Cardinals hold off Beloit Memorial

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Parker Van Buren and Middleton’s boys basketball team held off Beloit Memorial last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

In many ways, this was the best of both worlds.

Middleton’s boys basketball team edged host Beloit Memorial, 58-56, in a Big Eight Conference game last Saturday. The Cardinals improved to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the league.

After a frenetic finish, though, in which Middleton nearly let a 12-point lead slip away in the final minutes, Cardinals coach Kevin Bavery had several teachable moments to bring back with him to practice this week.

“The tape doesn’t lie,” Bavery said. “We left the gym feeling good about the win, yet a little empty trying to figure out why we couldn’t close the game out in solid fashion.

“Then we see missed free throw blockouts, quick shots when running time and getting to the free throw line are more important, panicking in traps, and so on. We’re still inexperienced with our veterans and have younger players in the mix too, and we’re only six games in the second week of January. So, we should have a lot of growth in those aspects of the game.”

The Cardinals played extremely well much of the night and prevailed in one of the league’s toughest venues.

Senior wing Henry Patterson had a strong all-around game for the Cardinals with a team-high 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Cole Deptula had 14 points, five rebounds and three assists, while senior center Parker Van Buren added 12 points.

“(Assistant) coach (Jerry) Raffel always says, ‘anytime you travel to Beloit and leave town with a win it’s a great trip,’ ” Bavery said. “That’s understandable as Barkin Arena is one of the neatest, and sometimes most intimidating, venues in the state.

“It’s such a great place to play with the old-school style balcony. They’re able to dim the lights to focus all the attention to the court, and their teams are always a tough out at every level.”

Middleton led, 25-17, at halftime and extended its advantage to double digits for much of the second half. Patterson, Deptula and Logan Schultz all drained three-pointers to give the Cardinals what appeared to be a comfortable second half lead.

“We definitely have the ability to throw it in from deep, but our time and score game has to get better,” Bavery said. “It’s just recognition and repetition of when it’s a good look, when we need ball reversal, and when it need inside touches. When we get a nice mix we can be pretty solid on the offense end.”

Middleton’s lead was 12 in the final minutes when the Purple Knights mounted a charge. And when Azeez Ganiyu, who scored a career-high 31 points, converted a put-back basket with two seconds left, the Cardinals’ lead was trimmed to 58-56.

That’s when craziness ensued.

A fight broke out in the stands and BMHS athletic director Joel Beard cleared the gym. According to the Beloit Daily News, the altercation began between middle school students located in the stands across from the Beloit Memorial bench.

Middleton went to its locker room and was drawing up a final inbound play. That’s when Bavery and his team were informed the game was called off and the Cardinals had won.

“Never seen anything like it,” Bavery said. “We weren’t sure what kind of altercation was going on, but nowadays there is no such thing as being too cautious, so it was a good call by the Beloit AD to end the game.”

Beard told the Beloit Daily News: “In the interest of player and fan safety, I made the call to clear the court and call the game at that point. I was across the floor and didn't see exactly what happened, but I wanted to make sure that we got the players off the floor and got the situation under control."

Beloit Memorial coach Dondre Bell was upset that the game was stopped prematurely.

“I wasn't happy at all the way the game ended," Bell said. “It's not over ‘til it's over. With the ball on our baseline, anything could have happened at that point. The boys played really hard. They deserved to finish.”

While the ending was crazy, Middleton left Beloit feeling pretty good about where it might be headed.

“We have some scorers starting to emerge, and those players are starting to do more of the little things that make a difference,” Bavery said. “And I’m really proud of several of our guys who come of the bench, whether in long stretches or short stints, and to coin a simple phrase, ‘do their job.’

“Hustle, keep the ball alive off the offensive boards, make the extra pass, get on the floor, etc. Those efforts are contagious and energizing. We have a long ways to go, but we have a chance to be a solid team if we keep trending up in all those areas.”

• On deck: Middleton hosted Janesville Parker Tuesday, then is at Janesville Craig Friday at 7:15 p.m.

The Cardinals then host Waunakee Saturday at 5:45 p.m. in a unique boys-girls doubleheader. Middleton’s girls follow with a game against Madison La Follette at 7:15 p.m.

“It’s our Youth Basketball Night, so it’s a pretty cool opportunity for players and coaches from our youth programs come to see both teams play,” Bavery said. “We should have free team posters and summer flyers available, and we hope to see the stands filled.”


Jan. 4

Middleton 58, Beloit Memorial 56

Middleton ………………… 25 33 — 58

Beloit Memorial ………… 17 39 — 56

MIDDLETON (fg ft-fta pts) — Bauer 3 2-4 9, Deptula 5 2-4 14, Patterson 5 4-7 16, Schultz 2 0-1 5, Van Buren 5 2-5 12, Fosdick 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 10-21 58.

BELOIT MEMORIAL — Hanna 3 0-4 6, Bell 5 0-0 10, Garrett 3 0-2 6, Chandler 1 0-0 2, Boyd 2 1-1 5, Ganiyu 9 9-13 31, Harris 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 10-20 56.

3-point goals: Mid 6 (Deptula 2, Patterson 2, Schultz 1, Bauer 1); BM 0. Total fouls: Mid 18; BM 23. Fouled out: Van Buren, Harris.




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