Boys basketball team takes their lumps

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Jake Klubertanz and Middleton's boys basketball team suffered a pair of tough defeats last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

This was not the kind of week anyone envisioned.

And now, Middleton’s boys basketball team has a lot of work to do to get its season back on track.

The Cardinals fell to host Madison West, 79-78, in overtime last Tuesday. Madison Memorial then routed Middleton, 60-34, last Friday at MHS.

Middleton fell to 1-3 in the Big Eight Conference and is 2-3 overall.

“We’re five games in with mixed results,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “So we'll continue to work while looking at making some changes that fit our personnel to take advantage of many of the strengths that we have on both ends of the court that are starting to emerge in practices and games.”

Right now, though, finding those strengths — and taking advantage of them — has been a challenge.

Madison West was coming off a 4-20 season and many believe the Regents aren’t greatly improved. Middleton would likely disagree.

Cardinals senior guard Jack Boyle led the way with 20 points, while senior guard Chadron Thomas and senior forward Jake Klubertanz both added 17.

But it wasn’t enough.

West put four players in double figures and prevailed in overtime despite four players fouling out. The Regents also forced 20 Middleton turnovers, with several coming at critical times.

“On paper, this was a game early in our schedule that many Madison area fans would pencil in to our win column,” Bavery said. “But we all know that the game isn't played on paper.

“West is extremely quick and aggressive on the ball. We just couldn’t get big stops at any point in the game when we really needed them, and we struggled against pressure at critical times.

“I changed the press attack a couple of times late, and we tried to bring help with bigs screening, but we didn't quite click on that aspect. I needed not to just change the attack, but the emphasis as it might have helped eliminate some of the 1-on-1 pressure aspect.”

Middleton built a 39-33 halftime lead, but West (2-3, 1-2) fought back and sent the game to overtime.

It remained Spandex-tight in the extra session and the Regents continued losing players. But West persevered and handed Middleton a tough loss.

“Our best attack all night was going inside to Jake Klubertanz as they didn't have an answer for him down low, but we went away from that at key times,” Bavery said. “We're still struggling to find a true identity.

“We play hard enough, but we we're not reading well on offense, and we're reacting instead of dictating on defense. We will improve in all of those areas, but so will other teams. The difference for us will be taking what is emphasized in practice in to game night without having to think about it and just being able to relax and play.”

Madison Memorial never gave the Cardinals a chance to relax.

The Spartans (3-1, 3-1) continued their mastery over Middleton by rolling to an easy win last Friday.

Junior guard Cole Deptula led the Cardinals with eight points, while Klubertanz added seven.

Memorial built a 31-14 halftime lead and was never threatened in the second half.

“This one never quite felt like we were in it,” Bavery said. “There were some opportunities early, and defensively we were able to defend for solid stretches, but we were never able to get in sync on the offensive end.

“They took us out of everything we wanted to do by switching ball reversal and then eventually most of our screens and we never made them pay. We have some early reads vs. switches, plus a couple of concepts that we emphasize, but we played unsure and confused.

“They moved the ball well against us and played with the confidence of a veteran team. That's where we want to be.”

• On deck: Middleton hosts Beloit Memorial (0-4, 0-5) Thursday at 7:15 p.m., then heads to Janesville Parker (0-4, 0-5) Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Cardinals then host Janesville Craig (3-1, 4-1) Tuesday at 7:15 before taking off until Dec. 27.


Dec. 7


Madison Memorial ............ 31 29 — 60

Middleton ......................... 14 20 — 34

MADISON MEMORIAL — Ellingson 4 4-4 13, Bates 0 2-2 8, Brown 2 0-0 5, Bergman 0, Caropreso 3 2-2 9, Schaefer 0, Yu 5 0-0 12, Lewis 0, Jackson 9, Mitchell 0, Younk 0, Collins 3, Cannon 0, Kerkhoff 0. Totals 20 8-10 60.

MIDDLETON — Thomas 3, Hellenbrand 1 0-1 2, Close 3, Klubertanz 3 1-2 7, Boyle 0, Scher 0 1-2 1, Severn 1 0-0 2, Deptula 3 2-2 8, Johnson 0, Patterson 1 0-0 2, Van Buren 3 0-1 6. Totals 14 4-8 34.

3-point goals — MM 11 (Ellingson 1, Bates 2, Brown 1, Caropreso 1, Yu 2, Jackson 3, Collins 1), MID 2 (Thomas 1Close 1). Fouls — MM 14, MID 18. Fouled out — Thomas.


Dec. 4


Middleton .................. 29 33 16 — 78

Madison West ............. 23 39 17 — 79

MIDDLETON — Thomas 5 5-6 17, Close 0 2-2 8, Klubertanz 4 9-9 17, Boyle 5 6-8 20, Scher 2 0-0 4, Deptula 1 2-2 5, Patterson 1 4-4 6. Totals 20 28-31 78.

MADISON WEST — Jones 3 2-5 9, Patton 1 2-2 7, Reed 5 8-15 18, McCray 6 2-2 14, Thompson 2 0-0 4, Berry 4 1-4 13, Brooks 6 0-2 12, Hansen 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 15-30 79.

3-point goals — MID 9 (Thomas 2, Close 2, Boyle 4, Deptula 1), MW 7 (Jones 2, Patton 1, Berry 4). Total fouls — MW 28, MID 23.

Fouled out — Jones, McCray, Thompson, Thomas, Brooks.


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