Middleton edges Madison West

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
C.J. Fermanich and Middleton's boys basketball team edged Madison West last Tuesday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Just hours before Middleton’s boys basketball team headed to Madison West last Tuesday, Cardinals coach Kevin Bavery used words like “scary” and “dangerous” to describe the Regents.

He was right.

Middleton was pushed to the limit in a critical Big Eight Conference game before escaping with a 71-70 win.

Cardinals junior guard Storm Murphy hit a floater with 15 seconds left that gave Middleton a 71-70 lead. West then missed two shots in the final five seconds and the Cardinals survived.

“No doubt it was an escape,” Bavery said. “But at this time of the season, a win by one or a win by 31, there is no difference and we’ll take it.”

Middleton improved to 17-3 overall, 13-3 in the Big Eight and stayed tied atop the league with Sun Prairie. West is 9-8 in the league and 11-10 overall.

Murphy led the Cardinals with 20 points and six assists. Junior forward Tyree Eady added 18 points and six rebounds, while junior guard C.J. Fermanich had 10 points.

“Our players certainly knew and anyone else within shouting distance knew that West has extremely physical and talented personnel and had been playing very, very well of late,” Bavery said.

The game was tied at 67 with 30 seconds left, when Murphy split the defense and found sophomore forward Brogan Brunker in the lane to give the Cardinals a 69-67 lead.

West responded, though, with a fast break basket. Middleton also committed a foul on the play, and when West hit the ensuing free throw, the Regents grabbed a 70-69 lead.

After a timeout, Murphy got a terrific screen from Eady and hit a floater that put the Cardinals back in front, 71-70.

West had a chance to win it in the final seconds. But the Regents missed a 15-footer, then after grabbing the loose ball, West had a 10-foot shot at the buzzer rim out.

“They got a much better look than we wanted in that situation,” Bavery said of the final seconds. “We should have protected better and forced a pass going away from their basket, but they curled back and caught the ball way too deep and with momentum.”

The teams were deadlocked, 35-35, at halftime. Eady had 12 first half points, while Murphy added 10 and senior guard Cam Maly had five.

The game stayed tight throughout a thrilling second half, before the Cardinals prevailed.

Middleton made 22-of-28 free throws (78.6%), including 9-of-10 by Murphy and 6-of-6 from Eady. The Cardinals also committed just nine turnovers and forced 17.

“We allowed the ball to come off ball screens too easily, which should never happen if we stick to our basic defensive principles,” Bavery said. “But I’m proud of how we never got rattled and made plays when plays had to be made.”


Feb. 16


Middleton …………………… 35 36 — 71

Madison West ……………… 35 35 — 70

MIDDLETON — Ashford 1-2 1, Bacon 1 1-2 3, Brunker 3 0-0 6, Eady 6 6-6 18, Fermanich 3 2-4 10, Maly 2 0-0 5, Markel 1 2-2 4, Murphy 5 8-10 20, Smith 1 2-3 4. Totals 22 22-29 71.

MADISON WEST — Carey 7 1-3 15, Davis 1 0-0 2, Hawkins 5 0-1 10, Hess 2 1-1 6, McFadden 2 2-4 6, Meyer 7 0-0 15, Parker 4 0-0 11, Wright 2 1-1 5. Totals 30 5-10 70.

3-point goals — MID 5 (Fermanich 2, Maly 1, Murphy 2), MW 5 (Hess 1, Meyer 1, Parker 3). Total fouls — MID 17, MW 23.

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