Sports

Fri
10
Jan
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Gymnasts shine at Mount Horeb Invite

It’s probable that the best is yet to come for Middleton’s girls gymnastics team.

For now, the present isn't too bad whatsoever.

The Cardinals are currently without two injured varsity performers — and hope to get them back later this month.

In the meantime, Middleton is hanging tough.

The Cardinals went to the Mount Horeb Invite last Saturday and finished second in the division for larger schools.

Whitefish Bay won the team title with 138.375 points, while Middleton 131.1, Sun Prairie 129.775, Verona/Madison Edgewood 128.8 and  Waunakee/DeForest 126.425 rounded out the top five at the seven-team invite.

“Two of our varsity gymnasts (Lucy Hellenbrand and Jayden Mathias) are out with injuries hoping to return in January,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “So that will definitely make a big difference in our team score.

Thu
02
Jan
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MHS girls roll at holiday tournament

With a slim lead and time ticking down, Evie Coleman knew what she had to do.

Coleman sank two free throws with 6.2 seconds to play to help Middleton hold off Hartland Arrowhead for a 47-43 victory at the Middleton Cardinal Holiday Shootout last Saturday.

Coleman, a senior guard, said she had added motivation to help her team at the charity stripe.

“Free throws have been really huge for me since I only went 1-for-4 at the state championship game last year,” Coleman said. “That’s something I’ve been really working since last summer.

“I have a new routine, and I always take a big breath before I shoot the ball to calm my nerves. I don’t really hear anything. I don’t think about anything, just picture the ball going through the net.”

Senior forward Sitori Tanin finished with a game-high 18 points, and senior forward Karina Bursac finished with 10 points to help the Cardinals earn a sweep of the two-day tourney.

Thu
02
Jan
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Middleton boys split a pair

The holiday break came at a perfect time for Middleton’s boys basketball team.

Cardinals’ 6-foot-6 senior forward Logan Schultz certainly agreed.

Coming on the heels of a 41-point loss at Madison Memorial on Dec. 20, Middleton was looking to rebound when it hosted the Cardinal Holiday Showcase last Friday and Saturday.

Schultz set a school-record with seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high and career-best 25 points to power Middleton to a 71-61 victory over Badger North Conference defending champion Mount Horeb last Friday afternoon.

“That was pretty fun launching them,” said Schultz, who was 7-of-8 from behind the arc and 8-of-10 overall. “I was just letting them go and feeling good.

“We really needed that win. We had a few good practices and just came together as a team. It was a good game and felt pretty good.”

Thu
02
Jan
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Middleton’s year in sports

Thrilling victories. Magnificent individual performances. Memories to last a lifetime.

These are the norm inside the remarkably successful sports programs at Middleton High School.

And 2019 was certainly no different.

MHS provided area sports fans with a bevy of highlights this past year. Here’s one person’s view of the top-10.

Stories 6-10 ran last week, while the top five stories are listed here.

 

1. Boys cross country team captures gold

Brian Finnel’s message was simple. Executing it was far more challenging.

Finnel, Middleton’s boys cross country coach, told his team before the WIAA Division 1 state meet on Nov. 2 that everyone had to try performing like they were the Cardinals’ No. 1 runner. Finnel stressed that if they all ran to that level, Middleton could surprise and win a state championship.

Amazingly, that’s exactly what happened.

Fri
27
Dec
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Middleton boys whipped by Memorial

Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery tried to find the word that best described his team’s most recent game. 

Humbled came to mind. So did embarrassed.

Both were fitting after Bavery watched his Cardinals get routed by Madison Memorial, 88-47, in a lopsided Big Eight Conference game last Friday. 

Middleton fell to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big Eight Conference. The Spartans improved to 2-3 overall, 1-3 in Big Eight.

“It’s hard to say you’re at a crossroads after three games into the season, but that’s where we are,” Bavery said. “Whenever we get beat, we should get beat walking with our heads up, saying ‘you know, that team was just better.’ Memorial was definitely better than we were tonight. Are they 40 points better? We let them be 40 points better.”

