Craig pressure suffocates Oconomowoc
JANESVILLE—Al Hughes and her Janesville Craig teammates enjoy the game of basketball most when they’re constantly on the move.
In that regard, Saturday’s season-opening game was about as fun as it gets.
Hughes was one of four Cougars players to score in double figures, and Craig used eight fast-break baskets and a draining pressure defense to run away from Oconomowoc, 72-37, in a home nonconference game.
“Running fast and having speed—because we don’t have a lot of height—is how are game is going to be this year,” said Hughes, who scored 12 points. “And just teamwork, how we ran up and down the court (was important).”
Never was that more evident than the third quarter.
Craig led by a dozen points by halftime, and in the third Hughes scored seven points as the Cougars outpaced the Racoons 23-5.
“It wears teams down,” Storbakken said of his team’s style of play. “They were getting tired, their starters. The pressure didn’t get turnovers, but you tire them out. The third quarter was huge.”
Oconomowoc struggled to take advantage of a size mismatch inside, as 6-foot-1 post player Erin Vande Zande scored all six of her points in the first half.
At the other end, nearly every player on Craig’s roster scored at least two points. Sophomore Anne Schumacher, playing in her first varsity game, matched Hughes with 12 points. Sophomore Delaney Schoenenberger had 11, while junior Aleyha Slatter added 10.
“Schumacher, your first varsity game, you hit your first shot for a 3 that gives us that lead at home—that’s huge,” Storbakken said.
“We have good team chemistry and are together a lot,” Hughes said. “I was in foul trouble (in the first half) and I kind of had my head down a little bit, but my team just kept encouraging me. It just shows how close we are.”
It was a fun start for the Cougars, who quickly turn to the start of the Big Eight Conference season at home against Madison West on Thursday night.
CRAIG 72, OCONOMOWOC 37
Oconomowoc (37)—Rodriguez, 1-0-2; Quinette, 1-0-2; Barker, 4-2-13; Tremaine, 2-0-4; Zagrodnik, 1-0-2; Dahlke, 0-2-2; Punzel, 2-0-4; Boldt, 1-0-2; Vande Zande, 1-4-6. Totals: 13-8-37.
Craig (72)—Schumacher, 5-0-12; Foster, 0-2-2; Cramer, 3-0-7; Stewart, 1-0-3; Hughes, 5-1-12; Pierson, 2-4-8; Krueger, 1-0-2; Slatter, 4-2-10; Calkins, 1-1-3; Schoenenberger, 3-4-11; Brittingham, 1-0-2. Totals: 26-14-72.
Oconomowoc 10 14 5 8—37
Janesville Craig 18 18 23 13—72
Three-point goals—Oconomowoc 3 (Barker 3), Craig 6 (Schumacher 2, Cramer, Stewart, Hughes, Schoenenberger). Free throws missed—Oconomowoc 8, Craig 5. Total fouls—Oconomowoc 15, Craig 18.