Boys basketball team tops Marquette

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Davs Roquet and Middleton's boys basketball team defeated Marquette on Jan. 20./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

BROOKFIELD — Middleton’s boys basketball team was living the dream last Saturday afternoon.

The Cardinals had just toppled Milwaukee Marquette, 60-54, at the Luke Homan Memorial Showcase held at Brookfield Central. And as a reward, Middleton was headed to Kopp’s — one of its favorite restaurant’s in the area.

Just one problem. When the Cardinals returned, they discovered their bus had broken down.

“What are you going do?” asked Middleton coach Kevin Bavery.

Well, adjust for one. And the Cardinals proved throughout the day that’s something they were pretty good at.

Middleton’s win over the Hilltoppers came with leading scorer and likely first-team all-Big Eight Conference player Brogan Brunker sidelined with a sprained ankle.

With Brunker out, senior forward Davis Roquet scored 13 points and senior guard Alan Roden added nine points and played stellar defense on Marquette leading scorer Niko Kerschner. Cardinals senior forward Nick Michaels added eight points, highlighted by a half court shot just before the halftime buzzer.

Middleton, which fell to Big Eight Conference co-leader Sun Prairie the night before, improved to 8-7 overall and 6-5 in the league.

“We can play at a high level. We know that,” Roquet said. “We’ve just got to take care of the ball. Our coach has all of the answers. We’ve just got to listen.”

Bavery and his group adjusted awfully well to their transportation issues, as well.

When it was discovered a new bus wouldn’t be available for a couple of hours, several players rode home with parents. Bavery, his wife Mary, assistant coach Jerry Raffel and JV coach Tim Simon stayed back. A handful of JV players also gave up their spots in cars, so the varsity players could get home sooner.

“They did what leaders do,” Simon said of the JV players that stayed back. “I’m really proud of these guys.”

Bavery was awfully proud of his team, too.

Just 18 hours earlier, the Cardinals played without Brunker for the first time this season and were hammered by Sun Prairie, 65-40. But Middleton turned things around quickly and defeated a talented Marquette team (7-6).
“To play in Middleton on a Friday night, then come down and play in Brookfield the next day … this was a big win for us,” Bavery said.

And how.

Middleton hit four three-point shots in the first 12 minutes and built a 21-12 lead. Roden, the Cardinals’ do-everything, blue-collar man, drilled consecutive three-pointers in a 30-second window to give Middleton its biggest lead of the first half.

“I think the team needs to adjust if anyone is missing,” Roden said. “I wouldn’t say I was looking to take more shots. Just, you know, Brogan is an offensive threat and we all had to do a little bit more.”

Marquette went on a 15-3 run, though, and took a 27-24 lead with 4 seconds left in the first half. Middleton quickly inbounded the ball to Michaels, who took two dribbles and drained a 50-footer as the halftime buzzer sounded.

“I don’t know if it was a jolt as much as everyone just lightened up and loosened up,” Bavery said of Michaels’ three-pointer that tied the game, 27-27, at halftime. “And I think that really got us loose.”

Marquette scored the first basket of the second half, but Middleton answered with an 8-0 run to take a 35-29 lead. And even though the Cardinals’ lead ranged between one and seven points the rest of the night, Middleton never trailed again.

Senior forward Brian Vergenz drained a corner three-pointer to start the burst and Roquet split a pair of free throws. Vergenz followed with a lay-up on a nifty feed from senior guard Joel Ticknor, then junior guard Sam Close drilled a 19-footer.

Marquette clawed back within 45-44 after a three-pointer from junior sharp-shooter Joey Platz (16 points) with 4:20 left. That’s when Roden and Roquet combined for arguably the biggest play of the night.

Roden posted up and caught the ball on the low right block. Marquette immediately sent a double team and the two defenders tried tying Roden up.
But Roden, a Creighton University baseball recruit, fought through the double team and found a wide-open Roquet on the right wing. Roquet let a three-point shot fly that hit nothing but net to give Middleton a 48-44 lead.

From there, Marquette never came closer than two points.

“Whenever I get in there, I look to shoot first, then I look to kick it out,” Roden said. “It’s kind of a running joke that every time I pass it out to Davis for a three he misses. But it was a great shot.”

Roquet, who played some power forward with Brunker missing, had a handful of those. Roquet made two three-point shots and 5-of-6 free throws.

“I know Alan’s strong with the ball down low,” Roquet said. “And he can score or hit shooters all day. So I’m always ready … and I knew it was coming.

“The stroke felt good. I’ve been shooting a lot more in practice and just wanted to stay in the rhythm and shoot with confidence.”

Middleton made just one field goal the rest of the way.

But the Cardinals hit 10-of-12 free throws in the final 2:11 and kept Marquette at bay. Overall, Middleton hit 20-of-24 free throws (83.3%) and made 17-of-20 foul shots in the second half (85.0%).

“I think I learned that we’re pretty tough,” Roden said of winning without Brunker. “We showed a lot of toughness and I think we can keep that going moving forward.”

• Sun Prairie 65, Middleton 40 — Host Middleton struggled without leading scorer Brogan Brunker and was routed by Sun Prairie last Friday.

Junior forward Jake Klubertanz came off the bench and scored a career-high 14 points for Middleton. Sun Prairie sophomore standout Jalen Johnson led all scorers with 15 points.

• On deck: Middleton is at Madison West (0-10, 1-13) Thursday at 7:30 p.m., then heads to Janesville Craig (5-6, 6-7) Saturday at 7:30 p.m.



Jan. 20

Middleton 60, Marquette 54

Milwaukee Marquette ....... 27 27 — 54

Middleton ........................ 27 33 — 60

MILWAUKEE MARQUETTE — Garven 3 0-0 7, Kerschner 8 2-4 18, King 3 0-0 7, Schroeder 2 2-2 4, Platz 6 0-0 16, Novothy 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 4-6 54.

MIDDLETON — Roden 3 1-2 9, Michaels 3 1-2 8, Roquet 3 5-6 13, Ticknor 1 4-5 7, Bowman 0, Vergenz 3 0-0 7, Klubertanz 1 2-2 4,  Close 1 2-2 4, Thomas 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 20-24 60.

3-point goals — MM 6 (Garven 1, King 1, Platz 4), MID 8 (Roden 2, Michaels 2, Roquet 2, Ticknor 1, Vergenz 1). Total fouls — MID 12, MM 15.


Jan. 19

Sun Prairie 65, Middleton 40

Sun Prairie …………… 34 31 — 65

Middleton …………….. 18 22 — 40

SUN PRAIRIE — Ruffin 2 7-9 11, Strey 1 0-0 3, Jansen 1 1-2 3, Williams 1 1-2 4, White 2 0-0 5, C. Schaefer 3 2-2 9, A. Schaefer 2 0-0 6, Johnson 6 1-1 15, Hale 3 1-2 7, Fenderson 0 0-1 0, B. Voigt 1 0-0 2, Hawk 0 0-2 0.Totals 22 13-21 65.

MIDDLETON — Roden 1 1-1 3, Michaels 2 0-1 5, Roquet 1 0-0 3, Ticknor 2 0-1 5, Lewis 0 1-2 1, Bowman 1 1-2 3, Vergenz 1 1-2 3, Klubertanz 2 10-10 14, Close 1 0-0 3. Totals 11 14-19 40.

3-point goals — SP 8 (A. Schaefer 2, Johnson 2, Strey 1, Williams 1, White 1, Schaefer 1), MID 4 (Michaels 1, Roquet 1, Ticknor 1, Close 1). Total fouls — SP 18, MID 17.

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