Through 18 minutes of play Monday night, Janesville Craig’s boys basketball team did what it needed to do to keep pace with state-ranked Middleton.
But a stretch of 11 possessions to start the second half all went the Cardinals’ way, allowing them to pull away and then hold off the Cougars 76-63 in Middleton in both teams’ regular-season finale.
“To start the second half, we got five good looks in our first five offensive possessions but couldn’t convert,” Cougars coach Ben McCormick said. “During that same stretch, Middleton secured five offensive rebounds in their first six possessions and scored on all of them.
“With their size, if you don’t secure the defensive rebound on your first attempt, it’s problematic,” he said.
The Cougars (13-11 overall, 11-9 Big Eight) played well offensively throughout with 11 made 3-point shots and an 8-for-10 night from the free-throw line. Devon Becker led the charge with 16 points and four of his team’s 3-point baskets.
Craig just couldn’t get enough stops in the second half. Middleton’s Gavyn Hurley finished with 25 points, and Will Garlock had 22 with each dropping 14 in the second half for the Cardinals (23-1, 19-1).
The Cougars, seeded 10th in their sectional, have a few days off before opening postseason play with a regional semifinal at Racine Case, the No. 7 seed, at 7 p.m. Friday.