Memorial junior comes through vs. Craig
The 6-foot, 5-inch junior scored seven of his game-high 18 points in the second quarter as ninth-ranked Madison Memorial erased a 15-11 deficit to grab a 33-25 halftime lead and held on for the 64-53 victory over the Cougars in Big Eight boys basketball.
Craig High fell to 0-12 in the conference and 2-14 overall, while the seven-time defending champion Spartans improved to 10-1 and 11-4.
But the Cougars didn’t go down without a fight in another strong showing.
“We’ve played back-to-back against two of the better teams in the conference and really competed,” Craig coach Mike Miller of his team’s battle with the second-place Spartans and a 66-52 loss to first-place Beloit last week.
With 3:29 remaining in the first half, Myles Johnson put back his missed shot to give Craig a 22-19 lead. But the Spartans answered with a 9-3 run, sparked by a three-point play from Miles Chamberlain on the ensuing possession.
After the teams traded baskets, Tre’ Burnette made consecutive baskets to give the Spartans the lead for good.
“We talked about just ‘go hard and play hard’ tonight,” Miller said. “We know we’re capable of playing with good teams. We just have to believe in ourselves.”
Burnette finished with 12 points off the bench. Chamberlain, a Minnesota-Mankato recruit, added 10 points, along with Jester Weah.
Cody Dare had six of his 17 points for Craig in the first quarter as the Cougars jumped out to a 13-11 lead.
Brett Pickarts added 12 for the Cougars, but rebounding was a problem for Craig.
“We got beat on the boards,” Miller added. “We block out better in the first and the second half, we give ourselves a chance to win that game.”
Turnovers also curtailed any hopes of a Craig upset, as the Cougars committed 12 in the second half.
Craig’s William Eden put back a rebound with 2:13 remaining in the third quarter that cut the Memorial lead to 43-34, and Matt Hayden ended the quarter with a three-point play to keep the Cougars within 47-37.
But the Cougars could never again cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter.
MEMORIAL 64, CRAIG 53
Craig (53)—Johnson, 3-2-9; Dare, 6-4-17; Cooney, 1-2-5; Pickarts, 4-3-12; Wright, 0-3-3; Hayden, 1-1-3; Eden, 2-0-4. Totals: 17-15-53.
Memorial (64)—Ortiz, 1-0-2; Nkemnji, 0-2-2; Chamberlain, 3-4-10; Weah, 4-2-10; Burnette, 6-0-12; Songolo, 3-2-8; Lomomba, 6-6-18; Lee, 1-0-2. Totals: 24-16-64.
Janesville Craig 13 12 12 16—53
Madison Memorial 11 22 14 17—64
Three-point goals—Craig 4 (Johnson, Dare, Cooney, Pickarts). Free throws missed—Craig 6, Memorial 8. Total fouls—Craig 21, Memorial 20. Fouled out—Burnette.
Sophomores—Memorial 66, Craig 41.