Cougars will do some homework
JANESVILLE Craig High needs all the comfort of home, but the Cougars gym gave no love Tuesday in a 62-50 loss to Middleton in a Big Eight Conference girls basketball makeup game.
Craig is 8-7 overall and 6-6 in the Big Eight. Middleton is 9-6 and 7-4.
Middleton was the first of six home games among eight regular-season games remaining on the Cougars' schedule. Coach Kerry Storbakken wants the Cougars to find a groove.
"We got a lot of season left," said Storbakken, whose team lost its second straight after winning four straight. "We got Sun Prairie home Thursday then Beloit and a few others.
"Everything is correctable," Storbakken said. "We will get back in the gym and fix some things.''
First on Craig's to do list will be taking care of the basketball. Craig committed 22 turnovers against Middleton.
"We've got to take care of the ball; that's obvious," Storbakken said. "They got too many second shots.''
The second thing is the Cougars have to work on playing more aggressive.
"We just have to attack better," Storbakken said. "You've got to attack the basket and get them in bonus and the kids know that.''
The Cougars trailed the Cardinals 12-9 after the first period. Middleton extended its lead to 31-21 heading into halftime.
Katie Villa sank her only basket to pull Craig with 12-11 to start the second quarter, but Darcy Dean sank back-to-back three-point baskets to give Middleton a 21-13 lead. Maddie Philipps scored to pull Craig back to 21-15.
Dean sank her third three-pointer of the third quarter to give Middleton a 31-19. Kristi Crandall sank a pair of free throws and Craig trailed 31-21 at the half.
The Cougars were held to nine points in the third quarter and the Cardinals took a 45-30 lead into the fourth quarter.
Middleton 5-foot-9 junior Liz McMahon scored a game-high 19 points, including 11 in the second half. Dean finished with 12 points for Middleton.
Crandall scored 12 for Craig and Alli Calkins added 10 points playing with four fouls from 3:16 of the third quarter.
Craig trailed 56-37 with 4:30 remaining but outscored the Cards 13-6 the rest of the way, which gave Storbakken a ray of hope.
"I'm proud of my subs that came in," Storbakken said. "They haven't played a lot, and I thought those kids did well.''
Betsy Ennis scored six points down the stretch.
Craig welcomes Sun Prairie at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
MIDDLETON 62, CRAIG 50
Middleton (62)—Wolff, 1-0-3; Dean, 4-1-12; Raffel, 1-0-2; McMahon, 7-5-19; McCauley, 2-2-6; Blair, 1-0-3; Staples, 2-0-5; Shea, 1-0-2; Jordee, 3-2-8; Bunyan, 0-3-3; Roach, 0-1-1. Totals: 21-14-62.
Craig (50)—Philipps, 1-2-5; Cramer, 3-1-6; Stewart, 1-0-3; Crandall, 3-6-12; Hackett, 1-0-2; Potter, 0-2-2; Slatter, 0-3-3; Calkins, 4-2-10; Ennis, 2-2-6; Villa, 1-2-4. Totals: 14-20-50.
Middleton 12 19 14 17—62
Janesville Craig 9 12 9 20—50
Three-point goals—Middleton 6 (Wolff, Dean 3, Blair, Staples), Craig 2 (Philipps, Stewart). Free throws missed—Middleton 3, Craig 2. Total fouls—Middleton 18, Craig 17.