Boys basketball team hammers Beloit

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MTT News's picture
Adam Hatlan/For the Times-Tribune
Chann Bowman and Middleton's boys basketball team toppled Beloit Memorial last Friday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

2018 started with a bang for Middleton’s boys basketball team.

The Cardinals took care of business in their first game of the new year, defeating Beloit Memorial, 78-53, in a Big Eight Conference game last Friday.

Middleton improved to 5-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Eight. The Purple Knights fell to 3-8, 2-5.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Cardinals. Those three losses came against teams with a combined 21-5 record.  

“This game is one we needed,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “We were 4-3 in the league (coming in), with a lot of close games on both ends. We’ve been able to handle a couple of opponents that we felt we were a little bit better than. I think a lot of that was the case tonight.”

Middleton’s 78 points was its second-highest point total of the season. Displaying great roster balance and depth, the Cardinals shot 30-of-52 from the field (57.6%), 9-of-26 on three-pointers (34.6%), and had three players score in double figures, led by Brogan Brunker’s 19 points.

“We’ve been struggling with our offense, a lot of teams have been overplaying us,” Brunker said. “We’re usually a pretty deep team. It’s all about confidence for us. We moved the ball well and got a solid win.”

Brunker, the leading scorer in the Big Eight at 20.1 points per game, had another solid all-around performance. Brunker shot 8-of-10 on field goals, including 2-of-4 on three-pointers, added four rebounds, and had an emphatic breakaway dunk midway through the first half that fired up the crowd.

The Beloit defense had to account for Brunker all night, freeing up other Cardinals to have big nights, as well.

“(Brogan) drew (a double team) once and found Alan (Roden) inside. (Brogan) can score in those situations, but he’s willing to give it up,” Bavery said. “When you have the Big Eight’s leading scorer that has an opportunity to score, but he knows there’s one more pass that will give you a better opportunity as a team, that’s pretty big.”

Brunker remained humble.

“We knew coming into the game we were going to have to share the ball as a team,” he said. “I think we did that.”

Beloit was able to muster up a decent night of shooting, going 20-of-40 (50.0%) for the game. The Cardinal defense didn’t allow the Knights to get in much of a flow offensively though, forcing 23 turnovers and winning the rebound battle, 25-18.

“We had some good traps and they panicked a little bit. We got our hands on some deflections,” Bavery said of the pressure defense. “(Beloit’s) whole game-plan is based on their opponent’s mistakes. They won’t run some scheme you have a hard time figuring out. They simply want to take the ball by you. Our number one focus was ‘stay in front’ and really help in the gaps. I think a lot of times we did that.”

Middleton came blazing out of the opening tip.

After missing three three-point attempts on their opening possession, the Cardinals made their next six shots and took control of the tempo of the game. Fueled by two Joel Ticknor three-pointers over that stretch, Middleton raced to a 16-6 lead to open the game.

Ticknor added another three-pointer a few minutes later to stretch the lead to 19-6. The teams traded baskets over the next few possessions, which led to the steal and breakaway slam for Brunker.

“We found a couple of open threes right away that got us off to a good start,” Bavery said. “After that, they switched (their defense) to man and we were patient and got the ball inside.”

Middleton took a 45-22 lead into halftime on 17-of-29 shooting, with Brunker and Ticknor leading the way with 11 points each in the first half.

The second half was much of the same for Middleton, as Beloit offered little resistance to the Cardinals’ offensive charge.

Middleton jumped to its largest lead of the night early in the second half at 50-24 on a Brunker three and didn’t look back. The Cardinals sustained at least a 20-point cushion for the remainder of the game and notched a 25-point win.

Beloit was led by Terell Ringer with 19 points.

Bavery hopes the game against Beloit can help jump-start the Cardinals toward finding more of an identity as the season moves along.

“This is a team where I think we’re focusing on our identity being two things — being sound and being tough,” Bavery said. “And if we can do that on both ends, we have a chance to compete with the best in the league.”

• On deck: Middleton travels to Madison East Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The Cardinals are then at Madison Memorial Saturday at 7:30 p.m.


Beloit ……... 22   31 — 53

Middleton …….. 45  33 — 78

MIDDLETON — Bowman 2 0-0 4, McKean 0 1-3 1, Thomas 2 0-0 6, Close 1 0-0 3, Vergenz 2 0-2 4, Ticknor 4 0-0 11, Roden 3 1-2 7, Roquet 4 4-5 12, Brunker 8 1-2 19, Boyle 1 0-0 3, Scher 1 0-0 2, Severn 2 2-2 6. Totals 30 9-16 78.

BELOIT MEMORIAL — Floyd 2 0-0 4, Rodriguez 0 4-8 4, White 2 0-0 5, Chandler 4 0-0 9, Hereford 1 0-0 2, Ringer 8 2-2 19, Payne 0 4-6 4, Cook 2 0-2 4, Trammell-Butler 0 0-1 0, Roberts 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 10-19 53.

Three-point goals —  MID 9 (Ticknor 3, Thomas 2, Brunker 2, Boyle 1, Close 1), BM 3 (White 1, Chandler 1, Ringer 1). Total fouls — MID 19, BM 19.



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