Halfway through the Big Eight Conference girls basketball season, only one team has stayed within 20 points of Madison Memorial.

Janesville Craig got an up-close look at the No. 2-ranked team in the state Tuesday night.

The Spartans scored 17 of the first 19 points and never looked back in a 96-54 home win.

“They’re the real deal,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “This is one of those that you just have to put behind you and remember that it only counts as one loss in the standings.”

Memorial jumped out to leads of 17-2 and 42-14 before leading at half, 54-25.

Four players scored in double figures for the Spartans, led by Mia Morel’s 21 points.

“We talked about three things: keeping them out of the paint, rebounding and attacking their press,” Storbakken said. “But from the get go, those three phases weren’t very good. So you just put it behind you.”

Memorial has outscored its opponents 765-361 in the first nine Big Eight games.

Junior Claudia Fieiras scored 24 points to pace the Cougars, who begin the second half of league play at Beloit Memorial on Friday night.

MEMORIAL 96, CRAIG 54Craig (54)—Gregg 0-1-1, Huml 2-1-7, Elgas 1-0-2, Fieiras 7-9-24, Goswick 3-0-7, McBryde 1-0-3, Dunlavy 2-0-5, Alderman 2-1-5. Totals: 18-12-54.

Memorial (96)—Peters 2-0-6, Kapinus 6-3-16, Morel 8-2-21, Rowell 2-1-6, Brown 2-0-4, Rankins 6-4-16, Sweet 2-0-4, White Eagle 6-4-18, Thorns 1-3-5. Totals: 34-17-96

Janesville Craig 25 29—54

Madison Memorial 54 42—96

3-point goals—Craig 8 (Huml 2, Fieiras, Goswick, McBryde, Dunlavy), Memorial 9 (Peters 2, Kapinus, Morel 3, Rowell, White Eagle 2). Free throws missed—Craig 9, Memorial 6. Total fouls—Craig 17, Memorial 20.