Craig's zone defense stifles Beloit
JANESVILLE--Janesville Craig’s zone defense stumped Beloit Memorial on Friday.
The Cougars spent their night denying entry to the post and forcing jump shots.
The result was the Purple Knights shooting under 25 percent from the floor, whereas the Cougars shot nearly 50 percent in the first three quarters to run away with a 64-25 Big Eight Conference home victory.
“Once we brought our weakside defense and our top down to help, that was huge,” Craig coach Kerry Storbakken said. “They didn’t have an answer for that.
“The girls like playing zone. What we’ve got is a lot of speed that can get out on people and then recover. When you’ve got that, you play that zone aggressively.”
The Cougars (4-1 overall, 3-1 Big Eight) led by seven points after one quarter but quickly added to their lead in the second.
The Knights (0-4, 0-4) made just 6 of 24 shots in the first half and shot 23.3 percent for the game. They didn’t make a 3-pointer.
“We did a great job covering their high post, and once we shut that down they were forced to shoot outside,” Craig senior Alli Calkins said. “It all started at the high post.”
Calkins scored eight of her game-high 16 points in the second, and Craig led by 23 by halftime. Craig’s lone senior posted a double-double by adding 12 rebounds, many of them at the offensive end for put-back buckets.
“They didn’t box out too well, so we all crashed,” Calkins said. “Coach just told us to all crash. It was a battle on the post.”
Janesville fans were introduced for the first time to a new running-clock rule in the WIAA when the Cougars took a 40-point lead in the fourth quarter. Under the new rule, the clock only stops for timeouts from that point on.
Nearly ever player on the Craig roster scored. Sophomore Anne Schumacher scored nine and four other players had six points. Daijah Evans led the Knights with nine.
“We shared the ball the best that we have all year,” Storbakken said. “We skipped it and hit the middle and got it to the right people. It was nice to watch.”
Craig returns to the court Thursday at Madison La Follette.