Janesville Craig’s girls basketball team held first-place Middleton under 20 points in the first half Thursday night.

Unfortunately for the Cougars, the Cardinals put together a second-half rally.

Middleton rebounded from a five-point halftime deficit to beat visiting Craig 59-53 in a Big Eight Conference game.

The Cardinals are 8-4 overall and 7-1 in conference. Craig fell to 5-5 and 2-5.

“The coaching staff is very proud of our defensive effort to hold the league-leading Cardinals to under 60 points,” Craig assistant Amy Parkhurst said. “Our forwards defended great out of the 2-3 zone against their high-low post action, and our guards on top had strong close-outs.”

Craig led 24-19 at half but was outscored 40-29 after halftime.

Sitori Tanin led all scorers with 18 points for Middleton.

Junior Brooke Parkhurst led three Cougars in double figures with 14 points, while Emily Pierson added a dozen and Rileigh Elgas 11.

Craig hosts Madison West at 4 p.m. Saturday.

MIDDLETON 59, CRAIG 53

Craig (53)—Gregg 2-0-5, Pierson 3-3-12, Parkhurst 6-2-14, Elgas 4-2-11, Fieiras 1-1-3, Dunlavy 3-2-8. Totals: 19-10-53.

Middleton (59)—Lemirande 1-0-3, Tanin 8-2-18, Roquet 0-4-4, Coleman 2-2-8, Bursac 2-0-4, Dunn 2-7-12, Flottmeyer 5-0-10. Totals: 20-15-59.

Janesville Craig 24 29—53

Middleton 19 40—59

3-point goals—Craig 5 (Pierson 3, Gregg, Elgas), Middleton 4 (Coleman 2, Lemirande, Dunn). Free throws missed—Craig 3, Middleton 10. Total fouls— Craig 18, Middleton 14.

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