Boys basketball team opens with a win

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Blake Van Buren (25) and Middleton’s boys basketball team started their new season last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

WAUWATOSA — It had been 327 days since Middleton’s boys basketball team last took the court.

So when the Cardinals traveled to Wauwatosa Kingdom Prep last Wednesday, there was rust. There was inconsistency.

Amazingly, there was also a victory.

Middleton rallied from a deficit as big 10 points and posted a 49-46 win on its season-opener. Kayden Fosdick led a balanced Middleton scoring attack with nine points, while Matt Zimmerman added six.

Q’Andre Washington led the Wolfpack with 19 points and eight rebounds.

“This felt more like a scrimmage than a game,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “But it also just felt great to get back in the gym and have a chance to compete against somebody else.

“These are strange times when you have your first game of the year in January. But I thought we did some good things after kind of a sluggish start.”

Middleton led just twice in the first 31 minutes. But the Cardinals hung around and used a late 10-2 run to grab a 49-43 lead.

Collin Schremp started the fun with a 3-footer that tied the game at 41, then George Finch had a driving basket with 5 minutes left that gave Middleton a 43-41 advantage. That was the Cardinals’ first lead since 11-10.

Gavin Hurley followed with a reverse layup that put Middleton ahead, 45-41. And after a Wolfpack basket, Logan Raffel drilled a pair of free throws and Nick Meinholz had a basket to give the Cardinals a 49-43 advantage.

“We did some really good things late, especially on the defensive end,” Bavery said. “But we were also more patient offensively, and got some better looks there.”

Kingdom Prep’s Emontae Grenada banked home a three-pointer with 27 seconds left to narrow its deficit to 49-46. And after a Middleton turnover, the Wolfpack had one final chance to tie.

But Kingdom Prep’s Mymoni Hunt airballed a three-pointer from the deep left corner as time expired and the Cardinals escaped.

“Again, just to have a game is outstanding for our guys,” Bavery said. “This was a lot of fun.”

It wasn’t all that much fun early.

The Wolfpack (3-11) used an 11-0 run midway through the first half to grab a 21-11 lead. Middleton missed five straight shots in that stretch and had four turnovers.

The Cardinals started chipping away, though, and three-pointers from both Raffel and Finch helped Middleton pull within 26-20 by halftime.

The Cardinals came out swinging to start the second half, using an 11-5 surge to pull even at 31. Blake Van Buren had four points in that stretch, Nick Meinholz had a three-pointer and both Schremp and Fosdick scored.

“I thought there were times we looked really good,” Bavery said. “Then there were times we looked like it was our first game.”

One of those came after Middleton knotted the game, 31-31. Kingdom Prep answered with seven straight points and took a 38-31 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

From there, though, Middleton held the Wolfpack to 3-of-16 shooting and forced four turnovers.

“We played a lot of guys and had a lot of people step up,” Bavery said. “It was definitely a team effort, which was fun to see.

“We don't have much time to get ready for the playoffs, but we’re going to do what we can. And this was a fun start.”

 

Jan. 27

MIDDLETON 49, WAUWATOSA KINGDOM PREP 46

Middleton ………….. 20 29 — 49

Kingdom Prep …………. 26 20 — 46

MIDDLETON — Raffel 5, Zimmerman 6, Finch 5, Fosdick 9, Meinholz 5, Toennies 5, Zempel 3, Schremp 4, Hurley 3, Van Buren 4.

KINGDOM PREP — Grandberry 15, Pendleton 6, Hunt 1, Griggs 4, Washington 19.

 

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