In a back-and-forth Big Eight Conference thriller Saturday night, the host Madison Memorial boys basketball team took a 42-41 victory over Middleton to stay on pace with Sun Prairie atop the league race.

Cade Ellingson scored 25 points, making five 3-pointers, for the Spartans (11-2, 8-1 Big Eight), who battled the Cardinals (7-6, 6-4) to a 20-20 halftime tie.

Joel Ticknor scored 14 points, making four 3-pointers, for Middleton. Alan Roden added 12 points and Brogan Brunker had 10.

Middleton 20 21 — 41

Madison Memorial 20 22 — 42

MIDDLETON — Roden 5 2-2 12, Roquet 1 3-4 5, Ticknor 5 0-0 14, Bowman 0, Brunker 3 3-5 10, Close 0. Totals 14 8-15 41.

MADISON MEMORIAL — Grays 1 1-2 3, Ellingson 8 4-5 25, Caropreso 1 4-6 7, Schaefer 1 0-0 3, Caldwell 2 0-1 4. Totals 13 9-14 42.

3-point goals — MID 5 (Ticknor 4, Brunker 1), MM 7 (Ellingson 5, Caropreso 1, Schaefer 1). Total fouls — MM 19, MID 15.

Sun Prairie 84, Madison East 71

The host Cardinals (11-1, 9-1) got 24 points apiece from sophomore Jalen Johnson and senior Marlon Ruffin to knock out the Purgolders (6-6, 4-5).

Keshawn Justice led East with 24 points.

Madison East 25 46 — 71

Sun Prairie 31 53 — 84

MADISON EAST — Justice 8 3-4 24, Lewis 4 5-6 13, Mielke 3 0-0 6, Washington 5 3-4 13, Jones 3 2-4 8, Thompson 2 1-2 7. Totals 25 14-20 71.

SUN PRAIRIE — Ruffin 5 14-19 24, Strey 0 1-2 1, Jansen 4 1-2 9, Williams 0 1-2 1, White 3 0-0 7, Schaefer 1 8-10 10, A. Schaefer 1 0-0 3, Johnson 9 6-10 24, Hale 2 1-1 5. Totals 25 32-46 84.

3-point goals — ME 7 (Justice 5, Thompson 2), SP 2 (White 1, A. Schaefer 1). Total fouls — SP 15, ME 31. Fouled out — Lewis, Jones.

Madison La Follette 89, Janesville Craig 85 (OT)

Junior Donneil Gray poured in 27 points and junior Troy Reeves Jr. had 26, making five 3-pointers, to help the host Lancers (10-3, 7-3) beat the Cougars (5-6, 4-5).

La Follette held an 11-point lead in the second half, but Craig tied the game in the final minute. The Cougars missed a chance to win in regulation with 0.7 seconds left.

The Lancers outscored Craig, 13-9, in the overtime period.

Seniors Blake McCann scored 29 points, making four 3-pointers, and Luke Malmanger added 19 for the Cougars. La Follette sophomore Ben Probst scored 17, with five 3-pointers.

Janesville Craig 36 40 9 — 85

Madison La Follette 40 36 13 — 89

JANESVILLE CRAIG — Ngobi 1 4-4 7, Malmanger 8 2-3 19, McCann 10 5-6 29, Glissendorf 1 1-1 3, Huml 2 0-0 5, Bertagnoli 3 0-0 9, Leverson 1 0-0 2, Lynch 2 1-2 6, Ronde 2 1-2 5. Totals 30 14-18 85.

MADISON LA FOLLETTE — Probst 6 0-0 17, West 1 3-5 5, Gray 7 11-16 27, Reeves Jr. 10 1-3 26, Stewart 5 0-0 12, Washington 0 2-2 2. Totals 29 17-26 89.

3-point goals — JC 11 (Ngobi 1, Malmanger 1, McCann 4, Huml 1, Bertagnoli 3, Lynch 1), MLF 14 (Probst 5, Gray 2, Reeves Jr. 5, Stewart 2). Total fouls — MLF 16, JC 20. Fouled out — Glissendorf.

Verona 62, Janesville Parker 55

Tyler Slawek scored 21 points, making five 3-pointers, and Grant Kelliher added 14 points as the visiting Wildcats (6-5, 4-5) beat the Vikings (2-11, 1-8).

Chris Galvan had 26 points and Brody Dahlke added 15 points for Parker.

Verona 29 33 — 62

Janesville Parker 28 27 — 55

VERONA — Reilly 2 1-2 6, Kelliher 5 4-6 14, Clements 2 4-4 8, Kemper 0 2-3 2, Slawek 6 1-3 21, Van 4 3-3 11. Totals 19 15-21 62.

JANESVILLE PARKER — Galvan 11 3-4 26, Dahlke 5 0-0 15, Ellison 1 0-0 2, Lippens 1 0-0 3, Biba 2 1-2 5, Curry 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 4-6 55.

3-point goals — V 6 (Reilly 1, Slawek 5), JP 7 (Galvan 1, Dahlke 5, Lippens 1). Total fouls — V 8, JP 19.

Beloit Memorial 65, Madison West 53

Senior John Rodriguez scored 18 points and Terell Ringer added 17 as the host Purple Knights (4-8, 3-5) beat the Regents (1-12, 0-9).

Beloit outscored West by 11 points in the second half.

Senior Keishawn Shanklin had 15 points and sophomore Dayne Armwald had 11 for West.

Madison West 29 24 — 53

Beloit Memorial 30 35 — 65

MADISON WEST — Shanklin 5 2-4 15, Daniels 1 0-0 2, Armwald 5 1-3 11, Champion 2 0-1 4, Grosse 3 0-0 7, Wollaeger 2 1-2 5, Thompson 2 0-0 5, Thompson 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 4-10 53.

BELOIT MEMORIAL — Chandler 1 0-0 2, Rodriguez 8 2-5 18, Fair 4 0-0 9, Payne 2 0-0 5, Bach 1 0-0 2, Grosskopf 0 2-2 2, Cook 4 0-0 8, Ringer 8 0-0 17, Butler 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 4-7 65.

3-point goals — MW 5 (Shanklin 3, Grosse 1, Thompson 1), BM 3 (Fair 1, Payne 1, Ringer 1). Total fouls — BM 15, MW 14. Fouled out — Cook.

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Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.