Craig's effort goes unrewarded
“The one thing we can control is our effort, and our effort was great tonight,” Craig coach Mike Miller said. “La Follette is a very good basketball team, and it was a very good high school basketball game, but we just couldn’t get over the hump.’’
Craig falls to 3-10 in the Big Eight and 3-14 overall. La Follette improved to 8-6 and 9-7.
If any Cougar deserved an A-plus for effort it was 6-foot-3 senior forward Paul Foster, who scored 15 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. None of Foster’s teammates finished in double figures.
Josh Morgan scored 17 points for La Follette. Matt Hunter added 14 and T.D. West chipped in 11 for the Lancers.
Foster was a force driving to the basket and drawing fouls as he carried Craig in the last frame. After missing his first two foul shots, Foster made 9 of 10 free throws, and added three baskets.
“I missed a foul shot in the first half and two in a row (in the fourth quarter),” Foster said. “I knew those were free shots, and I knew if I get to the line, I’ve got to put them in. It’s a free possession there so I got locked in and it was like was shooting them in practice.’’
Craig played up hill the entire game. La Follette led 22-14 after the first quarter and 33-28 at the half.
The Lancers improved their lead 35-28 to start the third quarter, but Cougars answered with a 7-0 run to tie the game 35-35 with 5:45 remaining.
Cameron Wright sank a three-point basket, while Foster and Joe Sarow each made baskets to pull Craig to even with La Follette. The Lancers launched an 11-0 run to finish the quarter and took a 46-35 lead into the fourth quarter.
“The effort was there, and it was not like (La Follette) stopped playing either,” Foster said. “They came at us. They drove the ball and they are re ally quick. It just wasn’t enough tonight, we got down in the hole too much.’’
La Follette made five of six free-throws and three baskets during its run, while Craig was guilty of three turnovers and five missed shots. Craig was whistled for technical foul during the run, and La Follette netted three of four foul shots.
The Lancers ran their lead to 50-37, but behind Foster the Cougars chipped away to cut the deficit to 62-59 with 1:12 remaining, but Craig could draw no closer as La Follette closed the game with a 6-0 run.
LA FOLLETTE 68, CRAIG 59
La Follette (68)—Drury, 3-1-7; Morgan, 6-4-17; Hunter, 4-4-14; Thomas, 2-0-5; Ampe, 4-1-8; West, 3-3-11; Saunders, 2-0-4. Totals: 24-12-68
Craig (59)—Ngobi, 1-1-3; Sarow, 4-0-8; Malmanger, 1-0-2; Olson, 1-0-2; Cooney, 1-0-3; Pickarts, 3-2-9; Wright, 2-0-5; Foster, 5-11-21; Eden, 1-0-2. Totals: 19-14-59
Madison La Follette 22 11 13 22—68
Janesville Craig 14 14 7 24—59
Three-point goals—La Follette 6 (Morgan, Hunter 2, Thomas, West 2). Craig 3 (Pickarts, Wright, Cooney). Free throws missed—La Follette 12, Craig 7. Total fouls—La Follette 18, Craig 20. Fouled out—Hunter, Ampe, Wright, Foster, Ngobi.