Madison East’s boys basketball team got a little payback Friday night.
After losing to Janesville Craig on a last second buzzer-beater earlier this season, the Purgolders made sure there was no chance for any last-minute heroics this time around.
East jumped out to a big lead early and cruised to a 75-56 Big Eight Conference win. Craig (5-7, 4-6) had no answer for East’s quickness, committing 17 turnovers that resulted in a number of easy transition baskets.
In suffering its second-worst loss of the season, Craig struggled to get anything going offensively.
“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, and that magnifies everything,” Craig coach Ben McCormick said. “Plus, we had way too many turnovers and really got hurt on the offensive boards.
“And give East credit. They did a lot of good things, and we didn’t run our offense the way we’re capable. We forced some quick shots.”
Craig trailed by 15 with 6:30 left in the first half but finished on a 14-4 run to end the half and trailed 35-27.
The Cougars got within four on the first possession of the second half when Luke Malmanger hit a 3 to make it 35-31. East (7-6, 5-5) responded with a 15-2 run to take control. Six points during the runs came on Craig turnovers, and when Damontae Thompson converted a three-point play with 10:37 left, the lead was 50-33. The Cougars got no closer than 14 the rest of the way.
Anthony Washington finished with 16 points to lead East, while University of Santa Clara recruit Keshawn Justice added 15.
Big Eight scoring leader Blake McCann had 16 points to lead Craig, and Malmanger chipped in 13.
“East had a number of run outs for easy baskets, and we didn’t handle their pressure as well as we did the first time we played them,” McCormick said.
“We haven’t had any drubbings before tonight, and that’s what I told them afterward. Things just kind of steamrolled on us the second half, but the sun will come up tomorrow.”
EAST 75, CRAIG 56
East (75)—Jones 1-3-5; Lewis 3-6-12; Dam. Thompson 3-3-9; A. Washington 6-3-16; K. Justice 7-0-15; Dav. Washington 2-0-4; M. Justice 2-0-4; Mielke 2-3-7; Morgan 1-1-3. Totals: 27-19-75
Craig (56)—McCann 5-6-16; Ngobi 2-0-5; Glissendorf 1-0-2; Malmanger 5-1-13; Leverson 4-0-10; Huml 2-2-7; Lynch 0-1-1; Rizzo 1-0-2. Totals: 20-10-56
Madison East 35 40—75
Janesville Craig 28 28—56
Three-point goals—East 2 (A. Washington, K. Justice), Craig 6 (Malmanger 2, Leverson 2, Huml, Ngobi). Free throws missed—East 7, Craig 5. Total fouls—East 14, Craig 18.