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Craig goes cold and falls to Franklin

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Tim Wester
March 19, 2011
— Janesville Craig girls basketball coach Kerry Storbakken paced helplessly along the sidelines during his team’s frustrating WIAA division 1 sectional final against Franklin.

The exercise could not get his team out of its anguishing shooting slump.


Craig (20-5) made just two of its 22 second-half field-goal attempts en route to just seven total points and fell, 50-34, to Franklin (17-8) Saturday afternoon at Burlington High School.


Mariah Hill took full advantage of the Cougar shooting woes, piling up a game-high 21 points. Cassidy Mihalko added 14 to help the Sabres notch the sectional championship.


Franklin moves on to face Middleton (24-1) in a Super Tuesday matchup at UW-Whitewater’s Kachel Gymnasium.


The Cougars, meanwhile, fought back tears as it watched the Sabres hoist the sectional championship trophy at center court.


“That second half, we just couldn’t buy a basket,” said coach Storbakken. “But I’m proud of what these kids did, with the most wins in school history (20) and got to the sectional championship. It hurts right now and I’ve got eight seniors and I’m really going to missed them.”


Adding to the pain was the fact the Cougars appeared to solve the Sabres 1-3-1 trapping defense in the second quarter when they outscored Franklin 19-10 and led, 27-24, at halftime.


But it simply wasn’t the case in the second half.


The Cougars went scoreless for the first 6:29 of the third quarter before Emily O’Donnell drained a three-pointer to give Craig a 30-27 lead.


That was the only points Craig scored in the quarter. Hill and Mihalko closed the quarter with consecutive baskets to put Franklin on top, 31-30, going into the final quarter.


The Cougar draught left Storbakken in disbelief.


“We made a nice run in the second quarter and I thought we were just going to roll from there,” Storbakken said. “But missing shots is just like contagious making shots and we just got tentative and weren’t attacking.”


And it only got worse from there for Craig as Franklin snapped out of its own seven-point third-quarter slump with a 19-point fourth-quarter knockout punch.


Hill led the surge with 11 fourth-quarter points to put the finishing touches on the victory.


“I thought we were going to get a run in the fourth quarter, but it just never sparked,” Storbakken said.


FRANKLIN 50, JANESVILLE CRAIG 34


Franklin (50)—Mihalko, 6-2-14; Hill, 6-8-21; Atkinson, 2-0-4; Coenen, 3-5-11. Totals: 17-15-50.


Craig (34)—Hamilton, 1-0-2; Storbakken, 3-0-8; Sroda, 3-3-9; O’Donnell, 2-0-6; Hinman, 2-1-5; Marshick, 1-0-2; Crandall, 1-0-2. Totals: 13-4-34.


Franklin 14 10 7 19—50


Craig 8 19 3 4—34


Three point goals—Franklin, 1 (Hill), Craig 4 (Storbakken 2, O’Donnell 2). Free throws missed—Franklin 1, Craig 3. Total fouls—Franklin 8, Craig 17. Fouled out—Sroda



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