Edgewood press dooms Janesville Craig

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
— If first impressions last the longest, then Janesville Craig High School boys basketball coach Mike Miller knows what is in store for his Cougars this season.

Craig lost its nonconference season-opener Tuesday, 59-47, to visiting Madison Edgewood.

The Crusaders relied on pressure defenses to separate the Cougars from the ball.

“It was very disappointing,” Miller said “We worked all week on the press-break, but we didn’t handle the press very well. The good thing is we can go back and work on it, but I guarantee you there are a lot of teams that are scouting that are going to press us now.’’

Edgewood came to the Craig gym ranked No. 4 in the preseason Division 2 poll, and Miller said the Crusaders didn’t throw any surprises the Cougars way.

“We got exactly what we expected,” Miller said. “We got a very physical game against a very good team.’’

Chris Wells scored 11 points, and Jack Zwettler added 10 to pace the Crusaders.

Craig bounced back from an 11-3 first-quarter deficit to take a 13-12 lead into the second. The Cougars enjoyed a 17-14 lead on a Cameron Wright free throw early in the second quarter, but Edgewood hit a pair of free throws and Austin Ariens hit a basket to give the Crusaders an 18-17 lead with five minutes left in the half.

Edgewood held a 24-19 lead when Peter Cooney hit consecutive three-point baskets to give Craig a 25-24 lead. Cooney finished with 12 points on four three-pointers and was the only Cougar in double figures.

Edgewood answered Craig’s Cooney-led charge with a three-point basket from Zwettler and a hoop from Paul Mutch to take a 29-25 lead it did not lose the rest of the way.

The Cougars battled uphill, suffering a rash of fouls. Craig collected 22 fouls overall.

“We have some physical players,” Miller said. “It was a physical game a You can’t back off the fouls were legitimate.’’

Craig trailed 29-25, at the half, but could only muster seven points in the third quarter as Edgewood improved its lead to 44-32. The Cougars’ Joe Sarow scored the first basket at 5 minutes, 21 seconds of third quarter to cut the lead 29-27.

Edgewood started to find the range and improved its lead to 38-28 with 1:25 remaining, closing the quarter ahead, 44-30.

Miller was happy to face Edgewood to open the season even though it ended in a loss.

“This is a great opening game,” Miller said. “We know it’s a very good program and team, so I’m disappointed we didn’t handle the ball better, but it’s a very good opening game for us.’’


Madison Edgewood (59)—Mott, 0-2-2; Ripple, 1-3-5; Wells, 3-4-11; Brink, 2-3-8; Arians, 4-0-8; Zwettler, 4-0-10; Mutch, 3-0-6. Totals: 17-12-59

Janesville Craig (47)—Sarow, 1-1-3; Malmanger, 1-2-5; Foster, 2-1-5; Cooney, 4-0-12; Pickarts, 2-1-5; Wright, 2-2-6; Ngobi, 2-0-4; Eden, 3-0-6. Totals: 17-7-47.

Edgewood 12 17 15 15—59

Janesville Craig 13 12 7 15—47

Three-point goals—Edgewood 3 (Wells, Zwettler 2), Craig 5 (Cooney 4, Malmanger). Free throws missed—Edgewood 9, Craig 7. Total fouls—Edgewood 15, Craig 22.

Last updated: 6:52 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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