Muskego’s three-point barrage ends Janesville Craig’s season
The Warriors made 10 of 16 three-point shots and 23 of 44 shots overall to send the Cougars to a season-ending 78-65 loss in a boys basketball regional opener.
Muskego (7-16) plays in a regional semifinal Friday at Mukwonago.
Craig finished 6-17.
The Warriors made six of eight three-point attempts in the first quarter and rolled to a 22-8 lead. Craig never got back into the game.
“We weren’t expecting that,” Craig coach Mike Miller said. “They knocked down the shots; even hit one from the black line four feet behind the three-point line to end the quarter, so I give then credit. They played well.’’
The Warriors’ David Mlachnik sank three of his four three-pointers in the first quarter, including the long-range NBA bomb that gave Muskego its 14-point lead. Alex Tesch added two 3s, and Zach Harris hit a three during the Warriors’ first-quarter blitz.
Mlachnik finished with a game-high 26 points, and teammate Jeff Glisch added 10 points, including a three. Jim Mock added three three-pointers for nine points, while teammates Nick Schwabe and Zach Harris added one three-pointer apiece.
While the threes staggered the Cougars, Miller thought Craig could have done a better job of taking care of the basketball. The Cougars committed eight turnovers in the first half, including six in the first quarter.
“I thought what hurt us was our ball maintenance,” Miller said. “The previous two games we turned the ball over seven and eight times, and (tonight) we turned it over three times in the first half for layups. It wasn’t as much (Muskego’s) pressure as our guys being a little tight and not making good decisions.’’
Craig fell behind 31-15 in the second quarter, but battled back with a 6-2 run to cut the deficit to 33-21. Zach Olson made a steal and a layup at the end of the second quarter and Craig trailed 37-25 at the half.
In the third quarter, Craig cut a 14-point, 42-28 deficit to 42-32 with 4:55 remaining, but that is as close as Craig would get to the lead.
“You use all your energy to get it back to a game and they just went off again,” said senior Cameron Wright, who finished his career with a 23-point effort.
Muskego cut Craig’s momentum with a 7-0 run for a 49-23 advantage and took a 55-39 lead into the fourth quarter. Craig continued to scrap in the fourth quarter, but Muskego made 17 of 22 free throws to control the game.
With the season over, Miller said he thought Craig’s program made progress.
“What I told the seniors is we made progress again,” Miller said. “We finished higher in the Big Eight then we did last year, and I think everyone around knows the Big Eight is one of the best conferences in the state.
“To accomplish that and to be in position we ended in with six wins in the Big Eight is fantastic.’’
MUSKEGO 78, CRAIG 65
Muskego (78)—Mlachnik, 9-4-26; Tesch, 1-3-5; Mock, 3-0-9; Schwabe, 1-2-5; Van Fleet, 0-2-2; Nichols, 1-0-2; Breider, 1-3-5; Glisch, 3-3-10; Kucharski, 0-2-2; Pedersen, 0-2-2; Weier, 4-1-9. Totals: 23-20-78
Craig (65)—Sarow, 0-3-3; Malmanger, 0-3-3; Olson, 2-0-5; Cooney, 4-2-11; Pickarts, 3-0-6; Chang, 1-0-2; Wright, 7-0-23; Foster, 3-3-10; Roth, 0-2-2; Eden, 0-1-1. Totals: 20-12-65.
Muskego 22 15 18 23—78
Janesville Craig 8 17 12 26—65
Three-point goals—Muskego 10 (Mlachnik 4, Mock 3, Schwabe, Glisch, Harris), Craig 3 (Olson, Cooney, Foster). Free throws missed—Muskego 7, Craig 8. Total fouls—Muskego 17, Craig 21. Fouled out—Weier, Wright.