MHS-Mukwonago a battle of heavyweights

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Charlotte Dunn (right) and Middleton's girls basketball team face Mukwonago in a sectional semifinal Thursday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

They have two of the state’s dominant girls basketball programs for years now.

Middleton has been a fixture atop the Big Eight Conference for the better part of two decades. Along the way, the Cardinals have reached the state tournament nine times — including six since 2008.

Mukwonago has been a force in the Classic 8 Conference for years. The Indians have also reached the state tournament eight times, including three of the past four years.

These two powers will collide in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. at Madison Memorial High School. The Indians (22-2) are the No. 1 seed in the sectional, while Middleton (21-3) is the No. 4 seed.

The winner will meet either second-seeded Sun Prairie or third-seeded Madison East in a sectional final Saturday. Right now, that game is scheduled to be played at Janesville Craig at 1 p.m.

“Mukwonago is a very good, athletic team,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “They are very good running their dribble drive offense and have five players who can all attack the basket and four who can shoot the three. They are tough defensively with their man-to-man and will switch into a zone if needed.”

Mukwonago lost a lot of firepower from its state runner-up team from a year ago. But the Indians have simply reloaded.

Sophomore guard Grace Beyer leads Mukwonago in scoring at 17.0 points per game. Sophomore post Natalie Anderson (10.8) and freshman forward Angie Cera (10.4) both average double figures, as well.

While Mukwonago is extremely talented, it does field one of the state’s youngest outfits.

Middleton, on the other hand, is a veteran bunch and hopes its experience plays a role in Thursday’s outcome.

Senior guard Bria Lemirande leads the Cardinals in scoring (15.3), while senior guard Alyssa Lemirande (13.0) and senior forward Alexis Thomas (10.0) both average double figures.

“The keys for us will be trying to keep them out of the lane on offense, trying to keep the pace of the game fast and having a decent game shooting the ball,” Kind said. “They are not very deep — their starting five has scored 90% of their points this season — so hopefully our depth can be a factor.”

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