Malmanger steers Craig to win
JANESVILLE Craig High put its act together and posted a 58-52 victory over visiting Mount Horeb in nonconference boys basketball Tuesday.
Troy Malmanger scored a season-high 23 points and Jerry Ngobi followed suit with a season-best 19 points as Craig enjoyed one its better-played games of the early season.
The victory lifts Craig to 5-5 overall.
Coming off a narrow 56-55 loss to eight-time Big Eight Conference champion and 2012 Division 1 state runner up Madison Memorial last Saturday, the Cougars played a strong second half to defeat Mount Horeb.
"I thought our ball movement was real good," Craig coach Mike Miller said. "Defensively, we are playing real well right now."
The Cougars had their problems in the first half suffering 10 turnovers and slogging through a 4-for-11 first-quarter shooting performance for 9-9 tie.
"It was a nonconference game and we came out and took (Mount Horeb) a little lightly," Malmanger said. "We really weren't awake to start out the game."
Ngobi provided a needed spark in the second quarter with six points as Craig took a 21-18 lead at the half.
"Jerry has the ability to break down the defense, and he got to the rim for us three or four times in the first half and that was huge," Miller said. "That opened up for guys like Troy (Malmanger) to shoot from the outside."
Ngobi said he was feeling more relaxed in the Cougars' offense.
"I'm getting more comfortable," Ngobi said. "At first, I was tentative, but now the coach says, ‘just go."'
Malmanger hit a three to start Craig on a 9-4 run for a 30-25 lead in the third quarter. Malmanger scored eight points in the third as Craig took a 33-30 into the last quarter.
The Cougars opened a 48-36 lead on Paul Foster's basket with two minute remaining, but Craig had to weather a Mount Horeb rally.
The Vikings cut the deficit to five points, 54-49, with 15 seconds remaining, but Ngobi and Mike Murphy sank two free throws apiece down the stretch to pull Craig back to 58-49 lead. Mount Horeb's Drew Fredrickson hit a three at the buzzer for the final outcome.
Ngobi and Malmanger combined to score 17 of Craig's 25 fourth-quarter points to keep the Cougars in control.
CRAIG 58, MOUNT HOREB 52
Mount Horeb (52)—Lesure, 3-0-6; S. Collins, 2-3-7; A. Collins, 3-1-9; Cretney, 1-1-3; Fredrickson, 5-2-20; Lesar, 2-2-6; Jerdee, 1-0-3. 17-9-52
Craig (58)—Ngobi, 7-4-19; Foster, 3-0-6; Malmanger, 8-4-23; Maresch, 2-1-5; Schumacher, 1-0-2; Murphy, 0-2-2; Eden, 0-1-1. Totals: 21-12-58.
Mount Horeb 9 9 12 22—52
Janesville Craig 9 12 12 25—58
Three-point goals—Mount Horeb 7 (A. Collins 2, Fredrickson 4, Jerdee). Craig 4 (Ngobi, Malmanger 3). Free throws missed—Mount Horeb 4, Craig 6. Total fouls—Mount Horeb 15, Craig 16. Fouled out—A. Collins.