Janesville Craig Cougars rebound, beat Madison East
The Cougars rebounded from their 40-27 loss to first-place Madison West by rolling past Madison East, 54-42.
After missing the past five games with an ankle injury, Dyer, a University of Wisconsin recruit, returned midway through the first quarter and put a scare into the Cougars.
The Big Eight Conference leading scorer, with 27.5 points per game, kept East close with a game-high 23 points, but it wasn’t enough to end the Purgolders’ six-game losing streak.
“Dyer is an amazing player, and she got her points, but I thought the better team won tonight,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “We had a lot of players contributing tonight.”
Nicole Kelly came off the bench to lead Craig (6-5 overall, 6-4 Big Eight) with 13 points. The sophomore had eight in the third quarter as the Cougars pushed their lead to 40-28, with the help of 10 East turnovers.
Even with Dyer back, East (3-10, 2-7) struggled without second-leading scorer Alysha Justice, who sat out with a knee injury. Besides Dyer, only three other Purgolders scored against the Cougars, with Miranda Morrison adding 11 points.
Craig countered with eight different scorers, as the Cougars took advantage of 18 East turnovers and continually found fast-break layups to pull away.
“We started working together in the second half,” Kelly said. “We weren’t expecting Dyer to play. She is an amazing player, but it made us play harder.”
Dyer cut the Craig lead to
30-24 midway through the third quarter, but Michaela Holzhuter answered with three straight points, while Kelly added a rebound putback before Stephanie Perleberg drove in for a layup to end the threat. The seven unanswered points sparked a 19-6 Craig run for a 49-30 lead after a Holzhuter layup with 6 minutes and 15 seconds left.
“If we can just slow ourselves down, we can play with anybody,” Storbakken said. “We did a good job tonight of breaking their press and getting some easy baskets.”
CRAIG 54, EAST 42
Craig (54)—Holzhuter, 3-2-8; Negus, 2-1-6; Crandall, 2-0-5; Kennedy, 2-2-6; Kelly, 6-1-13; Calkins, 2-0-4; Villa, 2-1-5; Pereleberg, 3-1-7. Totals: 22-8-54.
East (42) – Morrison, 4-3-11; Ottelien, 1-0-3; Hetzel 2-1-5; Dyer, 5-9-23. Totals: 12-13-42
Janesville Craig 7 14 19 14—54
Madison East 5 11 12 14—42
Three-point goals—Craig 2 (Negus, Crandall). Free throws missed—Craig 9, East 11. Total fouls—Craig 17, East 17.
Sophmore game- Craig won 50-27 to improve to 10-2. Leading scorers – Alison Hughes 16, Aleyha Slatter 9.