Craig Cougars top Vikings
For two quarters, the Cougars got out on the break, shot the ball well from the outside and pounded the glass.
And despite two shoddy quarters of play, Craig still pulled away late for an emotional
69-57 Big Eight Conference win over crosstown rival Janesville Parker.
Craig (2-10, 2-6) got 16 points from Brett Pickarts, 12 from Cameron Wright, along with a big lift from its bench in earning city bragging rights.
“More than anything, I was happy that guys stepped up and made plays,” Miller said. “A great team effort.
“Even guys that haven’t got as much playing time, like Will Eden and Peter Roth, came in and got the job done.”
Parker (3-8, 1-7) led 9-2 early and settled for a 15-10 lead after one quarter.
The entire complexion of the game turned in a two-minute span of the second quarter as the Cougars went on a 12-0 run to take control.
Pickarts drained a three with 4:01 left in the half to give his team the lead for good at 23-20. Roth, who made all six of his free throw attempts coming off the bench, made his first two with 2:37 left in the half to cap the 12-0 run and give Craig a 29-20 lead. Decker Thompson’s basket with 2:21 left in the half ended Parker’s scoring drought, but the Vikings eventually trailed 32-24 at half.
“I give Craig credit,” Parker coach Ryan Masterson said. “They were much more aggressive that second quarter, especially on the offensive glass.
“After that, we fought hard to get back in it, but we missed some good looks down low when we had a chance to get it to a two-point game.”
Erik Albeck brought Parker back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter. The 6- foot-3 senior had 10 points in the quarter, including a monster two-handed slam-dunk off a nifty move on the baseline that cut the lead to 39-30 with 4:20 left in the third.
Craig maintained the lead, however, and led by six after three quarters.
Parker got within four on Tanner Smith’s three-point play with 1:33 left, but Craig responded with an 8-0 to seal the win. The Cougars made 25 free throws for the game, including 12-of-15 in the fourth.
Albeck led all scorers with 19 points, but along with Smith, was virtually all of Parker’s offense the second half.
“We talk about getting that balance offensively, and that hurt us tonight,” Masterson said. “We’ve got to attack the basket better and finish.”
That’s something the Cougars were able to do in earning city bragging rights.
CRAIG 69, PARKER 57
Parker (57)—Somerville, 1-8-11; Smith, 5-2-12; Albeck, 7-1-19; D. Thompson, 3-2-9; Grafft, 1-0-2; Treinen, 0-1-1; A. Thompson, 1-0-3. Totals: 18-14-57.
Craig (69)—Sarow, 3-2-8; Malmanger, 1-1-3; Pickarts, 6-2-16; Wright, 3-6-12; Foster, 4-0-9; Olson, 0-3-3; Ngobi, 1-0-2; Roth, 0-6-6; Cooney, 1-4-7; Eden, 1-1-3. Totals: 20-25-69.
Janesville Parker 15 9 17 16—57
Janesville Craig 10 22 15 22—69
Three-point goals—Parker 7 (Albeck 4, Somerville, A. Thompson, D. Thompson), Craig 4 (Pickarts, Foster, Cooney). Free throws missed—Parker 7, Craig 4. Total fouls—Parker 22, Craig 18. Fouled out—Roth, Foster, Somerville.
Sophomores—Craig 55, Parker 54. Leading scorers—Mike Murphy (JC), 23; Cullen Osmond (JP), 23; Nolan Maresch (JC), 10.