Joel Beard called the first eight minutes of Friday night’s game against Janesville Craig the best stretch so far this year for Beloit Memorial.
The Cougars then promptly stopped that run in its tracks.
Craig scored 35 of the final 39 points in the first half, turning a tie game into a runaway victory. Sophomore Kate Huml scored all of her game-high 19 points in the first half, and the Cougars won 74-40 in a Big Eight Conference girls basketball game.
“Our kids responded well,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “We were getting a lot of steals off our press, and that got us going a little bit. I think Sarah Gregg had six steals at halftime.”
Craig improved to 10-4 overall and 7-3 in league play. Beloit is 2-12 and 1-9.
Beloit took care of the ball early in building 5-0 and 7-2 leads in the opening four-plus minutes.
A transition bucket by the Purple Knights made it 11-11 with 10 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the half.
“That was probably our best 10 minutes of the season right there,” Beard said. “But then it kind of just snowballed on us. We’re just trying to get better each game, and we are. There were definitely some positives for us.
“But then they shot the lights out. For us, it’s hard to beat any team that makes 11 3s.”
Indeed, it was all Cougars over the final 10 minutes of the half.
They scored the next 16 points, including seven from Huml, who was 6 of 12 from the field and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line in the opening 18 minutes.
Craig hit eight of its 11 3s before halftime and forced 14 turnovers in the final 10 minutes before halftime.
Junior Claudia Fieiras scored 11 of her 15 points in a second half that saw the Cougars extend their lead to as much as 40 points. The final 8:45 was played with a running clock.
Craig seniors Cassie Goswick and Sarah Gregg joined Huml and Fieiras in double figures with 10 points apiece.
Storbakken said it was important for his team to bounce back after a lopsided loss to second-ranked Madison Memorial on Tuesday night, and with the second crosstown rivalry meeting with Janesville Parker looming Thursday night.
“It was a good way to start the second half of the Big Eight season,” Storbakken said. “Come in here and take care of business.”
CRAIG 74, BELOIT 40
Craig (74)—Gregg 3-2-10, Huml 6-4-19, Magestro-Kennedy 3-0-8, Fieiras 6-2-15, Goswick 3-2-10, Dunlavy 1-0-3, Alderman 2-2-6, Schrader 1-1-3. Totals: 25-13-79.
Beloit (40)—Randall 3-0-7, Wissdom-Burner 1-0-2, Thomas 2-0-4, Dunham 1-0-3, Drucker 1-2-4, Davis 1-1-3, Peppers 1-0-3, Renteria 4-0-8, Pabst 3-0-6. Totals: 17-3-40.
Janesville Craig 46 33—74
Beloit Memorial 15 25—40
3-point goals—Craig 11 (Huml 3, Gregg 2, Magestro-Kennedy 2, Goswick 2, Fieiras, Dunlavy), Beloit 3 (Rndall, Peppers, Dunham). Free throws missed—Craig 7, Beloit 7. Total fouls—Craig 16, Beloit 19.