver, 2-2-6; Marzette, 1-0-2. Totals: 11-13-36.
Janesville Craig 11 18 21 11—61
Beloit Memorial 12 2 10 12—36
Three-point goals—Craig 3 (Marshick, Storbakken, Holzhuter), Memorial 1 (H. Lawver). Free throws missed—Craig 4, Memorial 4. Total fouls—Craig 15, Memorial 15. Fouled out—Heldt.