March 2018

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Waunakee ends Middleton's year

WAUNAKEE — Everything seemed to line up perfectly for Middleton’s boys basketball team last Saturday.

There were just 3 ½ minutes left in the Cardinals’ WIAA Division 1 regional final at Waunakee. And seventh-seeded Middleton — in the midst of its finest performance of the season — held a 58-54 lead and appeared poised to stun the second-seeded Warriors and the rest of the basketball world.

Then it all came crashing down.

As they say, reality bites.

Waunakee went on a game-changing 8-0 run and never trailed again. The Warriors — who made a remarkable 22-of-22 free throws in the contest — knocked down eight in the final 54.7 seconds and rallied for a thrilling 68-63 win.

“We had them right where we wanted,” said Middleton standout senior forward Brogan Brunker. “You win some and you lose some. But we fought, left it all out there. Nobody was expecting us to come in and beat them except probably us.”

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At last, baseball combines two seasons

For more than 50 years now, the WIAA would crown state baseball champions every spring.

Roughly six weeks later, the WIAA would hold a second state tournament and identify a summer champion.

This odd practice began in 1965, when the WIAA felt it was necessary to have both spring and summer baseball seasons. For the last several years, Wisconsin was the only state in the union to have some of its teams play in the spring and the rest play in the summer.

Thankfully, this antiquated, outdated set-up will soon come to an end.

The WIAA Board of Control unanimously voted to end summer baseball last week. Its final season and last state tournament will be this summer, then a move to only spring ball begins in 2019.

“It’s time,” said Middleton coach Tom Schmitt said, who has led the Cardinals to seven state tournaments and the 2003 spring state title in 15 seasons. “It’s definitely overdue.

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Sabol wins state title

Karina Sabol has been one of the state’s newest and brightest gymnastics stars this winter.

Sabol, a lifetime club gymnast, joined the program at Middleton High School for the first time. And Sabol, a junior, had a year to remember.

Last Saturday, Sabol capped her first season with the Cardinals in style.

At the WIAA Division 1 individual state meet held at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln Fieldhouse, Sabol tied for the state championship on the vault with a score of 9.60. Sabol also finished third on the floor (9.383) and 12th on the balance beam (9.033).

This marked the second consecutive year that Middleton had an individual state champion. Madeline Pflasterer-Jennerjohn won the uneven bars last season.

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'No regrets' as Middleton tops Oconomowoc

Kevin Bavery had a simple message for his Middleton boys basketball team Friday night.

“I told them at this time of the year, when it’s over it’s over,” Bavery said. “Make sure there are no regrets.”

They didn’t.

Middleton used a 15-0 run late in the first half and cruised to a 72-41 win over visiting Oconomowoc in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal. The seventh-seeded Cardinals improved to 13-10 and advanced to a regional final at second-seeded Waunakee Saturday at 7 p.m., while the Raccoons ended their year 11-12.

Senior forward Alan Roden led a balanced Middleton attack with 14 points on 7-of-8 shooting and added seven rebounds, two steals and three assists. Senior forward Brogan Brunker added 12 points, senior guard Nick Michaels made three three-pointers and had 11 points and senior post Brian Vergenz didn’t miss a field goal or a free throw and had eight points.

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