Cardinals notch big win over Spartans

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Dan Larson/For the Times-Tribune
Kaden Fosdick and Middleton’s boys basketball team improved to 14-0 last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Will Garlock wasn’t quiet in the first half last Thursday night against Madison Memorial. But the big man on the Middleton boys basketball team wasn’t loud, either, mustering five points on a free throw and a pair of field goals.

He left a much bigger imprint on the game in the second half.

The 6-foot-10 sophomore scored on the very first possession after halftime to stretch the Cardinals’ lead to seven points, and he would add a dozen more points over the final 17 minutes, 50 seconds to finish with 19 on the night and leading Middleton to a 60-51, Big Eight Conference victory over the rival Spartans.

“Coming out of the break they drew up a little ‘shake’ action for me and I got that lay-up, and then from there it built momentum for the whole team and for me to get stops and score on the other end,” Garlock said of the play that gave MHS a 32-25 lead.

“We call it ‘shake,’ where you come off a screen and you shake the ball back to where you came from and then throw it into the post,” added Cardinals head coach Kevin Bavery. “It’s a simple action that our guys don’t recognize enough and we were able to throw it right into Garlock.”

Memorial (7-7, 7-4 Big Eight) did answer moments later when team-leading scorer Sam Mickelson (14.6 points per game) converted in the paint to make it 32-27, and the Spartans stayed within arm’s reach for the first 12-plus minutes of the half.

But Middleton, ranked second in Division 1 in the coaches poll, delivered the dagger.

Garlock stuffed Mickelson with just under 6 minutes to play and then promptly got the ball in the post on the other end for a lay-up that made it 52-44. Gavyn Hurley, a 6-foot-6 senior guard, then got a breakaway one-handed slam off of a steal to extend the advantage to 54-44 with 5:27 left.

Middleton sealed the deal on the defensive end, holding the Spartans scoreless for 4 1/2 minutes to build a 57-44 lead.

Braylen Blue’s 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:45 to go got the Spartans within 57-49, but again Middleton’s defense came through, putting the clamps on down the stretch to preserve the victory.

“Watching film, we kind of saw that they struggled against pressure some of the time,” said Hurley, who had 22 points to improve on his team-leading scoring average of 19.7 per game. “And they make a lot of passes into the post, so we knew that ball pressure was going to take that away. They can’t really pass it over 6-5, 6-6 guys. Pressure was big for us.”

As much as pressure mattered, so, too, did confusing the Spartans. 

“We switched up our defense from man to 2-3 zone to 1-3-1,” Bavery said. “They like to move the ball in the half-court so when we switch it up it makes it difficult for them to score. It really helped us out down the stretch.”

The Cardinals’ size and length was also a big factor.

Hurley and Garlock both flirted with double-doubles, finishing with nine rebounds apiece, and Kaden Fosdick had seven boards, helping Middleton to a 37-17 advantage on the glass.

Hurley also had three assists and three steals and was a perfect 8-of-8 at the free throw line.

And of the 41 combined points scored by Garlock and Hurley, 28 of them came in the paint — not all that surprising considering Garlock’s size, but the way Hurley attacks the basket only added to that stat.

“Gavyn does a great job of penetration and getting to the rim — he gets to the rim better than any guard I’ve ever had,” Bavery said. “That’s where a lot of his points come from. He just has the ability no matter how much they pack it and how they guard him, he gets to the rim.”

That was on full display late in the first half.

With the game tied at 18, Garlock rolled to the hoop for a lay-up to make it 20-18 with 4:37 left before the break but then Hurley drove through traffic for a lay-up of his own to make it 22-18 with 4:04 remaining.

Hurley drove to the basket for another lay-up with 1:10 to go, capping a 12-4 run for the Cardinals that made it 30-22, effectively creating the cushion they would need to stay in control of the game until they iced it in clutch time.

Hurley did his usual part, but on this night it was Garlock who was the star.

“He’s something else,” Hurley said of the blossoming skyscraper, who made all seven of his field goal attempts in the contest. “He needs to use his body a little more, but he’s really good.”

Bavery agreed.

“Where we’re at in the season — the level of competition and the magnitude of the game — it was his best game,” Bavery said. “And against a real formidable match-up, too. Mickelson’s not quite 100 percent, but he’s still a big, strong, physical player and Will went right at him.

“He’s really got a complete game, but he’s still 15 years old. He doesn’t turn 16 for a couple weeks. You don’t see many big kids at that age that have the overall athleticism and feet that he has. He’s brought a toughness this year that he didn’t quite have last year as a freshman. He’s matured a lot and he’s got as big a ceiling as anyone around, there’s no question.”

As satisfying as it was to sweep the regular season series with Memorial — Middleton won 71-64 in both teams’ season-opener on Dec. 1 — the Cardinals aren’t resting on their laurels.

“We’re not at our best yet in my opinion,” Hurley said. “I think we can still play two times better than we are -- in practice, we show that we can be so much better. We’ve just got to work on a couple things.”

Garlock shared the same sentiment.

“Obviously going 2-0 against Memorial feels great,” he said. “But we’re still climbing the hill. We’ve got a lot of the season left to go. We’ve just got to keep climbing the hill until we get to the top.”




Memorial ............... 25 26 — 51

Middleton .............. 30 30 — 60

MEMORIAL — (fgm ftm-fta pts) Braylen Blue 3 2-2 11, Ian Wischhoff 0 1-2 1, Caleb Watkins 4 1-2 9, Bradyn Taylor 0 3-4 3, Abe Dykstra 1 0-0 3, Anthony Miller 3 2-2 10, Jackson Green 3 0-0 8, Sam Mickelson 3 0-0 6. Totals: 17 9-12 51.

MIDDLETON — Gavyn Hurley 7 8-8 22, Joe Schwartz 2 0-1 5, Isaiah Oliver 0 2-2 2, Kaden Fosdick 1 1-2 3, Owen Cooney 2 0-0 4, Will Garlock 7 5-8 19, Will Comerford 2 0-0 5. Totals: 21 16-21 60. 

3-pointers: Memorial 8 (Blue 3, Dykstra 1, Miller 2, Green 2), Middleton 2 (Schwartz 1, Comerford 1). Total fouls: Memorial 10, Middleton 17. Fouled out: None.


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