Sports

Thu
21
Feb
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MHS girls top Lancers, win Big 8 title

Karina Bursac is one of the most unselfish players on Middleton’s girls basketball team.

When it comes to championships, though, Bursac had no interest in going halves.

“I don’t want to share,” Bursac said of the Big Eight Conference title.

She doesn’t have to.

Middleton entered its game with visiting Madison La Follette last Saturday with a one-game lead over Sun Prairie.

The Cardinals made things tough on themselves, falling behind the Lancers, 18-4, in the first 10 minutes. But Middleton rallied back, posted a 58-50 win and captured sole possession of the Big Eight title.

Middleton finished the regular season 16-2 in the league, 17-5 overall and has won nine straight games overall. Sun Prairie (14-3, 16-5) finished one game back of Middleton.

Middleton won the league for the fourth time in the past six years.

Thu
21
Feb
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MHS girls unleash 'Cobra', down Sun Prairie

SUN PRAIRIE — “Cobra! Cobra!” Middleton girls basketball coach Jeff Kind bellowed.

This is the Cardinals’ terminology for their 1-3-1 zone defense.

And just like the venomous snake itself, that defense can choke the life out of foes. Just ask Sun Prairie.

In a Big Eight Conference showdown last Thursday, host Sun Prairie led Middleton, 28-15, late in the first half. After Middleton switched to ‘Cobra’, it immediately embarked on a 26-4 run.

That switch — and the effectiveness of Middleton’s 1-3-1 zone — helped it notch a 53-45 win that clinched at least a share of the Big Eight Conference title. When Middleton defeated Madison La Follette two nights later, it captured the league title for the fourth time in six years.

Middleton finished the regular season 16-2 in the league and 17-5 overall. Sun Prairie ended the regular season 15-3, 17-5.

Thu
21
Feb
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Middleton swims to second at state

Like two heavyweights, Middleton and Madison West took each other’s best shots. Back and forth they went until the Regents finally pulled away late at last Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 state meet held at the UW Natatorium.

But, while West went on to win the decision, 314-257, the Cardinals certainly had their moments on their way to a second straight runner-up state finish.

One of those came from Middleton’s foursome of senior Archer Parkin, junior Nate Lamers, senior Andrew Martin and junior Forrest Peterson, who won the 200-yard freestyle relay in a state record time of one minute, 23.12 seconds.

“That was a pretty incredible race,” Martin said. “I was so excited, everyone was just swimming lights out. You could tell we wanted it so bad.

Thu
21
Feb
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Meicher, Hoffman headed to state

Kevin Meicher and Joseph Hoffman have wrestled together since the third grade.

They are practice partners at Middleton High School. And they avid supporters of each other.

Now, the two senior standouts will end their high school careers at the state tournament together.

Meicher won the WIAA Division 1 Verona Sectional championship at 152 pounds last Saturday, while Hoffman finished second at sectionals at 145 pounds. Both wrestlers earned places at the state tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the UW Kohl Center.

“I’m super proud of (Hoffman),” Meicher said afterwards. “We’ve been working hard since third grade together. Seeing him make it his senior year is really cool. We both push each other. It’s great seeing him make it since we’ve been (practice) partners since third grade.”

Thu
21
Feb
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Boys basketball team earns No. 6 seed

Middleton’s boys basketball team earned the No. 6 seed in its 18-team postseason sectional.

The Cardinals received a first round bye, then open the playoffs in a regional semifinal against 11th-seeded Janesville Craig on March 1 at 7 p.m. Middleton, which is 13-8, split with the Cougars (10-10) during the regular season.

If the Cardinals win there, they would likely travel to third-seeded Madison La Follette on March 2 at 7 p.m. for a regional final.

The sectional semifinals are March 7 and the sectional finals are March 9.

“I was surprised how solid we were at No. 6, given we had lost to Craig by two (points) and to Sun Prairie over the last three games,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “Almost every vote had us there and there was no challenge up from No. 7 Waunakee.”

Thu
21
Feb
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Boys basketball team splits a pair

Jack Boyle insists he wasn’t nervous.

He might have been the only one at Middleton High School who wasn’t panicky.

