Craft, Buffalo Grove put away Hampshire after slow start
Craft had just 5 points in the first half but heated up in the third quarter. The 6-foot-7 junior began to find more space and poured in 18 of his 25 points in the quarter as the Bison pulled away.
"It is one thing that we have been struggling with and not just me, is getting off to a good start," said Craft, who also scored 25 against Hersey Tuesday.
"We have to do a better job of that. And that is part my job, to get us going early. We started getting out in transition in the third quarter and that made the game a lot easier."
It was a sluggish first half for both teams.
Hampshire (0-5) grabbed an early 8-2 lead behind the play of Zakk Percival.
Craft brought the Bison back to a 12-8 lead early in the second quarter. Hampshire responded with 6 quick points to lead 14-12 with 5:25 left in the first half.
Buffalo Grove (2-3) then turned up the defensive pressure. With Craft on the bench, the Bison forced 6 turnovers down the stretch, holding the Whip-Purs scoreless the rest of the half.
Kyle Brosnahan, who would finish with 11 of his 14 points, had the Buffalo Grove offense operating well on the other end. The Bison would close out the half scoring 12 unanswered points for a 24-14 lead.
"It was just coming out with team energy and getting the guys going," Brosnahan said. "I think it is super important to finish a half strong. Then we can come in and talk to coach."
Craft had the Bison rumble away to begin the third quarter. Buffalo Grove went on an 11-2 run to open the quarter, with Craft scoring 9 of those points.
"I was happy with our defensive energy," Buffalo Grove coach Keith Peterson said. "It looked like we came off a tough loss (Tuesday) night. It took us a while to get going. Once we turned up pressure with our defense, we had some more runouts and that suited our pace."
Hampshire coach Mike Featherly said the Buffalo Grove pressure helped doom his team.
"Our inexperience again reared its head," Featherly said. "We had a nice start. But the pressure was turned up and we had trouble. If we make games more half-court, we are more dangerous. If we do the up and down, this is what happens.
Percival led Hampshire with 8 points while Tyler Melia and Bailey Woods each had 7.