January 2018

Fri
19
Jan
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MHS loses heartbreaker to Memorial

Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery might have summed it up best when discussing the Cardinals’ rivalry with Madison Memorial.

“There is a curse, a ghost, a poltergeist … something,” Bavery said.

Yes, strange things most certainly happen to Middleton when it meets Memorial. And last Saturday was no different.

Middleton rallied from an 11-point, second half deficit and took a one-point lead with 59 seconds left on a pair of Alan Roden free throws. Memorial reclaimed the lead with two free throws of its own, and the Cardinals had one final chance to escape victorious.

Senior forward Davis Roquet missed a three-pointer in the closing seconds, but junior guard Sam Close grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0.6 seconds left. The sharp-shooting Close — a 91% free throw shooter — missed both foul shots, though, and Memorial prevailed, 42-41.

Fri
19
Jan
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Boys basketball team downs East

Kevin Bavery knows full well how loud, raucous and intimidating things can get at Madison East.

So 24 hours before heading to Purgolder Country, Middleton’s boys basketball coach blasted music through the Cardinals’ practice.

Sure enough, East’s archaic gymnasium was deafening last Thursday, as the Purgolders erased a nine-point second half deficit and pulled even at 46-46.

But the Cardinals were prepared for the noise — and quickly silenced it.

Middleton finished the game on a stunning 24-6 burst and quieted both the Purgolders and the crowd after an impressive 70-52 win.

The Cardinals improved to 7-5 overall and finished the first half of Big Eight Conference play with a 6-3 mark. East fell to 6-5, 4-4.

Fri
19
Jan
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Girls basketball team wins sixth straight

With stellar play on both ends of the court, Sitori Tannin provided just the spark Middleton’s girls basketball team needed.

Down by one point late, the sophomore scored on back-to-back possessions, then blocked a shot to help the Cardinals regain control and rally for an impressive 52-45 Big Eight Conference victory over rival Madison Memorial last Friday night.

“When it’s getting intense, I’ve got to go out there do my thing and get stuff done for the team,” said Tannin, who also blocked another Memorial shot down the stretch. “When we were down by one, it was like, ‘I’ve just got to get out there and get us some baskets and get us back up again.’

“I always try to step up my defense and my offense when it gets down (toward the end), but I’m trying to keep that throughout the whole game. I know, when coach needs me, I’m going to go in there do my thing.”

Wed
17
Jan
Thu
11
Jan
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'All for one, and one for all' at Maple Leaf Restaurant in Cross Plains

It’s -3 degrees Fahrenheit in paradise today.

Paradise, in this case, being Wisconsin in the month of January.

That’s the way the Ademi family sees it, at least. Babi and Viki Ademi came to the United States from their homeland in 1984, in pursuit of the fabled “American Dream.” Babi said that growing up in Macedonia, a country steeped in poverty, he fantasized about coming to the United States.

“To us, it seemed like paradise,” Viki agrees.

There’s something quintessentially American about the Ademi family’s story. Although their tale begins far, far away.

“We suffered there,” is all Viki likes to say of the country whose shores they left. In many ways, they found what they were looking for here. They ran restaurants for years elsewhere in Wisconsin, then took on factory work, all to support a growing family they hoped, in perfect keeping with this well-worn fable, would have more opportunities than they had.

Thu
11
Jan
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Middleton rallies past Arrowhead

MILWAUKEE — Kevin Bavery faces a quandary every season.

Middleton’s boys basketball coach has just four non-conference games to work with each year. And after playing 18 games in the demanding Big Eight Conference, Bavery toys with the idea of scheduling lesser opponents to boost the Cardinals’ record and give his team an occasional break.

Inevitably, though, Bavery resists that urge and tries putting together the most demanding schedule possible for his team. Bavery’s belief is those games better prepare a team for the postseason than scheduling softer foes.

Middleton’s latest match-up on murderer’s row came Saturday, when the Cardinals met defending WIAA Division 1 state runner-up Hartland Arrowhead. Senior forward Brogan Brunker had a game-high 18 points and the Cardinals notched an extremely impressive 58-55 win over Arrowhead in a game played at the Al McGuire Center.

Thu
11
Jan
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Boys basketball team hammers Beloit

2018 started with a bang for Middleton’s boys basketball team.

The Cardinals took care of business in their first game of the new year, defeating Beloit Memorial, 78-53, in a Big Eight Conference game last Friday.

Middleton improved to 5-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Eight. The Purple Knights fell to 3-8, 2-5.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cardinals. Those three losses came against teams with a combined 21-5 record.  

“This game is one we needed,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “We were 4-3 in the league (coming in), with a lot of close games on both ends. We’ve been able to handle a couple of opponents that we felt we were a little bit better than. I think a lot of that was the case tonight.”

Wed
10
Jan
Thu
04
Jan
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Girls basketball team picking up steam

FRANKLIN — Health, happiness and prosperity.

These are wishes many have for the New Year.

Middleton’s girls basketball team is now finally healthy for the first time this season. Perhaps happiness and prosperity are soon to follow.

The Cardinals welcomed senior forward Claire Staples — who had been sidelined the past five weeks with a high ankle sprain — back to the lineup last week. And with Staples back in the fold, a young and inexperienced Middleton team once again has a branch of consistency to hold onto.

The Cardinals went to the Franklin Tournament and won two out of three games.

Middleton dropped an 80-67 decision to Germantown in last Wednesday’s opening round. But the Cardinals rebounded with a 76-46 win over Racine Case on Thursday and a 66-43 victory over Kenosha St. Joseph on Friday.

Wed
03
Jan

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