Boyle, a senior guard, stepped to the free throw line with 2.0 seconds left last Wednesday with the Cardinals and visiting Janesville Parker deadlocked at 55. Boyle then calmly drained both free throws to give Middleton a too-close-for-comfort 57-55 win.

“I was pretty confident,” said Boyle, a 76.1% free throw shooter. “Once they fouled me, I was pretty relaxed and was able to knock them down.”

Middleton also dropped a 56-48 decision at Sun Prairie last Friday and is now 13-8 overall and 10-7 in the Big Eight Conference. The Cardinals, who are in fifth place in the league, host second place Madison La Follette (11-4, 14-5) Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

Boyle led Middleton with 14 points in its win over Parker. Senior guard Chandon Thomas added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Thu
21
Feb
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Baggot wins Big 8 all-around title

Middleton’s girls gymnastics team finished sixth at the Big Eight Conference meet last Saturday.

Sun Prairie won the meet with 135.35 points, while Madison Memorial (134.65) and Janesville Craig (132.3) rounded out the top three. Middleton was sixth at 130.825.

“I was actually pleased with the sixth place finish,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “We have a strong conference this year, and a young team. The girls have shown a lot of growth in their routines this year, which can be contributed to their hard work.

“Our bars scores were low, and that's definitely an area where we know we need work on. However, there is the possibility to add up to two points to our team score just on bars.”

Cardinals senior Jordan Baggot tied for the all-around championship with a score of 34.45. Baggot won the floor exercise with a 9.30, was fourth on the balance beam (8.90) and fourth on the vault (8.70).

Fri
15
Feb
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Swimmers set to chase a state title

Two months ago, Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team simply hoped to hang around with top-ranked Madison West.

Today, there’s a much different mindset.

“Our mentality has shifted from trying to keep up with them to trying to beat them,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said.

The second-ranked Cardinals came as close as possible to knocking off the Regents at the WIAA Division 1 Middleton Sectional last Saturday. Now, the Cardinals have one last chance to topple the Regents at Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 state meet, which will be held at the UW Natatorium beginning at 3 p.m.

Madison West edged Middleton at sectionals, 384.0-383.5. Verona-Mount Horeb was third (301), while Sun Prairie (273.5) and Madison Memorial (252) rounded out the top five at the 13-team sectional.

All season long, Middleton has narrowed the gap on mighty Regents. Perhaps the state meet will be when the Cardinals finally scale the mountain that is Madison West.

Fri
15
Feb
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Flottmeyer plays hero for Middleton

For many athletes, the final seconds of dramatic games are one giant blur.

For Hannah Flotttmeyer, it was the exact opposite.

Middleton’s girls basketball team trailed Janesville Craig by two points in the closing seconds last Friday when Flottmeyer, their terrific senior center, grabbed an offensive rebound. Flottmeyer scored with 1.4 seconds remaining, was fouled, then hit the ensuing free throw to give the Cardinals a dramatic 68-67 come-from-behind win.

“Those final seconds of the game felt like slow-motion,” Flottmeyer said. “I wanted it, I wasn't going to jeopardize the conference title. Making the game winning shot was exhilarating and forever memorable, but I owe it to my team.”

Middleton, which trailed by as many as 18 points in the second half, took over sole possession of first place in the Big Eight Conference for the time being.

Fri
15
Feb
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MHS girls earn No. 2 seed

Jeff Kind offered up a gentleman’s agreement to John Olson.

And while the offer was rebuffed, it was worth a shot.

Kind, Middleton’s girls basketball coach, told Olson — the head coach at Sun Prairie — that whoever wins the Battle of the Cardinals Thursday night should be the No. 1 seed in the WIAA Division 1 Janesville Craig Sectional.

Olson, believing he had the upper hand, said thanks but no thanks. Turns out that was the right move.

At the postseason seeding meeting held last Saturday, Sun Prairie received the No. 1 seed in the sectional, while Middleton settled for No. 2. Middleton, which has won eight straight games, is 15-5 overall and leads the Big Eight Conference at 14-2, while Sun Prairie is 15-4, 13-2.

The difference, though, is Sun Prairie won at Middleton on Jan. 5. The teams meet again in Sun Prairie Thursday at 7 p.m.

“They were No. 1 on all the ballots,” Kind said of Sun Prairie. “The head to head is huge.”

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