Craig's offense stalls against Verona
The numbers didn’t lie. Craig was on the short end of a 42-28 loss Friday to visiting Verona in Big Eight Conference girls basketball.
The loss drops Craig to 5-6 in the Big Eight and 7-6 overall. Verona improves to 8-3 and 10-3.
Storbakken couldn’t argue with the final score, but the numbers told the Craig coach a different story.
“Defensively, we are playing great,” Storbakken said. “We are right where we want the scores, under 20 at half and 40 (42) for the game.”
Storbakken went right to the heart of the problem.
“We’ve got to get the ball in the basket,” Storbakken said. “It’s not like we are not getting shots.’’
Craig made just eight of 36 shots (28 percent).
The Cougars were held to single digits in each quarter. The Wildcats gained a 15-5 advantage in the fourth quarter to close out their victory.
Verona senior Ashley Bartow, a Drake University recruit, shook loose to score 11 of her game-high 17 points in the second half, including six points in the fourth quarter.
“We lost her a few times,” Storbakken said. “But we did a pretty good job on her in the first half, she only had six (points), but then she broke open.’’
Kristi Crandall scored 13 points for Craig, but none of her teammates scored more than five points.
Craig cut a 29-23 deficit to 29-26 on Crandall’s second three-point basket, but Bartow answered with her third three of the night to put Verona ahead 32-26 midway through the fourth quarter for the dagger.
“They came down and hit a big three,” Verona coach Angie Murphy said. “Ashley came down and hit a three, and our defense kept us in the game.’’
Verona expanded its lead to 36-26. Verona made four of six free throws and a basket to end the game.
Craig opened with a 6-5 lead, but Verona gained a 13-9 second quarter advantage for an 18-15 lead at the half. Verona took a 9-8 advantage in the third quarter for a 27-23 lead.
“I’d be real concerned if we weren’t getting shots,” Storbakken said. But we are getting shots. We’ve just got to get them to fall.’’
Craig travels to Sun Prairie at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
VERONA 42, CRAIG 28
Verona (42)—Hintz, 2-2-6; Juzwick, 1-0-2; Dreher, 1-0-3; Peterson, 1-2-4; Campbell, 3-0-6; Smith, 1-0-2; Bartow, 5-4-17; Mixson, 1-0-2. Totals: 15-8-42
Craig (28)—Holzhuter, 0-2-2; Negus, 1-0-2; Crandall, 3-4-12; Kennedy, 2-2-6; Kelly, 0-2-2; Calkins, 1-0-2; Villa, 1-0-2. Totals: 8-10-28
Verona 5 13 9 15—42
Janesville Craig 6 9 8 5—28
Three-point goals—Verona 4 (Dreher, Bartow, 3), Craig 2 (Crandall 2). Free throws missed—Verona 6, Craig 5. Total fouls—Verona 16, Craig 17.