Fri
20
Dec
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MHS girls fall to Memorial

MADISON — The pressure came in waves. And like a migraine headache, it never subsided.

Full court traps. Intense ball pressure. And a deep and athletic roster that kept throwing new bodies into the fray.

Madison Memorial’s girls basketball team — ranked No. 2 in the latest wissports.net poll — put the clamps on No. 4 Middleton last Friday. The Spartans forced 27 Middleton turnovers, held the visiting Cardinals to 26.3% shooting and rolled to a 67-51 win in an early-season Big Eight Conference showdown.

Middleton, the defending WIAA Division 1 state runners-up, fell to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the league. The Spartans, who lost to the Cardinals in the sectional finals last year, improved to 4-0, 4-0.

“They play really hard and fast and try getting you to play their pace,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “We just need to be stronger with the ball. That was a huge problem for us.”

Cardinals senior point guard Josie Lemirande agreed.

Fri
20
Dec
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MHS boys knock off Madison West

Win No. 1 is officially in the books.

But it wasn’t easy.

Middleton boys' basketball team entered last Saturday’s game against Madison West seeking their first victory of the year after losing a nailbiter to Verona two nights earlier.

West used a 9-0 run in the second half to get within one possession, but the Cardinals were able to pull away late and beat the Regents, 67-53, in a Big Eight conference game at Middleton.

The Cardinals improved to 1-1, 1-1 in the Big Eight. West fell to 0-4, 0-3 in the Big Eight.

“Thursday was a close one for us, but it feels really good to get that first win under our belt,” Middleton senior Cole Deptula said.

Middleton head coach Kevin Bavery knew that even though West entered the game winless, they couldn’t be overlooked.

Fri
20
Dec
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Three football Cardinals named all-state

Three Middleton football players were recently honored by the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association.

Middleton punter Jake Wuebben to the large school all-state team.

Running back Kallion Buckner and center Clay Craker were named honorable-mention all-state.

Wuebben averaged 43.4 yards per punt and banged eight of his 28 punts inside the 20-yard line.

“Many times this year and especially in big games Jake was able to flip the field,” Middleton coach Jason Pertzborn said. “What could have been situations where the opponent gets decent field position, like around midfield, he pushed it further back.

“Jake's hang time on his punts didn't really allow teams to return them. Jake worked hard in and out of season, and it really showed. 

Buckner had one of the finest seasons by a running back in Middleton history, rushing for 1,721 yards and 26 touchdowns. Buckner also had 13 receptions for 214 yards and three TDs.

Fri
13
Dec
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Swimmers set for a big season

These are heady times inside Middleton’s boys swimming and diving program.

The Cardinals are coming off back-to-back second place finishes at the WIAA Division 1 state meet. Middleton returns a terrific nucleus and welcomes a handful of star-studded newcomers this winter.

So as the Cardinals begin their new season, hopes remain high to stay among the state’s elite.

“My goals are to continue staying focused and driven,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “After you have had some success it is easy to get comfortable and take it for granted.

“We can't get over confident and lose the momentum we have built over the years. I think we have to continue to question our training methods and experiment with new ideas so that we can continue to be better than we were the year before.”

Fri
13
Dec
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MHS gymnasts poised for big year

They have been a model of consistency for a quarter century now. And don’t expect anything to change this winter.

Middleton’s girls gymnastics team has qualified for the WIAA Division 1 state meet 22 times since 1995. The Cardinals have been to state eight straight years and 12 of the last 13 seasons.

Middleton begins its new season Dec. 19 at Sun Prairie. And expectations are sky high for another banner year.

“This is the strongest team Middleton has seen since Aryn Skibba's days as a MHS gymnast,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said of Skibba, a 2014 MHS graduate. “I'm excited for this young group to grow as gymnasts.

“We've always had the goal of the girls having a healthy and happy season, and being a family, and that means success for us is more than a state visit. These girls all have a lot going on outside of the gym, so to give them a space where they can just be kids and have fun is something very special.”

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