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Crandall leads Janesville Craig to win

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JOHN N. BARRY
January 14, 2012
— Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker games seem to bring out the best in certain athletes.

Whatever the sport, nothing is more rewarding than playing against and beating your crosstown rival.


Kristi Crandall gave one of the all-time great performances Friday night.


The Craig junior scored 25 points, including 18 in a furious fourth quarter, to lead the Cougars to a 46-41 Big Eight Conference upset win over Parker.


Craig (6-4, 5-3) trailed by five early in the fourth, but hit Parker (8-4, 5-3) with a 13-4 run to seize control. Crandall had 12 of the 13 points during the run, including the go-ahead free throw to make it 38-37 Craig with 1:43 left to play. She made 10 of 11 free throws in the fourth.


“She was in a zone, and I could see that even during warm-ups,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said of Crandall. “She ran the show for us for 32 minutes without coming out of the game. That’s how focused she was.


“And our team continues to improve. I keep telling them that they’re a good basketball team, and I to believe it.”


Parker was a very good basketball team early in the season, climbing all the way to second in the state ratings in Division 1. But the Vikings have hit the skids lately, especially on the offensive end, losing three of their last four conference games.


Parker did not reach double figures in scoring the first three quarters, and had to rely on the bench to finally make a run in the fourth. Reserves Jackie Shepler and freshman Paige Smith made five three-point baskets to give the Vikings a boost, but the starters scored only 16 points between them.


“I thought we played hard, but I didn’t think we played very smart,” Parker coach Tom Klawitter said. “Two kids (Crandall and Katie Villa) hurt us that shouldn’t have.


“We’ve taken a big step back right now, and we’re going to have to try and go back forward. We’ll either learn from it, or it will be a tough road to come back on.”


Villa, who finished with 11 points, had all eight of Craig’s points in the second quarter as it led 19-17 at the half.


Craig led by one after three quarters, but Smith’s three gave Parker a 33-28 lead with 6:18 to play. Crandall hit a three on the next possession to cut the lead to two, and added two free throws with 5:05 left to tie the game. She scored 18 of Craig’s 20 fourth-quarter points.


“I was just happy to be able to help the team win,” said Crandall. “It means a lot to beat Parker because it’s such a big game for us. And knowing that they were ranked second in the state at one time, and we beat them, it proves we can play with anybody.”


If Crandall has any more performances like Friday night’s, she might be right.


CRAIG 46, PARKER 41


Parker (41)—Fugate, 2-0-4; Hartwig, 4-1-9; Washington, 1-1-3; Shepler, 3-0-9; Smith, 3-1-9; Chesebro, 3-1-7. Totals: 16-4-41.


Craig (46)—Holzhuter, 0-1-1; Negus, 0-1-1; Kennedy, 2-0-4; Calkins, 2-0-4; Crandall, 6-11-25; Villa, 5-1-11. Totals: 15-14-46.


Janesville Parker 8 9 8 16—41


Janesville Craig 11 8 7 20—46


Three-point goals—Parker 5 (Shepler 3, Smith 2), Craig 2 (Crandall 2). Free throws missed—Parker 7, Craig 4. Total fouls—Parker 15, Craig 16 Fouled out—Kennedy.


Sophomores—Craig 35, Parker 29.



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