Hellenbrand, Thomas power Cards

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Casey Hellenbrand and Middleton's boys basketball team rolled past Janesville Craig on Dec. 18/Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Casey Hellenbrand has waited a long time for his chance to shine.

The same goes for Chandon Thomas.

Middleton’s duo both erupted on Dec. 18 and powered the Cardinals to a 67-54 win over visiting Janesville Craig.

Thomas, a senior guard who’s been in and out of the starting lineup all season, led Middleton with 15 points. Hellenbrand, a reserve senior guard, added a career-high 13 points.

Hellenbrand added five rebounds and two steals, while Thomas had four rebounds and two steals.

The Cardinals improved to 5-3 overall and 4-3 in league play, while Craig fell to 4-3, 3-3.

“Chandon is all out, all the time,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “He can get out of control at times, so we do have to reel him in a bit, but he’s starting to get better at picking and choosing when is a good time to gamble and when is a good time to just play sound.

“He’s on the floor half the practice and we’re waiting for that to pervade the rest of the team. When we can get everyone to that level of effort we’ll have a chance to compete with the top teams in the league.

“Casey is our best communicator on both offense and defense. His role has grown as he’s proven he can take care of the ball and get us into things offensively. 

“If we can get everyone to talk on both ends of the court, exude positive self and team talk as well as body language regardless of role like Casey does, it will elevate our entire team to another level. These aren’t innate qualities. Effort and communication are choices players have to make if they want both individual and collective success.”

Senior center Jake Klubertanz pitched in with 11 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Sam Close added nine points and  senior guard Jack Boyle added eight points.

Aaron Leverson led the Cougars with 18 points, while Jack Huml had four 3-pointers and 14 points.

Middleton held a 25-11 advantage at the free throw line. The Cardinals made 25-of-37 foul shots (67,6%), while the Cougars were 11-of-20 (55.0%).

Middleton built a 31-23 halftime lead and kept the Cougars at bay the entire second half.

But this night was about Hellenbrand and Thomas.

“It was more significant in that Casey and Chandon aren’t high up on our opponents radars as key offensive threats,” Bavery said. “Big Eight teams who know us well gear up to shut down Jack, Sam, and Jake, so when other players take advantage of opportunities that always present themselves it’s a big boost.”


Dec. 18

Middleton 67, Janesville Craig 54

Janesville Craig .......... 23 31—54

Middleton .................... 31 36—67

Craig — Huml 5-0-14, Scoville 2-3-7, Bertagnoli 1-0-2, Rizzo 3-0-6, Fieiras 1-2-4, Leverson 6-5-18, Lynch 1-1-3. Totals: 19 11-20 54.

Middleton — Deptula 0-4-4, Thomas 5-3-15, Hellenbrand 3-6-13, Wirkus 0-1-1, Close 3-1-9, Scher 2-0-4, Boyle 1-5-8, Klubertanz 2-5-9, Van Buren 2-0-4. Totals: 18 25-37 67.

3-point goals—Craig 5 (Huml 4, Leverson), Middleton 6 (Thomas 2, Close 2, Hellenbrand, Boyle). Total fouls—Craig 26, Middleton 18. Fouled out—Huml.




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