Janesville Craig’s girls basketball team decided to spread a little holiday cheer around Wednesday.
Brooke Parkhurst and Cassie Goswick scored 16 points each to lead four players in double figures, as the Cougars used a balanced attack to beat Milton 66-57 in the second game of the Optimist Invitational on Bob Suter Court.
Craig (5-3) ended the game on a 9-2 run and plays Stoughton at 4 p.m. today in the final game of the tournament.
Milton (6-3) took its last lead at 43-41 on Chloe Buescher’s basket with 13:58 left, but Craig responded with a 14-7 run over the next five minutes to take control.
“This has turned into a really good rivalry,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said of Milton vs. Craig. “The two schools are only about 10 minutes apart.
“I thought their zone was giving us problems, so we took a timeout early in the second half to talk about how to attack it. After the timeout, Cassie scored on a backdoor layup and that really energized us.”
Craig took the lead for good at 47-45 on Goswick’s basket with 12:08 to play. The Cougars kept up the pressure defensively, resulting in a slew of turnovers in the second half for the Red Hawks. Milton finished with 21 turnovers.
Leading 53-50 with just over eight minutes remaining, Craig got back-to-back baskets from Parkhurst to push the lead to seven, but Milton clawed back and got the deficit to two on a 3-pointer from Abbie Campion with 6:41 left.
Unfortunately for the Red Hawks, they would get only one more basket the rest of the way.
Milton coach Stacy Skemp said her team failed to match Craig’s intensity, at times, and that cost them.
“We were not ready for the start of the game, and I don’t know if we were ready for the start of the second half, either,” Skemp said. “I don’t know if it’s the Christmas break or what, but we dug ourselves too many holes to climb out of.
“We’ve got a very good schedule, and I told that team that teams are not going to lie down and die for us. We have to show up and be ready to play right away.”
Hannah Dunlavy added 13 points for Craig, while teammate Emily Pierson chipped in 10.
Kailey Harbort had a game-high 19 points for Milton, including 11 in the second half. Buescher added 13 points.
Craig faces another strong Badger South Conference foe today, as Stoughton brings an 8-2 record into the game.
“We gave up our dribble too many times tonight and settled for some 3s on our shot selection,” Storbakken said. “We need to move the ball and attack the basket, much like Parkhurst did tonight.”
Milton plays Kenosha Tremper at 2:15 p.m. today.
CRAIG 66, MILTON 57
Milton (57)—Martin 1-2-4; Albrecht 3-2-8; Buescher 5-3-13; Harbort 6-6-19; Hanke 0-1-1; A. Campion 1-2-5; Falk 2-0-4; K. Campion 1-0-3. Totals: 19-16-57
Craig (66)—Pierson 2-4-10; Parkhurst 6-4-16; Elgas 2-2-6; Fieras 1-2-5; Goswick 7-2-16; Dunlavy 4-3-13. Totals: 22-17-67
Milton 34 23—57
Janesville Craig 33 33—66
Three-point goals—Milton 3 (A. Campion, Harbort, K. Campion), Craig 5 (Dunlavy 2, Pierson 2, Fieras). Free throws missed—Milton 3, Craig 9. Total foulsMilton 18, Craig 17. Fouled out—A. Campion.