Middleton girls suffer tough loss

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Hannah Flottmeyer had 21 points in a loss to Sun Prairie on Jan. 5./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Hannah Flottmeyer issued the challenge.

Now, we’ll see what Middleton’s girls basketball team does with it.

Flottmeyer, the Cardinals’ senior center, was brilliant last Saturday with 21 points against visiting Sun Prairie. But turnovers and countless missed opportunities doomed Middleton, and Sun Prairie escaped with a 48-43 win in a Big Eight Conference showdown.

Afterwards, Flottmeyer realized Middleton had hit a critical point in its season. Now, where the Cardinals go from here is entirely up to them.

“This loss stinks and I kind of think right now we’re at a crossroads,” Flottmeyer said. “Are we going to take this and learn from it and improve from it and see what we need to get better at and excel in that way? Or are we just going to keep doing this and have a mediocre season?

“Truthfully as a senior, I’m not trying to go out with a mediocre season. So we need to pick it up at practice, challenge each other and finish strong.”

Sun Prairie improved to 8-3 overall, 7-1 in the league and remained in a first place tie in the Big Eight with Madison Memorial (7-1, 10-2). Middleton slipped to third in the conference at 8-5, 7-2.

“It’s frustrating,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “It was turnovers and missed layups again. Basically, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. We’ve got to be able to make our close shots and got to be able to take care of the ball.”

Those two areas have been trouble all season, and they doomed Middleton again against Sun Prairie.

Middleton finished with 24 turnovers and shot just 35.8% from the floor (19-of-53). Making things even more frustrating was Middleton missed as least 12 shots — many uncontested — inside of 3-feet.

“It’s really hard when we’re turning it over and missing our bunnies,” Flottmeyer said. “There have been games here where we’ve had low turnovers and we’ve had some great wins. But we haven’t been consistent enough.

“We had it and it was there for us and it was kind of up to us. So that’s a really hard loss.”

It sure was.

Middleton had 15 first half turnovers and just 19 shots and trailed, 24-17 at the break. Flottmeyer had 13 points and Middleton held a 17-9 rebounding advantage or its deficit would have been much worse.

“Hannah’s played really well the last few games,” Kind said. “She kept us in it.”

Sun Prairie, which trailed, 14-10 with 7:30 left in the first half, closed the half on a 14-3 run. Sun Prairie then scored the first four points of the second half and built 28-17 lead with 14 minutes left in the game.

In that span of 11:30, Middleton shot just 1-of-12 from the floor and had 10 turnovers.

“Turnovers are killing our game and stopping us from getting into the flow that we need to,” Flottmeyer said. “And that’s really detrimental to our team. It’s kind of hard to win games that way.”

Yet Middleton almost found a way.

Senior point guard Charlotte Dunn and junior reserve Evie Coleman hit consecutive three-pointers to pull Middleton within 28-24 with 12:21 left. Sun Prairie pushed its lead back to eight and still held a 40-33 advantage with 5:03 left when Middleton mounted one final surge.

First, Flottmeyer had a rebound basket. Then after a pair of Middleton misses, Flottmeyer had another offensive rebound and scored to pull Middleton within 40-37 with 3:20 left.

Junior forward Sitori Tanin pulled Middleton within 40-39 with 2:25 left. And after a Sun Prairie basket, Flottmeyer scored again as Middleton closed within 42-41.

But that was as close as Middleton would get.

After Flottmeyer’s basket, Sun Prairie’s Ashley Rae released and converted a lay-up to make it 44-41 with 1:30 left. That sparked a 6-0 run that iced things for the visitors.

“We were struggling and struggling and struggling and we got it within one and then we had a couple of bad mental mistakes,” Kind said. “It’s really frustrating.”

Now, the question becomes can Middleton get things turned around in time to make a run at the conference title, as well as a postseason push.

“I’m hoping so,” Flottmeyer said. “But it has to start right away. Right now, we’re just having too many brain farts, you know. That shouldn’t happen. Because if we can get those things fixed, we have the potential to do some great things.”

• Middleton 59, Janesville Craig 53 — Junior forward Sitori Tanin had 18 points and senior center Hannah Flottmeyer added 10 as the Cardinals rallied past the Cougars.

Middleton trailed, 24-19, at halftime before turning things around in the second half.

• On deck: Middleton was at Madison La Follette Tuesday, then is off until Jan. 19 when it hosts Madison West at 7:15 p.m.



Sun Prairie......................24 24 — 48

Middleton.......................17 26 — 43

SUN PRAIRIE — Hilber 5 4-5 14, Baker 4 0-0 9, Radlund 1 1-2 3, Rae 2 0-0 4, Lutes 4 1-3 12, Seymore 2 2-5 6. Totals 18 8-15 48.

MIDDLETON — Coleman 3 0-0 8, Tanin 3 1-4 7, Bursac 1 0-0 2, Dunn 2 0-0 5, Flottmeyer 9 3-5 21, Schwartz 0. Totals 18 4-9 43.

3-point goals — SP 4 (Baker 1, Lutes 3), MID 2 (Coleman 2). Total fouls — SP 9, MID 15.



Janesville Craig 24 29 — 53

Middleton 19 40 — 59

JANESVILLE CRAIG — Dunlavy 3 2-2 8, Elgas 4 2-3 11, Parkhurst 6 2-2 14, Gregg 2 0-0 5, Pierson 3 3-4 12, Fieiras 1 1-2 3. Totals 19 10-13 53.

MIDDLETON — Coleman 2 2-2 8, Lemirande 1 0-1 3, Tanin 8 2-6 18, Bursac 2 0-2 4, Dunn 2 7-8 12, Flottmeyer 5 0-0 10, Roquet 0 4-6 4. Totals 20 15-25 59.

3-point goals — JC 4 (Elgas 1, Pierson 3), MID 4 (Coleman 2, Lemirande 1, Dunn 1). Total fouls — MID 14, JC 18.



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