Lancer press hurts Craig boys
JANESVILLE Craig High knew what was coming, but it couldn't stop it.
Madison La Follette used pressure defense Thursday to carry off a 71-54 victory over Craig in Big Eight Conference boys basketball.
The Cougars committed 23 turnovers as the visiting Lancers used their quickness to maintain control.
"They are not just doing it to Craig," Craig coach Mike Miller said of the pressure defenses. "We knew what was coming, but simulating that in practice and handling it is another thing.''
The Cougars trailed 13-12 after the first quarter, but the Lancers went on an 8-2 run in the second to take a 23-14 lead on Darold Thomas's three-pointer. La Follette pulled away to a 31-18 lead, but Craig closed the half with a 7-2 run to trail, 33-25, at the half.
Austin Schumacher hit a three to cut La Follette's lead to 31-21. Trevon Ampe, a 6-6 senior, scored for La Follette to make it 33-21, Jerry Ngobi hit a basket and Mike Murphy hit two free throws with 16 seconds remaining for the halftime score.
Craig (2-4 in the Big Eight, 4-4 overall) cut the La Follette lead to seven twice in the third quarter on a pair of Will Eden free throws to make it 37-30, and Ngobi scored to make it 39-32 with four minutes remaining, but it was as close as Craig would get to the lead the rest of the way.
"This was real good basketball team we played," Miller said of La Follette. "They played a tough nonconference schedule (Milwaukee Vincent, Hamilton). We knew coming in it was going to be a tough game, and their athleticism beat us.''
Ngobi scored 17 points and Troy Malmanger added 11 for Craig. Ampe scored eight of his game-high 21 points in the third quarter for La Follette. Thomas added 13.
"Give credit to La Follette," Miller said. "They played hard and well defensively.''
LA FOLLETTE 71, CRAIG 54
La Follette (71)—Drury, 3-6-12; Thomas, 5-1-13; Ampe, 9-3-21; Trickle, 0-1-1; Brookbank, 1-0-3; Brunner, 1-0-2; Benton, 4-0-8; Ewing, 4-0-9; Dunn, 0-1-1. Totals: 27-11-71
Craig (54)—Ngobi, 7-3-17; Foster, 1-1-3; Malmanger, 3-4-11; Maresch, 3-1-7; Schumacher, 1-0-3; Murphy, 1-2-5; Hollinsaid, 0-1-1; Eden, 1-5-7. Totals: 17-15-54
La Follette 13 20 18 20—71
Janesville Craig 12 13 14 15—54
Three-point goals—La Follette 4 (Thomas 2, Brookbank, Ewing), Craig 3 (Malmanger, Schumacher, Murphy). Free throws missed—La Follette 6, Craig 8. Total fouls—La Follette 14, Craig 18.