Sun Prairie rolls past Middleton girls

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MTT News's picture
Adam Hatlan/For the Times-Tribune
Evie Coleman and Middleton's girls basketball team fell to Sun Prairie Tuesday night./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s girls basketball team faced a tough test Tuesday night, squaring off against powerhouse and Big Eight Conference leader Sun Prairie.

After all was said and done, third-ranked Sun Prairie reminded everyone why it is not only the best team in the the Big Eight, but also one of the best teams in the state.

It was a tale of two halves, as Middleton gave Sun Prairie a first half scare and led at intermission, 25-22. But visiting Sun Prairie capitalized on Middleton turnovers, dominated the second half and rolled to a 58-38 win.

Middleton dropped to 10-7 overall and 8-5 in the Big Eight, while Sun Prairie improved to 15-1 overall and 12-0 in the Big Eight.

“They are a tough team,” said Middleton head coach Jeff Kind. “We played a decent first half, we hung with them in the first half. We just didn’t match their energy in the second half.”

Middleton had all the momentum heading into halftime, using a late 9-0 run and overcoming 10 turnovers to take a 25-22 lead into the break.

Haley Dunn had all of her team-high 11 points in the first half and helped carry Middleton to its halftime lead. Dunn drained three three-pointers, including the go-ahead triple with three seconds to go in the half.

Middleton made five firs half three-pointers to Sun Prairie’s one, which proved to be the difference. Middleton was also able to overcome 7-of-25 (28.0%) shooting in the first half.

Middleton’s defense was able to disrupt Sun Prairie’s offense in the first half, holding the visiting Cardinals to 9-of-22 shooting (40.9%). Middleton also forced 10 turnovers and limited Sun Prairie to 22 points, its third-lowest total in any half this season.

Sun Prairie stormed out of the locker room in the second half, though, using a defensive press and throwing Middleton’s offense out of rhythm. Middleton didn’t score a second-half basket until 5:10 was left in the game, as Sun Prairie outscored Middleton 25-2 over the stretch.

“(Sun Prairie) picked up a little bit pressure defensively (after halftime), and I wasn’t too happy with how we responded to the pressure,” Kind said of the second-half struggles. “Early in the second half, they got two offensive rebounds in a row and they kicked it out for an open three. That was kind of a momentum shifter. We have to make sure we aren’t giving good teams like (Sun Prairie) second and third shots.”

Middleton shot a dismal 4-of-22 (18.2%) in the second half and committed 13 turnovers, while Sun Prairie shot a robust 16-of-24 (66.7%) and committed seven turnovers.

Middleton finished the game with 23 turnovers.

“(Turnovers) have been an issue for us all season,” Kind said. “It’s a toughness thing.”

Dunn agreed.

“In practice that’s one of the things we’ve been working on,” Dunn said of the turnovers. “It’s one thing that is definitely going to need to be limited once we get into playoffs.” 

Sun Prairie leading scorer Jayda Jansen (16.9 ppg) had 11 of her game-high 19 points in the second half.

“We just didn’t get back on defense,” Dunn said of the second-half. “We were giving them layup, after layup, after layup. I think we struggled getting back in it after that.”

Middleton committed turnovers on five of its first seven possessions in the second half and allowed Sun Prairie to take the lead for good. Sun Prairie seemingly capitalized on every Middleton miscue the rest of the game and pulled away.

“(Sun Prairie) has a lot of great shooters, great players. They’re a tough team to beat,” Dunn said. “They’re going to get the boards, get the 50-50 balls. They’re a tough team to compete against.”

Kind knows his own team has to toughen up as the season enters its final month.

“It’s a question of whether we can do the little things that makes us a tougher team,” Kind said. “Grab the rebounds, grab the loose balls, make sure our passes aren't getting deflected. We have to do those things and we’re running out of time to figure it out.”

• Janesville Craig 64, Middleton 49 — The host Cougars pulled away in the second half last Friday and swept the season series for the first times since 2005-’06.

Middleton trailed, 29-23, at halftime, then scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 31-29 lead. But the Cougars went on a 19-9 run to grab a 48-40 advantage.

Craig, which went 21-of-25 from the free throw line (84.0%) in the game, pulled away down the stretch.

Sitori Tanin led Middleton with 18 points, while Josie Lemirande added 10.

• On deck: Middleton hosts Verona on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., then hosts Janesville Parker on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.


Jan. 30

Sun Prairie 58, Middleton 38

Sun Prairie …………… 22  36 — 58

Middleton …………….. 25  13 — 38

MIDDLETON — Lemirande 1 0-0 3, Coleman 0 3-4 3, T. Tanin 0 1-2 1, S. Tanin 3 1-2 7, Dunn 3 2-2 11, Schauer 1 0-0 3, Bursac 2 2-4 6, Staples 0 0-1 0, Flottmeyer 1 2-3 4. Totals 11 11-18 38.

SUN PRAIRIE — Hilber 4 0-0 9, Moore 6 4-4 16, Lutes 1 0-0 2, Jansen 8 1-1 19, Rae 1 0-0 2, Baker 5 0-0 10. Totals 25 5-5 58.

Three-point goals- MID 5 (Dunn 3, Schauer 1, Lemirande 1). SP 3 (Jansen 2, Hilber 1). Total fouls- MID 9 SP 20.


Jan. 26

Janesville Craig 64, Middleton 49

Middleton …………… 23 26 — 49

Janesville Craig ………. 29 35 — 64

MIDDLETON — White 0 1-0 1, Staples 1 2-0 4, Bursac 1 0-0 2, Coleman 1 0-0 2, Lemirande 3 2-0 10, S. Tanin 7 4-0 18, Tanin 1 1-0 4, Dunn 0 4-0 4, Slottmeyer 1 2-0 4. Totals 15 16-29 49.

JANESVILLE CRAIG — Pierson 4 6-0 16, Dunlavy 4 4-0 13, Parkhurst 2 5-0 9, Elgas 3 0-3 9, Goswick 4 0-0 12, Fieiras 2 1-0 5. Totals 19 21-25 64.

3-point goals — M 3 (Lemirande 2, Tanin 1), JC 5 (Pierson 2, Dunlavy 1, Goswick 2). Total fouls — JC 20, M 22. Fouled out — Elgas.



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