Boys basketball team still perfect

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
C.J. Fermanich and Middleton's boys basketball team are still undefeated and ranked third in the state./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Being Kevin Bavery these days is a pretty good thing.

Middleton led visiting Sheboygan South, 28-19, at halftime last Wednesday. But Bavery, the Cardinals’ head coach, was far from happy.

So despite a sturdy lead, Bavery gave his team an earful, then watched them roll in the second half.

Middleton pushed its lead to 30 and eventually posted a 73-50 win. The Cardinals improved to 8-0 on the year and are ranked No. 3 in the latest poll.

“Any time you play against Fox River Valley or Classic Conference teams you can expect it to be physical and hard-nosed, so we expected a good challenge,” Bavery said.

Cardinals junior forward Tyree Eady had a terrific all-around game with 19 points, six steals and five rebounds. Junior guard Storm Murphy added 18 points and five assists, while junior guard C.J. Fermanich added 12 points.

Sophomore forward Brogan Brunker added eight points, while senior guard Travis Raffel had six rebounds, junior forward Jack Smith had five rebounds and senior post Cody Markel had two blocked shots.

Middleton held a nine-point lead at halftime, but Bavery — and the Cardinals — weren’t thrilled with what transpired.

Middleton shot 0-of-12 from three-point land, 6-of-12 from the free throw line and put South in the bonus early in the half.

“We were up (nine), but our guys knew it was probably our worst half of basketball to date,” Bavery said. “To struggle with energy and execution in those areas and still be up by (nine) says a lot about the ability and depth of this team, but it obviously will catch up with you at some point.”

The Cardinals were much more fluid in the second half.

Middleton quickly pushed its lead to 15, extended it 30 and rolled.

“That’s something we’re evolving to, applying pressure make or miss,” Bavery said. “It’s easy to line up defensively after a score or on an inbound, but to pick up and apply pressure after you don’t score can be higher risk but also higher reward.

“We have to pick and choose, but the players have a lot of freedom to play with instinct defensively because we work on disadvantage situations a lot. It helps us when other teams try to press or trap us as well.”

Middleton also toppled a solid Waunakee team, 73-58, on Dec. 22.

Eady led the Cardinals with 20 points and five steals, while Brunker had 16 points. Fermanich added 10 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and four steals and Markel had 10 rebounds.

“We knew Waunakee would be a solid test as they are competitively as good as any Big Eight school in most of their sports, and they really play with a physical chip on their shoulder,” Bavery said.

Eady led a balanced attack with seven first half points. Markel and Brunker both added five as the Cardinals took a 38-33 halftime lead.

Eady then erupted for 13 second half points and Brunker had 11 as the Cardinals pulled away.

• On deck: Middleton hosts Madison West Friday at 7:30 p.m., then travels to Madison Edgewood Saturday at 5 p.m.

“West is 3-5 at this point, but is very dangerous,” Bavery said. “They have a deep senior class with a lot of varsity experience, and they will likely have some players back when we see them.

“Edgewood is as good as any team in the Madison area. It will be quite a challenge this weekend, but one we are excited for.”


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