Mukwonago puts clamps on Craig
Mukwonago (12-11) travels to Muskego (16-7) at 7 tonight for the regional final. Craig concludes the season 15-8.
“I don’t know if it was the eight days (without a game) or the pressure of the tournament,” said Storbakken, whose team entered the game winning eight of their last nine games. “I don’t know. We came out real tentative.’’
Storbakken stripped away the questioning, and got to the heart of the problem.
“We didn’t take care of the ball real well, and we didn’t shoot the ball,” said Storbakken. “When you are scoring 37 points, your defense can only hold for so long. And our defense has been great; we held Mukwonago to 40 points.
“But, it’s kind of been our Achilles’ heel on the games we’ve lost,” he added. “We haven’t scored points.’’
The Cougars never held the lead. They trailed 15-11 after the first quarter and 20-16 at the half as both teams scored five points each in the second quarter.
Craig finally found the basket in the fourth quarter to pull within 36-35 on a pair of Michaela Holzhuter free throws with five minutes remaining.
Mukwonago held a 34-27 lead, but back-to-back three-point baskets from Kristi Crandall and Brooke Negus cut the Indians’ lead to 34-33. Kendall Martenet made two free throws to give Mukwonago wiggle room at 36-33, but Holzhuter put the heat back on with her two free throws.
Craig committed three straight turnovers to lose momentum, and Mukwonago’s Martenet put back her own miss with 2:38 remaining to give the Indians a 38-35 lead.
The Cougars’ Alli Calkins scored with 51.4 seconds remaining to pull Craig to within 38-37, but the Cougars failed to get off another shot the rest of the way.
“We couldn’t get the lead in the fourth quarter,” Storbakken said. “We cut it to one a couple times, and I think if we got the lead it might have been a different story.’’
Martenet hit a layup off an inbounds pass for the game’s final basket with 14.4 seconds remaining. The Cougars set up for a game-tying play, but it resulted in a turnover.
The Cougars made 15 of 41 shots (36 percent) and committed 17 turnovers. The Indians made 13 of 36 shots (36 percent) and had 15 turnovers.
Martenet led all scorers with 14 points. Negus finished with 11 points, and Nicole Kelly added 10 for Craig.
“I’m not going to let this loss take away from the good season these guys have had,” Storbakken said. “I don’t think too many people expected Craig to do as well as they did.’’
MUKWONAGO 40, CRAIG 37
Mukwonago (40)—Tuttle, 2-4-8; Aoys, 1-0-3; Vukovich, 1-0-3; Landry, 3-0-8; Martenet, 4-6-14; Gray, 2-0-4. Totals: 13-10-40
Craig (37)—Holzhuter, 2-2-6; Negus, 4-0-11; Crandall, 2-1-6; Kennedy, 1-0-2; Kelly, 5-0-10; Calkins, 1-0-2. Totals: 15-2-37
Mukwonago 15 5 12 8—40
Janesville Craig 11 5 7 14—37
Three-point goals—Mukwonago 4 (Aoys, Vukovich, Tuttle, Landry 2), Craig 3 (Negus). Free throws missed—Mukwonago 1, Craig 1. Total fouls—Mukwonago 11, Craig 10.