Janesville Craig girls race away from Madison Memorial in 55-33 win
JANESVILLE If the Craig High Cougars could bottle up their effort in the first five minutes of Thursday's second half and use it over the next couple weeks, they would.
The girls basketball team will settle for attempting to duplicate it instead.
Craig (11-9, 9-7 Big Eight) sunk its first eight shot attempts of the second half and used a 20-4 run coming out of halftime to race away with a 55-33 conference victory over Madison Memorial (4-16, 4-12).
"We all tried to pick up the energy and hit our shots and rise to the challenge," said Cougars junior Alli Calkins, who scored eight of her 12 points during the team's dominating run to start the second half. "It all came with the energy, once we picked that up."
The Cougars trailed by one after the first quarter and needed a 9-2 run over the final 2 minutes, 27 seconds of the second to take a lead into halftime.
In the locker room, coach Kerry Storbakken issued a bit of a challenge.
"I said, 'You know what? We need to get after kids and you need to come out and play with that heart and intensity every possession,'" he said. "And they took it to heart."
The Cougars built that energy up thanks in part to the employment of full-court pressure on defense.
They forced seven Memorial turnovers during the game changing run and four different Craig players scored during the 8-for-8 start to the half. By comparison, the Cougars were 8 of 26 from the field in the first half.
Kristi Crandall led all scorers with 16 points and sophomore Alison Hughes added 12.
"When you're making shots you look pretty good, and they're contagious," Storbakken said. "Once they started going in, everyone feels like they can make them. It's good to see that confidence."