Mount Horeb KO's Middleton

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Dennis Semrau
Audrey Deptula and Middleton’s girls basketball team fell to Mount Horeb on Feb. 6./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

BARNEVELD — It wasn’t your typical ‘Senior Night’ celebration that Melanie Accola and the rest of her Middleton Cardinals’ teammates had witnessed during their prep careers.

For one, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Cardinals are unable to host any games in their own Fieldhouse this season.

Middleton was also the visiting team when it met host Mount Horeb — which was also celebrating its own Senior Night — in a non-conference game at Barneveld High School last Saturday night.

Putting a further damper on the Cardinals’ evening was a 50-33 loss to Mount Horeb, when the Vikings pulled away from a 24-24 tie early in the second half.

But Accola was still able to put a positive spin on the evening’s proceedings.

“I didn’t get to play a lot last year, so I thought my last year was going to be a year on the bench,” said Accola, who admitted that she had her doubts that Middleton would even be able to practice let alone play any games this season.

“So, I’m really excited that I got to play a few games with the people that’ve I’ve been playing with forever. What really stood out for me honestly was just being with my friends. I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do that. We’ve all been stuck inside for a really long time. It was really nice when they allowed us to play basketball.”

Sophomore Audrey Deptula led Middleton (0-5) with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

The teams were tied at 22-22 at halftime, and Accola pulled the Cardinals even at 24-24 just 90 seconds into the second half when she broke through for a layup on a fastbreak off a Deptula steal and assist.

However, Mount Horeb (4-2) closed out the game with a 26-9 run behind senior Julia Magnuson, who led all scorers with 18 points, including eight points in the closing surge.

“I don’t know if was from playing the night before, and we were tired or what, but we sure didn’t defend in the second half,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said after the Cardinals played their third game in five days and second in a span of 24 hours.

“We weren’t blocking out very well. There were a lot of things defensively fundamentally that we weren’t doing well.”

Junior Emma Anderson’s putback of a missed 3-pointer gave Mount Horeb the lead for good at 26-24 with 15:38 remaining in the game. That jump-started a 16-7 scoring spree for the Vikings, capped by a layup by junior Emily Wallace with 6:29 to play.

Junior McKenna Monogue scored what proved to be Middleton’s final points on a post move a minute later. The Vikings’ then slammed the door on the Cardinals for the rest of the game, using a 10-0 run to keep Middleton at bay for the final 5:28.

“(Magnuson) out-rebounded us,” said Monogue, who added that “getting the boards is a big thing for us. We kind of got it in our heads a little bit and freaked out on some turnovers and they just pulled away.

“The first couple of games we had were a little rough, but just being in the game was awesome. We had some energy from our fans and our bench. Getting that energy back was super important and is going to help us down the road.”

Kind said the Cardinals’ inability to prepare more on defense due to practice restrictions was primarily exposed during the second half.

“You can talk about your closeouts and keep them from driving in the middle,” he said. “But there’s nobody there (in practice) trying to drive by you, so you don’t have to move your feet. All of a sudden, you get a bad closeout, and people are driving into the middle on you.”

Kind acknowledged that it was important to keep everything in perspective, especially for his senior class of Accola, Lauryn Abozeid, Brianna Acker, Molly Gaab, Amber Kaplan and Andrea Young, who were honored during a pre-game ceremony.

“It was nice for them to be able to get some recognition and a sense of normalcy even if it wasn’t exactly normal,” Kind said. “At least it was recognition.”

Added Monogue: “To give the seniors a chance for some recognition and show them we care and appreciate all that they’ve done, this gave us a sense of normal, which was nice.”

Acker opened the scoring with a three-pointer from the right wing, before Mount Horeb countered with a 7-0 run on a putback from Magnuson and five straight points from senior Anna Ollendick.

The Cardinals were unable to regain the lead the rest of the way.

“We were struggling on guarding their posts and boxing out,” said Acker, who finished with six points. “It was huge that we were missing on our box-outs and backdoor cuts and stuff like that.

“We were staying in the game. But a lot of our confidence broke down once they started getting a bigger lead.”

Acker didn’t let the disappointing loss on Senior Night ruin her special moment, though.

“I was so glad just to be with my teammates,” Acker said. “A couple of months ago, I didn’t know if we were even going to have a season. Now we’ve played five games.

“Being able to play with my best friends, girls I’ve grown up with my whole life and playing basketball with, it was very exciting and fun. I’m glad we ended up having (Senior Night) even though it wasn’t at Middleton. Just having our parents there and my friends with me, it was very memorable.”

Gaab said she appreciated the recognition for the seniors, most of whom have been playing together since third grade.

“It’s disappointing that this is how our senior year had to go,” Gaab said. “But it’s been about just recognizing how short our time is together and trying to make something of it.

“With all the restrictions, we just had to get creative with how we can practice and make the most of those chances. We’ve tried to have a positive mindset the whole time and be grateful for the opportunities we do get to have.”

Mount Horeb coach Tom Lesar said while it was a unique way to celebrate the contributions of the seniors on both teams, he was grateful for the opportunity to recognize their perseverance during such trying times.

