Middleton girls KO Madison Memorial

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Gregg Hammill/For the Times-Tribune
Charlotte Dunn and Middleton's girls basketball team knocked off previously unbeaten Madison Memorial last Thursday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Evie Coleman wasn’t about to let a mangled pinkie finger stop her.

Coleman dislocated the finger during the volleyball season and has been playing with the injury during the girls’ basketball season. In a Big Eight Conference showdown against visiting Madison Memorial last Thursday, Coleman banged the finger several times before and during the game and was asked by the trainer if she just wanted to stay on the bench.

That was an easy answer for Coleman.

“She told me at half that I could sit if I wanted or play and it was fine,” Coleman said. “It’s okay, I’ll just tape it.”

Fortunately for the Cardinals, Coleman stayed and played a huge role in Middleton’s 67-46 victory over the previously unbeaten Spartans. The junior guard scored 16 points while connecting on four 3-pointers and helped form a lethal inside-outside attack with post players Sitori Tanin, Hannah Flottmeyer and Karina Bursac.

“If they want to sag off of me and help, I have an open three and, if they’re still on me, I know Sitori or Karina or Hannah can finish in the post, no problem,” Coleman said.

Coleman found out after the game that she may have broken the finger and was headed to get X-rays, but figured she could play her way through the injury.

“I’ll probably just tape it, maybe take like two practices off and keep going,” Coleman said. “I don’t want to sit.”

The 6-foot-2 Tanin dominated inside with 16 points and 20 rebounds.

“She was cleaning up on the boards,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said of Tanin. “She was going after the boards hard. We were talking towards the end of the game and a coach said, ‘You’ve got to give Sitori a little break, she’s getting a little bit tired.’ And I said, ‘Yes, but she’s getting every rebound that’s out there and I’d like to keep her there.’ ”

Middleton also rolled past Beloit Memorial Saturday night and improved to 4-1 in the league and 4-2 overall. Now, there’s a jogjam atop the conference as Middleton, Verona, Madison Memorial, Madison La Follette and Sun Prairie are all tied for first place in the conference.

“We love playing Memorial, we have a lot of friends playing on the opposing team and so we were super, super hyped for this game,” Coleman said. “I think we just came out with a lot more energy than they did.”

Memorial was playing without its top player, Leilani Kapinus, who suffered a knee injury last week. Kapinus was averaging more than 17 points per game for the Spartans.

“She’s their best player and obviously that hurt them a lot,” Kind said of Kapinus. “It changes the whole complexion of the game when she’s out there.”

Without Kapinus, the Cardinals enjoyed a 54-36 rebounding edge and took 11 more shots in the contest.

“We tried to get into the post a lot,” Tannin said. “We did miss a lot of bunnies, but overall, we got into the post a lot and that just helped move our offense a lot more. We got good rebounds too and I think our height helped that also.”

Coleman helped the Cardinals get off to a fast start. With Middleton already leading 5-0 on a free throw by Bursac, and baskets by Tanin and Charlotte Dunn, Coleman swished two consecutive 3-pointers to push the lead to 11-0 with 16 minutes, 4 seconds remaining in the half.

“She’s one of our better 3-point shooters,” Kind said of Coleman. “If she gets time, she’s a pretty good 3-point shooter.”

The lead swelled to 15-2 on a driving basket by Bursac and a nifty scoop shot by Kendall Roquet and the score eventually ballooned to 23-6 after Flottmeyer was fouled on a putback and converted a free throw at the 7:43 mark.

Memorial then went on its own 11-0 run to pull within 23-17 after forcing a flurry of Middleton turnovers. Maya White Eagle contributed five points and Emmoni Rankins, who scored a game-high 22 points, added four points during the spurt.

“We kind of got out of rhythm when they started pressing us and we weren’t running our press break,” Kind said. “Then, once we started running our press break, we started to get some shots off the end of it. It was just a little bit of a composure thing for a while.”

The Cardinals regained their composure and were leading, 31-21, late in the half, when Coleman took a pass from Dunn and drilled an off-balance 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.

“I got the ball at the end of the sideline and I threw it to Charlotte,” Coleman said. “She drove baseline, and, with about two seconds left, she jump-stopped and kind of overthrew it because she was getting double-teamed. I managed to somehow get a shot off. I have no idea how it happened.”

Abby Wilson opened the second half with a 3-pointer for the Spartans, but the Cardinals went on an 11-1 run to take control. Flottmeyer scored a pair of baskets, Coleman had a 3-pointer, and Bursac and Josie Lemirande each scored field goals during the run. Memorial could get no closer than 17 points the rest of the way.

“They say basketball’s a game of runs and I think we definitely had a lot of good runs,” Tanin said. “They would go on a big run and their fans would get hyped. It was good that we got up and then when they did hit their runs they weren’t as long as we felt them.”

Kind was happy with the victory, but knows there is room for improvement.

“We’re happy with (the win) but there’s more things for us to work on that we can’t get complacent about it,” Kind said.


Dec. 6

Middleton 67, Madison Memorial 46

Memorial .……………. 21  25 — 46

Middleton………...…. 34  33 — 67

MADISON MEMORIAL — Daiysha Brown 0-1 0-0 0, Emmoni Rankins 10-16 1-4 22, Maya White-Eagle 4-11 1-4 10, Liliana Garcia 3-8 0-1 6, Brooke Peters 0-2 0-0 0, Charlotte Sweet 1-8 1-2 3, Reete Thorns 0-2 0-0 0, Abby Wilson 1-8 0-0 3, Elle Kinney 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 20-61 3-11 46.

MIDDLETON — Sitori Tanin 8-18 0-2 16, Karina Bursac 3-11 1-3 7, Hannah Flottmeyer 5-10 3-7 13, Evie Coleman 6-18 0-0 16, Charlotte Dunn 1-2 3-4 5, Kendall Roquet 1-6 0-0 2, Josie Lemirande 1-5 4-4 6, Megan Schwartz 0-0 0-0 0, Makenzie Hodson 0-1 0-0 0, Melanie Accola 0-1 2-2 2, Berkley Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Margo Motiashova 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-72 13-22 67.

3-point goals – MM 3 (White Eagle, Wilson, Rankins), M 4 (Coleman). Total fouls — MM 15, M 12.



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