Caleb Scoville and Angelo Rizzo have carried the offensive load all season for Janesville Craig’s boys basketball team.
The dynamic duo came into Friday night’s game against Madison West as the second- and third-leading scorers, respectively, in the Big Eight Conference.
They were at it again against the Regents.
Rizzo scored a game-high 29 points and Scoville added 26 to lead Craig to a much-needed 79-71 win on Bob Suter Court.
Craig improved to 10-11 overall and 7-10 in the Big Eight and likely improved their postseason placement heading into Sunday’s seeding meeting.
The Cougars trailed 69-68 with 2:30 remaining but outscored the Regents 11-2 the rest of the way. Craig was 6-for-6 at the line the final 27 seconds to seal the win.
“We made some huge hustle plays at the end, and that really was the difference I thought,” Craig coach Ben McCormick said. “Rizzo dove on a ball that Luke Brown kicked out and got a timeout. And then Rizzo got a big steal after he missed a shot and scored, and that was a big swing.
“Those little hustle plays are the small things that win games. And we needed this game.”
Scoville, a senior, had 16 points in the first half to help stake Craig to a 37-33 lead.
Rizzo took over in the second half. The junior had 20 in the second half, including a big steal and basket that gave Craig the lead for good at 73-71 with :42 left.
“We needed to get back to playing our brand of basketball, and we did that tonight,” Rizzo said. “We know we can beat these teams, but it’s all mental.
“And with the tournament coming up, we definitely feel like we can be a team that can upset teams seeded higher than us. We’ve proven we can play with them.”
Craig was 12-for-12 from the foul line the second half.
Eric Hughes added 11 points for Craig, including two big free throws with :27 left that pushed the lead to 75-71.
Craig hosts Madison Memorial on Thursday in the regular-season finale.
CRAIG 79, WEST 71
West (71)—Jacobs 2-0-4; McGrath 3-2-10; Hughes 5-2-14; Armwald 8-4-21; Thompson 5-0-10; Davis 4-1-10; Berry 1-0-2. Totals: 28-9-71
Craig (79)—Harriel 1-1-3; Scoville 9-7-26; Rizzo 10-6-29; Clark 2-3-7; Brown 1-0-2; Hughes 2-5-11; Burks 0-1-1. Totals: 25-23-79
Madison West 33 38—71
Janesville Craig 37 42—79
Three-point goals—West 6 (McGrath 2, Hughes 2, Armwald, Davis), Craig 6 (Rizzo 3, Hughes 2, Scoville). Free throws missed—West 3, Craig 6. Total fouls—West 25, Craig 16. Fouled out—Thompson, Davis, Harriel