“This is our new home away from home,” Lesar said of the Barneveld gym, which is just a short drive from the Vikings’ home court. “In these crazy times, sometimes you’ve got to drive forever to play someone. It’s nice, a 10-minute bus trip vs. driving up to the Dells or where ever you’ve got to go. To have parents be able to see their kids, it almost felt normal again.”

Kind said it has been a difficult 11 months from taking a team to the cusp of a state championship and then having the state tournament canceled due to the pandemic and the uncertainly over the following months where his relatively young and inexperienced team wasn’t able to put in the work needed for continued success.

“We’ve struggled with that a lot because the only time we face competition is when we’re in the game,” Kind said.

But he credited the Cardinals’ seniors with setting a positive tone.

“They’ve had good attitudes coming in, and they come to work,” he said. “It’s tough to keep their heads up when we’re 20 games behind everybody.

“But it’s nice they got a chance to play. We try to keep it in perspective for them that it’s a team that needed to be able to develop a lot over the summer, but we didn’t have many opportunities for doing that.”

• Union Grove 65, Middleton 32 — Audrey Deptula scored 12 points to pace the visiting Cardinals, who dropped a non-conference game on Feb. 2. The Cardinals were able to muster just 10 points in the first half.

• New Berlin West 69, Middleton 46: The visiting Cardinals got a team-high 13 points from Audrey Deptula, and McKenna Monogue chipped in with 10 points. But it wasn’t enough as Middleton lost a non-conference game in New Berlin last Friday night.

• On deck: Fifth-seeded Middleton opens postseason play against fourth-seeded Oregon in a WIAA Division 1 regional first-round game at Baraboo on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The winner than meets top-seeded Waunakee in a regional semifinal game on Friday at Baraboo.


Feb. 2


Middleton …….. 10 22 — 32

Union Grove ..… 36 29 — 65

MIDDLETON (fg ft-fta pts) — Milanne Dahmen 1 0-0 3; Audrey Deptula 5 0-0 12; Molly Gaab 0 0-0 0; Brianna Acker 0 0-0 0; Andrea Young 1 0-0 2; Erin Schleusner 2 0-0 5; McKenna Monogue 3 0-0 6; Melanie Accola 2 0-0 4. Totals 14 0-0 32.

UNION GROVE — Colouette 4 3-5 11; May 1 2-2 4; Spang 2 0-2 4; Slattery 7 4-4 19; Ludvigseny5 0-0 11; Rumpalla 3 3-4 11; Pettit 2 1-2 5. Totals 24 13-19 65.

3-point goals: M 4 (Dahmen 1, Deptula 2, Schluesner 1); UG 4 (Slattery 1, Ludvigsen 1,

Rumpall a1) Total fouls: M 16; UG 3.


Feb. 5


Middleton ……..…. 19 27 — 46

New Berlin West … 36 33 — 69

MIDDLETON (fg ft-fta pts) — Milanne Dahmen 0 1-2 1; Audrey Deptula 6 0-1 13; Molly Gaab 0 3-4 3; Brianna Acker 1 0-0 2; Andrea Young 2 1-1 5; Emily Tsipis 0 1-2 1; Ellie Frisch 0 2-2 2; McKenna Monogue 3 3-4 10; Melanie Accola 1 2-2 4; Amber Kaplan 0 1-3 1; Sierra Pertzborn 1 1-3 3; Evin Jordee 0 1-2 1. Totals 14 16-26 46.

NEW BERLIN WEST — Hegarty 3 0-0 9; Huguet 2 0-0 5; Kern 5 1-1 13; Stanislawski 2 0-0 5; Garny 1 0-0 2; Derby 2 0-0 5; Besler 1 0-0 3; Barnes 3 0-0 7; Schultz 5 9-10 20. Totals 24 10-12 69.

3-point goals: M 2 (Deptula 1, Monogue 1); NBW 11 (Hegarty 3, Huguet 1, Kern 2, Stanislawski 1, Derby 1, Besler 1, Barnes 1, Schultz 1). Total fouls: M 14; NBW 22.


Feb. 6


Middleton .……… 22  11 — 33

Mount Horeb …... 22  28 — 50

MIDDLETON (fg ft-fta pts) — Milanne Dahmen 0 0-0 0; Audrey Deptula 4 0-0 10; Molly Gaab 1 0-0 2; Brianna Acker 2 0-0 6; Andrea Young 0 0-2 0;Devan Utter 0 0-0 0;  Ellie Frisch 0 0-0 0; Erin Schleusner 1 0-0 2; McKenna Monogue 2 0-0 5; Melanie Accola 3 0-0 6; Amber Kaplan 1 0-0 2; Sierra Pertzborn 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 0-2 33.

MOUNT HOREB (fg ft-fta pts) — Anna Ollendick 2 0-0 5; Emma Anderson 3 4-4 10; Grace Vesperman 3 2-4 8; Julia Magnuson 8 2-2 18; Emily Wallace 1 1-1 3; Zoey Parker 0 0-0 0; Leah Leibfried 2 2-4 6. Totals 19 11-15 50.

3-point goals: Mid. 5 (Deptula 2, Acker 2, Monogue 1); MH 1 (Ollendick 1). Total fouls: Mid 15; MH 9.

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