McCann, Ngobi help Craig fend off Parker
JANESVILLE--Janesville Craig continued its mastery of Janesville Parker in boys basketball Thursday night but not in its normal dominating fashion.
The Cougars used a 23-0 run in the first half to erase a seven-point deficit and went on to a 73-64 Big Eight Conference win on Bob Suter Court. Craig won its fifth straight in the series thanks to 25 points from Blake McCann and six free throws in the final 40 seconds from Jacob Ngobi.
Parker, behind 30 points from Chris Galvan, whittled a 21-point second-half deficit down to two with three minutes left but ran out of gas down the stretch. Craig (3-3, 2-3) outscored Parker (0-7, 0-5) 14-7 over the last 3:20.
McCann said his team kept its cool.
“We knew that we'd get Parker's best game and that they would make some runs,” McCann said. “Our job was to play as a team and make more runs than them.
“After Parker cut our lead down, we knew we had to just play our game and finish strong and that's what we did.”
McCann's 3-pointer with 13 minutes left pushed Craig's lead to 52-31. Parker responded with a 22-4 run over the next six minutes and trailed 56-53 on Tremar Curry's basket with 6:12 to play.
The Vikings eventually sliced the lead to 59-57 on another Curry drive to the basket with 3:30 left.
But Craig scored the next six points to regain control. Ngobi's basket after a scramble over a loose ball made it 65-57 with 1:10 remaining.
Parker got no closer than six the rest of the way, thanks in part Ngobi's performance at the foul line.
The Vikings played well in spurts against Craig but saw their losing streak reach 43.
Parker coach Keith Miller said the 23-0 run by Craig proved to be the difference.
“We panicked during that stretch Craig had and started forcing some shots,” Miller said. “But give credit to our kids. They regrouped and battled back. I think fatigue just got to us at the end, because we worked so hard to come back.
“I thought we played our best basketball of the season to start the game because we followed our gameplan. We've just got to be disciplined enough to stick with it and not panic when shots aren't falling.”
Both teams were hot to start the game. Parker made its first six shots, while Craig started 5-for-5. Curry, who finished with 10 points off the bench, scored on nifty move to the basket to make it 22-15 Parker with 10:49 left in the half.
Craig then went on its 23-0 run which started on back-to-back 3-pointers from Jack Huml. McCann's basket with 1:35 left in the half capped off the run and made it 38-22 Cougars.
Ngobi finished with 17 points for Craig, while Parker point guard Kavion Ellison had a breakout game with 17 points.
Although things got dicey for his team late, first-year Craig coach Ben McCormick was happy to see his team win for the 11th time in the last 13 meetings with Parker.
“There's a lot of things we can improve upon, but the bottom line is that we get out of here with a win,” McCormick said. “And give Parker credit. They played really well the first 10 minutes or so.
“We have to do a better job with clock management and taking more appropriate shots, but overall we did a nice job rebounding, especially from our guards. It was a good win.”
Parker hosts Middleton at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, while Craig is at Beloit Memorial that night.
CRAIG 73, PARKER 64
Parker (64)—Dahlke 1-0-3; Galvan 10-4-30; Thompson 1-0-3; Ellison 6-4-16; Curry 5-0-10; Biba 1-0-2. Totals: 24-8-64.
Craig (73)—McCann 11-0-25; Bertagnoli 2-0-5; Ngobi 4-8-17; Glissendorf 3-1-7; Leverson 2-0-6; Huml 2-2-8; Ronde 1-1-3; Blomgren 1-0-2. Totals: 26-12-73.
Janesville Parker 26 38—64
Janesville Craig 42 31—73
Three-point goals—Parker 8 (Galvan 6, Dahlke, Thompson), 9 (McCann 3, Leverson 2, Huml 2, Ngobi, Bertagnoli). Free throws missed—Parker 7, Craig 7. Total fouls—Parker 18, Craig 13. Fouled out—Galvan.