Sports

Thu
18
Feb
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Boys basketball team knocks off New Berlin West

NEW BERLIN — Logan Raffel was dog tired.

“I’m definitely tired,” Middleton’s junior guard said. “But I can’t complain. This is a lot of fun.”

Kaden Fosdick was equally fatigued.

“It’s hard getting up the next day, that’s for sure,” said Fosdick, a sophomore forward. “But we’re getting to play basketball and that’s awesome.”

This merry band of travelers — known as Middleton’s boys basketball team — rolled into New Berlin West on Feb. 11 and toppled the host Vikings, 62-52. The Cardinals improved to 4-4 with the win, while West fell to 10-14.

Fosdick led an extremely balanced Middleton attack with 10 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had four steals. Raffel added all 10 of his points in the first half when Middleton raced to a 34-18 lead.

Sophomore guard Will Comerford had all nine of his points in the first half, while sophomore forward Collin Schremp added nine points and junior guard Nick Meinholz had eight.

Thu
18
Feb
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Boys basketball team survives wild week

Middleton’s boys basketball team has played just 10 regular season games this year.

It’s hard to imagine a team more battle tested, though, heading into the postseason.

The Cardinals capped a wild, wacky week last weekend with narrow losses to state powers Monroe and DePere.

The host Cheesemakers — ranked No. 4 in Division 2 — toppled the Cardinals, 75-67, last Friday. DePere, ranked No. 7 in Division 1, then edged Middleton, 67-62, last Saturday.

The losses capped a crazy week in which the Cardinals traveled approximately 1,020 miles round trip and played five games in six days. During a typical season, the Cardinals travel roughly 450 miles round trip to play their nine Big Eight Conference foes.

Thu
18
Feb
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Boys basketball team drops a pair

Long trips.

Little sleep.

And a whirlwind stretch that includes as much basketball as they can possibly find.

Middleton’s boys basketball team was back at it at the start of last week, with trips to Mosinee and Muskego that totaled more than 400 miles round trip in two nights. The Cardinals fell at Mosinee, 55-41, on Feb. 8 and lost at Muskego, 73-68, the following night.

While the Cardinals suffered setbacks in both cities, both games were extremely competitive and provided terrific learning opportunities.

“It's been a great learning experience with a lot I think we can take forward into a full season,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “Playing at Muskego felt like the first time we were actually coaching and the players were actually just playing.

Thu
18
Feb
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Gymnasts set for sectionals

Kari Steck knows the challenge is immense.

But Steck — Middleton’s girls gymnastics coach — believes her Cardinals are ready.

Middleton heads to the 10-team Mukwonago Sectional Thursday where the opponents and the format will be different from past years.

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, five teams will compete in the first session, then Middleton and four other teams will compete at night. In the past, all 10 teams competed at the same time.

After the two sessions end, the top two teams will qualify for state, as well as the top five individuals on vault, bars, beam, floor and all-around competition.

“It's challenging going into the Milwaukee-area sectional this year with so few meets, but we're hopeful the girls just keep positive attitudes,” Steck said. “We are all just so grateful that we've been able to practice and compete at all, and do so safely.”

Thu
11
Feb
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Chirafisi captures gold

WAUKESHA — Nick Chirafisi touched the finish line.

Chirafisi looked up at the scoreboard, then a moment later pumped his fist.

Yes, there was plenty to be excited about.

Chirafisi, a sophomore at Middleton High School, had just finished first in the 200-yard freestyle at the WIAA Division 1 state meet held at Waukesha South High School on Feb. 6.

Chirafisi’s big performance helped the Cardinals finish in 10th place overall. Sun Prairie won the meet with 232.5 points, while Middleton had 92.0.

“Nick continues to impress us year after year,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “Oftentimes after a breakout freshman year some guys will struggle to recreate that their sophomore year. It happens enough that we have a term for it — ‘the sophomore slump.’ Nick blew right through his sophomore year and continued to produce.”

Thu
11
Feb
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Boys basketball team heating up

The postseason road won’t be easy.

But Middleton’s boys basketball team showed last week it’s more than capable of making plenty of noise throughout the playoffs.

The Cardinals notched a thrilling 58-57, double overtime win over Fort Atkinson last Saturday. Middleton also defeated Kingdom Prep Lutheran, 64-44, last Friday and improved to 3-2 on the year.

Those victories helped Middleton earn the No. 4 seed in its six-team postseason pod. Waunakee is the top seed, followed by DeForest, Sun Prairie, Middleton, Verona and Oregon.

Middleton and Verona will meet in a WIAA Division 1 regional quarterfinal at Baraboo High School on Tuesday at 5:30. The winner of that game meets top-seeded Waunakee in a regional semifinal at Baraboo on Feb. 19 at 5:30.

The regional final will be Feb. 20 at a time and location yet to be determined.

Thu
11
Feb
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Edgerton upends Middleton

Middleton’s boys basketball team is just two weeks into this strange, shortened season.

But the Cardinals aren’t — and never have been — about moral victories.

That’s why Middleton’s 61-60 setback at Edgerton on Feb. 1 was a tough one to take. The Cardinals played from the lead much of the night, before the Tide rallied back in the final minutes.

Nick Meinholz led Middleton with 15 points, while Logan Raffel, Kaden Fosdick and Hayden Statz all added eight.

"I'm really proud of the effort and overall where we are at,” said Middleton coach Kevin Bavery, whose team fell to 1-2 on the year. “But this is a competitive group, and playing really well in difficult circumstances and restrictions isn't where they want to be at the end of the night.”

Thu
11
Feb
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Mount Horeb KO's Middleton

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.

Thu
11
Feb
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Hockey Cards fall in playoffs

Game experience matters.

Middleton’s hockey team, which was thrilled to get back on the ice last month after COVID restrictions delayed the start of its season, found that out the hard way.

Reedsburg’s co-op team was playing its 18th game of the year when it met the Cardinals in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal on Feb. 2. Middleton, on the other hand, was playing just its second game of the season.

In the end, the Beavers’ two extra months of ice time paid immense dividends and Reedsburg posted a 4-1 win.

“Obviously not the result that we wanted, but I thought that the boys played hard,” Middleton first-year coach Dan Truehl said. “We got close a few times early, but just couldn’t find that first goal to settle us down and play from in front.”

The Cardinals were competitive throughout, but converted just one of their 31 shots on goal.

Thu
04
Feb
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Boys basketball team opens with a win

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.”

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