Janesville Craig’s boys basketball team put together it’s most complete game of the season Saturday night.
Jacob Ngobi led four players in double figures with 17 points to lead the Cougars to a convincing 71-55 Big Eight win over Middleton at Craig High.
Craig (7-8, 6-7 Big Eight) led by 15 points at half and maintained the double-digit lead the entire second half.
Big Eight scoring leader Blake McCann added 15 points for Craig, while Jacob Lynch also added 15 points off the bench.
After losing to the Cardinals the first time the teams played this season, Craig turned the tables on the visitors Saturday night. Middleton (9-8, 7-6 Big Eight) made 10 3-pointers in the first half in beating Craig on Dec. 8, 67-53, but were just 2-of-17 Saturday.
“Overall, it was probably our best defensive game of the year,” Craig coach Ben McCormick said. “We only gave up 55 points to a Middleton team that can really shoot the ball from the outside.
“I was proud of how our guys competed, and that we didn’t have any kind of a letdown when we got the big lead.”
Craig 8-7 with 12:12 left in the half before going on a 10-0 scoring run. Ngobi gave Craig the lead for good with a 3-pointer to make it 10-8 with 12:01 to play in the half. A McCann 3, a Ngobi basket off a steal and Luke Malmanger’s jumper inside the free-throw line pushed the lead to 17-8 and the Cardinals got no closer than six the rest of the way.
The Cougars got 11 points from McCann in the first half, nine from Ngobi and eight from Lynch, including a pair of 3s.
“The biggest thing for us tonight was that we had some guys knock down shots,” McCormick said. “And that was the result of good ball movement and ball reversal. We did a really nice job of that against Verona and again tonight.
“We’ve got a lot of different guys contributing right now. And that’s a good thing. I told them afterward that we’ve got guys stepping up right now to give us that third or fourth scoring option.”
Leading by 15 at half, the Cougars cruised in the second half. Ngobi had eight points in the final 18 minutes, while Lynch was 7-for-8 at the line.
Middleton cut the lead to 10 with 17:01 to play, but Ngobi hit a 3 and scored on a nifty move between two defenders to push the lead back to 15 with 15:07 to play.
Craig plays a nonconference game at Mount Horeb on Tuesday night before playing at crosstown rival Janesville Parker on Friday.
CRAIG 71, MIDDLETON 55
Middleton (55)—Brunker 3-5-12; Roquet 7-3-20; Michaels 2-0-6; Ticknor 1-3-6; Vergenz 2-0-4; Close 2-0-5; Klubertanz 0-1-1; Thomas 0-1-1. Totals: 17-13-55
Craig (71)—McCann 5-2-15; Huml 2-0-4; Bertagnoli 2-0-5; Ngobi 7-0-17; Malmanger 1-0-2; Leverson 6-0-13; Lynch 3-7-15. TOtals: 26-9-71
Middleton 25 30—55
Janesville Craig 40 31—71
Three-point goals—Middleton 8 (Roquet 3, Michaels 2, Brunker, Close, Ticknor), Craig 10 (Ngobi 3, McCann 3, Lynch 2, Leverson, Bertagnoli). Free throws missed—Middleton 7, Craig 3. Total fouls—Middleton 16, Craig 19. Fouled out—Malmanger.