Big 8 Week in Review
By: Tyler Zavadsky Twitter: @TylerZonESPN
Recap of this weekends games in the Big 8 Conference and a look ahead into next weeks action.
Thursday night featured a handful of inter conference games that certainly did not disappoint, while Saturday was headlined by a pair of border battle games with the state of Iowa and a few conference games as well.
In Thursday nights action...
Verona earned the teams third conference win of the season after defeating the Beloit Memorial Purple Knights. Andre Neal (Jr. G/F) led all scorers in the game with 17 points and 7 rebounds for the Knights but the performance came in a losing effort. Beloit now falls to 3-7 in conference play after the 56-41 loss to the Wildcats. Both teams currently sit near the bottom of the conference standings. Verona is 3-6 in Big 8 play and Beloit Memorial is just behind them with the teams 3-7 mark.
Madison La Follette rolled over the hapless Vikings from Janesville Parker to pick up the Lancers fifth conference win on the season. La Follette now has a .500 winning percentage in conference play. With the loss by the Vikings, Parker falls to 0-9 against all other Big 8 teams. Trevon Ampe (Sr. F/C) was the high scorer with 14 points on the night in the blowout 72-57 win for the Lancers.
Madison Memorial narrowly defeated the Middleton Cardinals to remain undefeated on the season this year against Big 8 opponents. Derrek Rongstad (Jr. G/F) led all scorers with 18 points for the Cardinals, but the real hero for this game is very familiar to the late game spot light. Shareef Smith (Soph. PG) once again played the role of savior with a buzzer beating three pointer from 25 feet out to give the Spartans the 62-60 victory over the Cardinals. Jester Weah (Sr. F) led the Spartans in scoring with 15 points, while Julian Walters (Sr. G) added 13 more along with the game winning assist once again to Smith on the buzzer beating three. You may recall this duo striking once before in a game against Sun Prairie on Dec. 13. In that contest, Smith hit a game winning three pointer with just over 10 seconds remaining on the clock to give the Memorial the 75-74 victory over Sun Prairie. With this latest Spartan victory, The Cardinals have not beaten Madison Memorial in the last 19 games played between these two teams, a streak dating all the way back to the Bush administration in 2005.
In the Big 8 Game of the Week, Janesville Craig narrowly edged out Madison East 82-78. Jerry Ngobi (Jr. G) erupted for 36 points and seven rebounds while also finishing with four assists to lead the Cougars to victory. Troy Malmanger also had a tremendous night for the Cougars; nearly finishing with a triple double for himself as he finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists on the night. Janesville Craig moves up two spots in the standings with the four point victory over the third place Purgolders.
And finally Sun Prairie earned the teams eighth conference win on the season with their 64-59 victory over Madison West on Thursday night. No surprise here, Nick Fuller (Sr. G/F), led all scorers with 40 points. Fuller’s night resulted in him scoring 62% of the Cardinals points in the performance. The DI recruit has been filling up the stat sheet all season long, scoring over 20 points in every single one of the Cardinals 11 games this season while also scoring over 30 points twice (also scored 29 points in two games) and Thursday’s effort was his first 40 point game of the year.
The first of two Wisconsin-Iowa Border Battle games took place when Verona squared off against Dubuque Senior. Senior got the better of Verona in a 57-45 affair. Verona’s Mitch Flora (Jr. F) led all scores in the game with 18 points.
In the second Border Battle game, the State of Wisconsin suffered another loss to Iowa as the Sun Prairie Cardinals fell to Iowa City West 59-55. Nick Fuller finished the night with 24 points in a losing effort but extended his streak of 12 consecutive games scoring over 20 points since the start of the season.
Middleton defeated Beloit Memorial 63-52 in Saturdays first Big 8 battle. Andre Neal led all scorers with 22 points but once again, in a losing effort.
Janesville Craig continued to remain hot as the Cougars took down the Madison West Regents 72-63. Malik Clements (Jr. G) for the Regents had a game high 19 points but the effort was not enough against a surging Craig team. The Cougars are 4-1 in the teams last five games thanks in large part to Jerry Ngobi who has been leading the team in scoring after a bit of a slow start to the season. Ngobi has scored over 20 points in four of the last five games including the 36 point outburst against Madison East on Thursday night.
Madison East defeated crosstown rival Madison La Follette 54-45 to remain in third place in the Big 8 conference. La Follette fell to 5-6 on the year.
And finally Janesville Parker’s woes continued on Saturday with a 26 point loss to the Madison Memorial Spartans, 73-47. Memorial remains undefeated in Big 8 play with a perfect 11-0 conference record while Parker remains defeated in Big 8 play with a 0-10 mark on the season.
Big games set for this week:
Janesville Craig at Monroe on Tuesday, Jan. 15
Madison Memorial at Madison East on Friday, Jan 18
Madison La Follette at Madison West on Friday, Jan 18
By: Tyler Zavadsky Twitter: @TylerZonESPN
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