FLASHBACK: Looking back on Middleton's last win over Madison Memorial

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MTT News Desk's picture
Rob Reischel
Tone Boyle (left) was part of the last Middleton boys basketball team to defeat Madison Memorial./File photo

Editor's Note: This story originally ran in the Middleton Times-Tribune on Feb. 10, 2005. It chronicles Middleton's last win over Madison Memorial in boys basketball. The Cardinals and Spartans meet in a sectional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. in Watertown.


For weeks, people have looked at the Big Eight Conference race and the road to the state tournament as foregone conclusions.

To many, Madison Memorial was a virtual lock. And everyone else was playing for second.

Not so fast folks.

Last Thursday night, Middleton showed the Spartans are most certainly vulnerable. And in the process, the Cardinals showed they’re a legitimate contender to make a run at state themselves.

Middleton went to Memorial and played its finest game in years. The Cardinals shot the lights out, defended with authority and stunned the host Spartans, 74-61.

The loss was the Spartans’ first league setback since Feb. 22, 2003 and snapped Memorial’s 28-game Big Eight winning streak.

“We’ve been telling the kids all year that this team has the potential to be something special,” Middleton coach John Boyle said afterwards. “But I’m not sure they really believed that.

“Maybe it was a hangover from last year (when the Cardinals went 5-17). But we’ve shown it in spurts that we can be awfully good. I hope this helps turn on a switch where we believe.”

Middleton has far more believers now than it did all year.

The Cardinals, who won their third straight game, improved to 11-4 overall and 7-4 in the league. Middleton got fantastic balance and tremendous execution and finished the night shooting a whopping 58.8% from the field (30-of-51).

Junior guard Tone Boyle was spectacular, scoring 21 points and adding eight assists, five steals and five rebounds. Middleton also got 17 points from senior center Jack Simon, 14 points from senior forward Chad Sheline and 11 points from junior guard John Strnad.

Memorial got a game-high 27 points from senior guard and Marquette University recruit Wesley Matthews and 24 from senior forward Kori Vernon. But the Spartans (13-2, 11-1) shot just 32.1% from the floor (18-of-56).

“The kids played really great,” John Boyle said. “They played extremely hard and they were really consistent the whole game.”

Consistently outstanding, that is.

Middleton, which took Memorial to the wire before losing at home on Dec. 10, showed that game was no fluke. The Cardinals jumped on Memorial from the outset and stormed to a 22-13 after the first quarter.

“That gave us some confidence,” Boyle said of his team’s fast start. “And I think Memorial started talking to themselves a little bit.

“In my mind, we had kind of proved we can play with them the last time we met. And this just reinforced that.”

It sure did. And the rest of the night only strengthened that.

Middleton led, 34-26, at halftime, then opened the third quarter on a 13-2 run to grab a 47-28 advantage. The Cardinals’ lead was still 55-38 at the end of the period.

“We were celebrating like we won the NCAA Championship,” Boyle said. “I was worried that we were up too many. Because they’re really good and they weren’t going to go away.”

The Spartans certainly didn’t. Memorial began pressing full court and clawed back within six with 3:30 left.

But Tone Boyle was having his way with the Spartans’ pressure defense and setting up teammates for easy layups. In the fourth quarter, Middleton made 8-of-11 shots from the floor (73%) and didn’t have a shot outside of five feet.

That capped a night in which several Cardinals had one of their finest shooting games of the year.

Simon made 8-of-11 from the floor, while Boyle was 7-of-11. Will Hudson was 3-of-4, while Sheline hit 6-of-10 and Strnad made 4-of-7.

Matthews, on the other hand, went 8-of-22 largely because of the intense defense played by Zach Koerber.

“That’s as well as we’ve played,” Boyle said. “Hopefully, we can get even better. But this is the best we’ve played yet.”

Because the Cardinals were so good against such a formidable foe, they appear in great shape for a big postseason seed.

In Middleton’s half of the sectional, Memorial still figures to get the No. 1 seed. But after that, the Cardinals have as strong of a claim to the No. 2 seed as anyone.

That would set up a potential Middleton-Madison Memorial sectional semifinal on March 11 at Madison West High School. Boyle would love to see such a scenario unfold, but he admitted he wanted to savor this win for a few days before thinking about the postseason.

“Usually after a game is over, I can put it under my pillow and get a good night’s sleep,” Boyle said. “But not this one. I tossed and turned all night.

“This is the biggest win we’ve had in a while, probably back to the conference championship (in 2000-01). It’s been a while since we’ve had one this big. It’s pretty nice.”


Feb. 3, 2005

Middleton 74, Madison Memorial 61

Middleton …………..........…….… 22  12  21  19 — 74

Madison Memorial ………........… 13  13  12  23 — 61

MIDDLETON — Boyle 21, Strnad 11, Statz 4, Koerber 1, Sheline 14, Simon 17, Hudson 6. Totals 30 10-15 74.

MADISON MEMORIAL — Dahmen 6, Matthews 27, Ajami 2, Vernon 24, Boyd 2. Totals 18 23-27 61.

Three-point goals — Strnad 2, Boyle, Sheline; Dahmen, Matthews. Total fouls — Mi 21, MM 16.

JV — Middleton won.

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