De’Monte Nelson’s 40 points might stand out most in Friday night’s box score.
But Max Glass’ clutch outside shooting is the reason Kenosha Bradford stole an overtime victory from Janesville Craig.
Glass made a pair of 3-pointers in the final two minutes of regulation to help force overtime, where he made another one in the eighth-seeded Red Devils’ 85-82 victory over the ninth-seeded Cougars in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal game at Bradford.
The Red Devils will play at top-seeded Sun Prairie tonight. Craig finished the season with an 11-12 overall record.
“I thought we had it for sure,” Craig senior Blake McCann said, referencing his team’s five-point lead in the final 20 seconds of regulation. “It just sucks to see it end.”
McCann and Craig senior guard Jacob Ngobi each finished with 24 points, but Ngobi fouled out on a charge called with just under three minutes remaining in regulation.
McCann made a 3-pointer with 1:52 left that put the Cougars up by four, but Glass answered with a 3 of his own at the other end.
Craig junior Brandon Ronde leaked free on a fast break for a layup that put Craig up 75-70 with about 30 seconds left, but Glass buried an NBA-range 3 to get back within two points.
“(Nelson) is obviously a great player. He’s got a quick first step, and we knew that coming in,” Craig coach Ben McCormick said of Bradford’s all-time leading scorer, who was 12 of 27 from the field and 11 of 13 from the free-throw line. “But the guy who really stepped up tonight at the end was ... Glass. Huge shots at the end, huge free throws.
“You kind of know it’s tough to stop Nelson from getting his. ... This is a team of seniors, and the sophomore stepped up big at the end.”
Craig missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have pushed the lead back to three or four. Nelson missed a runner at the other end, but Bradford’s Arrie Parkinson V was fouled on the rebound and made two free throws to tie the game with 5.5 seconds remaining.
Craig’s desperation 3 didn’t fall, and Bradford took momentum to overtime.
There, Craig senior forward Luke Malmanger had two early buckets, sandwiched by Glass’ fourth 3-pointer.
Free throws by Nelson following two empty Craig possessions gave Bradford an 82-79 lead with 1:15 left.
Malmanger was set to cut the deficit back to one, but he was whistled for an offensive foul—Craig’s second costly one in crunch time.
“We had foul trouble the whole game, and he (Nelson) does that to you,” McCormick said. “On those 50-50 calls, that’s why they’re called 50-50, because they can go either way.”
Malmanger made a 3 with 32 seconds left to keep Craig within two, and the Cougars were down three and had multiple tough looks while attempting to tie the game in the final 10 seconds and couldn’t get one to fall.
Bradford held on after an entertaining, back-and-forth battle in regulation.
The Cougars jumped out to an 11-2 lead, but they lamented giving up nine offensive rebounds and turning the ball over nine times in the first half. The extra possessions helped Bradford hang within a point at halftime.
The teams traded the lead four times and were tied four others in the second half.
The Red Devils finished 23 of 29 from the free-throw line, including making 11 of their last 12.
Malmanger finished with 13 points and junior guard Aaron Leverson had 12 for the Cougars, who made 11 3s to Bradford’s 10.
“I’m so proud of our guys, the way they competed and made plays,” McCormick said. “Our seniors really stepped up and played well.
“A great high school basketball game. Both sides made big plays. They just made one more.”
BRADFORD 85, CRAIG 82 (OT)
Craig (82)—McCann 9-1-24, Bertagnoli 1-2-4, Ngobi 9-4-24, Malmanger 6-0-13, Leverson 4-2-12, Ronde 2-0-5. Totals: 31-9-82.
Bradford (85)—Nelson 12-11-40, Parkinson 0-4-4, T. Glass 1-1-3, Parker 5-5-15, Bell 1-1-3, Borden 1-0-3, M. Glass 6-1-17. Totals: 26-23-85.
Janesville Craig 39 36 7—82
Kenosha Bradford 38 37 10—85
3-point goals: Craig 11 (McCann 5, Ngobi 2, Leverson 2, Malmanger, Ronde), Bradford 10 (Nelson 5, M. Glass 4, Borden). Free throws missed—Craig 5, Bradford 6. Total fouls—Craig 25, Bradford 15. Fouled out—Ngobi.