Final dry spell results in Craig girls loss
JANESVILLE Craig High shooters ran out of gas in the fourth quarter Thursday and visiting Verona took advantage to hand Craig a 44-36 defeat in Big Eight Conference girls basketball.
In a battle of undefeated Big Eight teams, Craig falls to 2-1 and 4-1 overall. Verona is 3-0 in the league and tied with Parker High for the early conference lead.
In a grinding game where points were scored sparingly, the Cougars fizzled in the final frame after rolling to a 36-30 lead on three-point baskets from Maddie Philipps and Alison Hughes. Craig did not score in the remaining five minutes as the Cougars missed five more three-point baskets.
Verona took over as Marissa Mears unloaded two threes, Lexy Richardson scored three of her 14 points and 6-1 senior Shannon Kant added a basket to finish with a game-high 15 points.
Craig coach Kerry Storbakken thought his team relied too much on threes in the fourth quarter and in stretches during the game,
"If you make a couple (threes) everybody thinks they are all going in," Storbakken said. "It's not going to happen."
Storbakken thought the Cougars could have been more aggressive attacking the basket.
"At times, we didn't attack their zone," Storbakken said. "We just settled on the three and let (Kant) get loose a little bit.''
Ali Hughes, a sophomore, scored 13 points and was the lone Cougar to reach double figures.
The Cougars led 14-12 after the first period. Craig could only score in single digits the rest of the way.
Craig made just 4 of 8 free throws, while Verona made 10 of 14. The Cougars' senior point guard Kristi Crandall, a key element in the Cougars' offense, sat out most of the second quarter in foul trouble and drew her fourth foul at 7:07 of the fourth quarter.
"We've got to talk with her," Storbakken said. "The last three games, she has been in foul trouble and we need her on the floor and not on the bench.''
VERONA 44, CRAIG 36
Verona (44)—Mears, 3-0-8; LaCroix, 2-0-5; Richardson, 6-2-14; Kant, 4-7-15; Campbell, 1-0-2. Totals: 16-10-44
Craig (36)—Philipps, 1-0-3; Cramer, 1-0-3; Crandall, 4-0-9; Hughes, 4-2-13; Slatter, 1-0-2; Calkins, 0-1-1; Villa, 2-0-5. Totals: 13-4-36
Verona 12 11 9 12—44
Janesville Craig 14 9 7 6—36
Three-point goals—Verona 3 (Mears 2, LaCroix). Craig 6 (Crandall, Philipps, Cramer, Hughes 3). Free throws missed—Verona 4, Craig 4. Total fouls—Verona 10, Craig 12.