The final few minutes of Tuesday’s Big Eight Conference girls basketball makeup game between Janesville Craig and Madison Memorial must have felt like deja vu for the visiting Cougars.
For the second time this season, they had a double-digit second-half lead. And for the second time this season, the Spartans came from behind to win.
Memorial overcame a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes to win 60-58 in a game that is a preview of a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal game to be played next Friday.
The Spartans improved to 11-9 overall and 10-6 in the Big Eight. The Cougars fell to 9-11 and 6-10.
“I think our team played very good for 32 minutes,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “And then there was a four-minute stretch where we turned the ball over, and they capitalized to take the momentum.”
Storbakken lamented that his team seemed to take its foot off the gas pedal in the second half and also struggled against Memorial’s full-court press late.
“Our girls ran our offense and we attacked the basket in the first half. When we attack the basket good things happen,” Storbakken said. “We stopped attacking in the second half, and we turned the ball over and they got layups and free throws from it.”
After Craig coughed up the big lead, Craig junior Emily Pierson hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 58 with about 20 seconds left.
Memorial charged back down the court and hit a put-back layup to take the lead and sealed a 60-58 win when the Cougars struggled to get a shot off.
Cassie Goswick led the Cougars with 11 points. Leilani Kapinus scored a game-high 18 points for the Spartans.
Craig plays at Madison West on Thursday night.
MEMORIAL 60, JANESVILLE CRAIG 58
Craig—Gregg 2-0-6; Pierson 3-1-10; Parkhurst 2-2-6; Elgas 2-2-7; Fieiras 4-2-10; Goswick 4-3-11; Dunlavy 4-0-8. Totals: 18-10-58.
Memorial—Enemuoh 5-0-12; Kinney 1-0-2; Kapinus 5-8-18; Wilson 1-0-3; Brown 1-0-3; Rankins 2-6-10; Rosales 0-2-2; Garcia 2-4-10. Totals: 17-20-60.
Janesville Craig 34 24—58
Madison Memorial 21 39—60
3-pointers—Craig 6 (Pierson 3, Gregg 2, Elgas 1), Memorial 6 (Enemuoh 2, Wilson 1, Brown 1, Garcia 2). Free throws missed—Craig 3, Memorial 10. Fouls—Craig 22, Memorial 12.