Cardinals surge past Parker

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton's girls basketball stayed tied for the Big Eight lead when they rallied past Janesville Parker last Saturday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Most of America will be buzzing about New England’s come-from-behind win in the 51st Super Bowl for several days.

Closer to home, there was a comeback nearly as impressive 24 hours earlier.

Middleton’s girls basketball team trailed Janesville Parker, 38-17, at halftime last Saturday. But the Cardinals mounted a comeback for the ages and rallied past the host Vikings, 73-68.

“It was an impressive comeback, probably the biggest one I've ever had from a team,” said Middleton coach Jeff Kind, whose team trailed by 25 at one point in the first half. “But it's not something we want to have to replicate. 

“When all is said and done, I was pleased with the way the girls responded to the challenge. That was impressive. That we got into that situation was not so impressive!”

Middleton improved to 16-2 overall and remained in a first place tie in the Big Eight Conference with Sun Prairie at 13-2.

Middleton senior guard Alyssa Lemirande had a team-high 29 points, while her sister, Bria, added 23. Parker sophomore center Julia Hartwig had 30 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Parker raced to an 11-0 lead and grabbed a 27-9 lead with 6:48 left in the first half. The Vikings eventually pushed their advantage to 38-13 and they led, 38-17 at halftime.

Hartwig was a monster in the first half with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

“We came out flat and they seriously outplayed us in the first half,” Kind said. “We didn't do a very good job blocking out or defending Hartwig. We just were not aggressive enough and aware enough.

“Offensively, we weren’t attacking well, committed some turnovers and didn't shoot well. They hit some outside shots and all those things kind of ballooned. We really challenged the kids to play with their hearts at halftime.”

Kind’s team listened.

Middleton opened the second half on a 14-0 burst to quickly close within 38-31 and make it a game again.

Alyssa Lemirande drained a three-pointer with 5 minutes left to tie the game, 60-60. Alexis Thomas gave Middleton the lead for good with 4:05 left, then the Cardinals finished the Vikings with razor sharp free throw shooting.

Alyssa Lemirande had 22 second half points, while Bria Lemirande had 21. Middleton also forced 19 Parker turnovers in the second half.

“I think we can take away a couple valuable lessons from the game,” Kind said. “One, we have to play with passion all the time, not just when we get into a hole and have to claw our way back. 

“Two, never give up. Even at 27 down, we have the ability to come back and win. Alyssa and Bria really took over the game … and the whole team picked up the defensive intensity. Hopefully it served a lesson on both what we need to do and what we cannot do.” 

 

Feb. 4

Middleton 73, Janesville Parker 68

Middleton — A. Lemirande 11-4-29; Thomas 3-2-8; B. Lemirande 6-9-23; C. Lemirande 1-0-2; White 1-0-2; Bursac 1-1-3; Dunn 0-1-1; Spales 1-0-3; Anderson 0-2-2. Totals: 24-19-73.

Parker — Benway 3-0-9; Forrestal 1-3-5; Graesslin 3-1-10; Blaser 1-2-4; Hartwig 14-2-30; Rosga 2-0-6; Brewster 1-0-2; Shelton 0-2-2. 25-10-68.

Middleton ………………. 17 56 — 73

Janesville Parker ……. 38 30 — 68

Three-point goals—Middleton 6 (A. Lemirande 3, B. Lemirande 2, Staples), Parker 8 (Benway 3, Graesslin 3, Rosga 2). Free throws missed—Middleton 8, Parker 4. Total fouls—Middleton 19, Parker 22. Fouled out—White, Forrestal.

 

 

 

 

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