The curtain came up on the 2019-20 season for Janesville Craig’s boys basketball team Saturday, and for the most part, coach Ben McCormick liked what he saw.
Craig got 19 points from Caleb Scoville and 16 from Angelo Rizzo in a 74-59 nonconference win over Madison Edgewood on Bob Suter Court.
The Cougars raced out to an early 14-2 lead and never looked back.
Point guard Marshaun Harriel added 13 points for Craig and Eric Hughes chipped in 11 off the bench.
“There are a lot of unknowns coming into the season opener,” McCormick said. “When the lights come on, you don’t always know how guys are going to respond, but I thought we came out of the gate really well and pushed the ball, which put them (Edgewood) back on their heels a little bit.
“Certainly some things to clean up, starting with the number of fouls we committed, but pretty pleased with this being our first game.”
Craig led 32-27 with 3:25 left in the opening half but finished on a 7-3 run to push the lead to 39-30 at the break.
Rizzo had 12 points the first half and Scoville added eight.
Scoville said a preseason publication that picked Craig to finish ninth in the Big Eight Conference served as motivation coming into the opener.
“We’re going to come into each and every game thinking that we’re a much better team than ninth place,” Scoville said. “We feel like we are going to have something to prove every game. This game was no different.
“It was important to get off to a good start because we’ve got a lot of guys that hadn’t played at the varsity level before. And we proved tonight that we’ve got more than just one or two guys that can score.”
Leading by nine at half, Craig scored the first nine points of the second half. Edgewood got no closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Rizzo capped off a 7-0 Craig run with a steal and dunk that made it 55-34 with 10 minutes left.
Craig opens up Big Eight play Friday night at home against Beloit Memorial.
“We’ve certainly got room for improvement before Friday,” McCormick said. “We had too many turnovers, especially fundamental ones where we traveled or threw the ball away.
“But for the first game against a good program, I’ll take the win.”
CRAIG 74, EDGEWOOD 57Edgewood (57)—James 8-2-20; Golden 1-2-4; Thelen 1-2-5; Regnier 4-4-14; Schmotzer 4-0-8; Nwankwo 0-3-3; Clark 1-0-2; Newton 0-1-1. Totals: 19-14-57
Craig (74)—Harriel 4-5-13; Scoville 7-5-19; Rizzo 6-3-16; Clark 2-2-7; Hughes 3-4-11; Burks 3-0-6; Phiffer 1-0-2. Totals: 26-19-74
Madison Edgewood 30 27—57
Janesville Craig 39 35—74
Three-point goals—Edgewood 5 (James 2, Regnier 2, Thelen), Craig 3 (Hughes, Clark, Rizzo). Free throws missed—Edgewood 15, Craig 7. Total fouls—Edgewood 22, Craig 22. Fouled out—Scoville