Boys basketball team routs La Follette

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Brogan Brunker (4) and Jack Smith (5) battle for a rebound during a recent game./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Their start has turned heads across the Big Eight Conference — and the state, for that matter.

Now, Middleton’s boys basketball team gets a pair of big-time tests this week.

The Cardinals improved to 4-0 overall and in the league last Friday with an 81-39 destruction of Madison La Follette. Now, things intensify this week when Middleton hosts Sun Prairie (3-0, 4-0) Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Madison Memorial (3-1, 3-1) Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

“Sun Prairie and Madison Memorial were my top preseason picks in the Big Eight Conference, along with Madison East,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said.

Middleton has entered that discussion now, thanks to its impressive start. And the Cardinals continued to roll with a strong showing against the Lancers.

Junior forward Tyree Eady, the Big Eight’s leading scorer at 25.2 points per game, led the Cardinals with 23 points and six steals. Junior guard Storm Murphy added 19 points and six assists.

Junior forward Myron Ashford had eight points and four rebounds, while sophomore forward Brogan Brunker had eight points and four rebounds.

Junior guard C.J. Fermanich had six points and four assists, while senior guard Brady Thomas had five rebounds. Junior forward Jack Smith, senior forward Cody Markel and junior forward Ben Jackson all added four rebounds.

Middleton finished with a 41-28 rebounding edge and the Cardinals drew four charging fouls.

“La Follette was short-handed with several players out, so we know it will be a different team when we play them in the second round,” Bavery said. “It’s not easy to play our style when you just work the ball and call off all of our traps.

“But you can't tell your players not to play hard and not to score. So even though La Follette wasn’t at full strength, we still had to play hard and play well and we certainly did for a majority of the game.”

Middleton raced to a 53-23 halftime lead and cruised home. Eady led the way with 14 first half points, while Murphy added 12 and Brunker chipped in with six.

Middleton’s lead grew to more than 40, which meant a running clock down the stretch.

“It's easy to not play at your capable level when the game gets out of hand,” Bavery said. “So I was proud of our guys for not letting up while displaying admirable sportsmanship.”

Now comes a pair of daunting tasks for Bavery’s Cardinals.

Sun Prairie is one of the league’s surprise teams and has a big early-season win over Madison Memorial. Senior point guard Sam Kerr (15.2) is one of the top players in the league, and is surrounded by a deep and talented supporting cast.

“The other Cardinals have quality personnel with a good inside presence and great perimeter shooting,” Bavery said of Sun Prairie. “They have a couple of players who attack off the dribble, as well, so it will definitely present a challenge.”

Madison Memorial has won at least a share of 12 straight Big Eight Conference titles.

The Spartans are led by 6-foot-8 junior center Chris Knight (20.2), who transferred from DeForest this season.

“(Knight) takes their team to another level,” Bavery said. “They are 6-8, 6-6, and 6-5 in the front line, so we have to be competitive on both boards, plus have to attack the rim with some basketball savvy, as well.

We can't just walk into blocked shots. We have to be ready to shot fake, pass out of the post, and make the extra pass on the perimeter as they will alter shots as well.”

 

 

Middleton 81, Madison La Follette 39

Madison La Follette ……. 23 16 — 39

Middleton ……………..…… 53 28 — 81

MADISON LA FOLLETTE — Dunn 1 0-0 2, Hannah 5 1-2 11, Miller 4 4-7 15, Patton 1 0-0 2, West 1 0-0 2, Lites 3 0-0 6, Steffen 1-2 1. Totals 15 6-13 39.

MIDDLETON — Bacon 1 0-0 2, Brunker 2 4-6 8, Eady 6 8-8 23, Fermanich 2 2-2 6, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Jr. 3 2-2 8, Markel 2 0-0 4, Murphy 6 4-6 19, Raffel 0-0 3, Thomas 0-0 3, Spears 0-0 3. Totals 23 20-26 81.

3-point goals — MID 5 (Eady 1, Murphy 1, Raffel 1, Thomas 1, Spears 1), ML 1 (Miller 1). Total fouls—MID 17, ML 24.

 

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