Middleton's boys slow down Craig

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Isaiah Oliver and Middleton’s boys basketball team toppled Janesville Craig on Jan. 17./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Janesville Craig shoots 3-pointers as well — if not better — than any team in the Big Eight Conference.

The Cougars have hit as many as 18 triples in a game this year. And almost everyone Craig puts on the floor has the shooting range to make the 3-point shot a big part of their game.

So after visiting Middleton held the Cougars to seven 3-pointers — including just one in the second half — and toppled Craig, 61-48, on Jan. 17, the Cardinals left Janesville an extremely happy bunch.

Middleton got 12 points each from Gavyn Hurley, Owen Cooney and Will Garlock, and Kaden Fosdick added 10 as the Cardinals rolled past the Cougars. The Cardinals — who played primarily man-to-man defense against the Cougars — improved to 12-0 overall and 10-0 in the Big Eight Conference.

“They have some big time shooters, and they stretch that 3-point shooting prowess across all five starters and a couple of players in the rotation as well,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said of the Cougars. “Our guys ran at shooters pretty hard all night.”

While the Cougars are packed with sharp shooters, they couldn't come close to matching Middleton’s size and physicality. And the Cardinals attacked Craig inside early and often, with the 6-foot-10 Garlock, as well as Hurley, Cooney and Fosdick — who all stand 6-foot-6.

“For us the ball has to get in there and it can happen in four main ways — transition, penetration in the halfcourt game, feeding post play, and offensive rebounding,” Bavery said. “Sometimes we can get a little quick and took some tough shots early in the possession before reversing the ball and having rebounders inside, but overall we did a good job both against their man to man and 1-3-1 defenses.”

Cooney had eight of his points in the first half as Middleton jumped to a 30-24 lead at the break.

“OC has simply been steady all season,” Bavery said of Cooney. “He rebounds the defensive end like crazy, and he has a nice turn around jump game mid-post, and when he gets someone sealed down low he is powerful with his lower body and long with his reach to the rim. It takes a special defender to stop him when he gets deep.”

The Cardinals stretched their lead to as many as 18 in the second half as several players turned their game up a notch.

Garlock had eight of his 12 points in the second half, Hurley had seven second half points and freshman guard Isaiah Oliver had six of his eight after intermission.

Fosdick also played a terrific all-around game and gave the Cardinals a lift on both ends.

“Kaden has been our high energy guy all season,” Bavery said. “And he does it in practice every day. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and we have to tone him down a bit at times, but it's how he's built and we love how he competes.

“He has a great instinct of when to switch, trap, or otherwise energize our defense. He makes things happen. He'll take the charge, and we give him a lot of freedom on the offensive end as well as he really finds space in attacking the interior of a zone for us. I hope our younger players are paying attention to how hard he plays.”



Middleton .... 30 31 — 61

Craig ... 24 24 — 48

Middleton (fg-ft-pts) — Hurley 5-2-12, Oliver 3-1-8, Fosdick 3-4-10, Cooney 6-0-12, Garlock 5-2-12, Houden 0-2-2, Comerford 1-2-5. Totals 23-13-61.

Craig — Clark 3-0-7, McCormick 5-0-13, Bertagnoli 2-1-6, Becker 2-0-4, Thomas 1-0-2, Chrostowski 3-0-8, Tyler 2-0-4, Hughes 2-0-4. Totals 20-1-48.

3-point goals—Middleton 2 (Oliver, Comerford), Craig 7 (Clark, McCormick 3, Bertagnoli, Chrostowski 2). Missed free throws — Middleton 6, Craig 2. Team fouls — Middleton 8, Craig 15.

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