Boys basketball team roughs up Beloit

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery liked how his team played against Beloit Memorial./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s boys basketball team knew there was no room for error.

The Cardinals, fighting for the highest possible postseason seed, fully understood they couldn’t stumble at Beloit Memorial last Friday.

The Purple Knights put a mini-scare in the Cardinals and trimmed Middleton’s early 11-point lead to 35-32 by halftime. But Middleton’s second half was one of its best of the season and it pulled away to a relatively easy 77-53 win over host Beloit.

Middleton improved to 12-9 overall and 10-7 in the Big Eight Conference, while Beloit slipped to 6-15, 5-12.

“The ball went inside early and often in the second half,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “We were able to bump it to double figures and never looked back.”

Middleton senior forward Brogan Brunker led all scorers with 27 points, including 17 after intermission. Senior forward Davis Roquet made five three-pointers and added 21 points, while senior guard Nick Michaels hit three three-pointers and scored 11 points.

Beloit’s Trayvon Fair led the Purple Knights with 20 points, but had just two in the second half. Middleton senior Joel Ticknor and junior Jack Boyle tag-teamed Fair in the second half and slowed down the Purple Knights’ standout.

“Joel and Jack did a great job on him in the second half,” Bavery said. “He only had two points, really didn't get a three-point look without a really strong shot challenge, and had to work a lot harder getting the ball. When he gave it up and got it back it was rarely in position to make an immediate play as we denied him enough to push him well outside the arc.”

Early on, it looked like Middleton might cruise to an easy win.

Amazingly, the Cardinals hit three-pointers on their first six possessions and jumped to an 18-7 lead. Roquet went 4-of-4 on three-pointers and Michaels was 2-for-2.

“I've never seen that before,” Bavery said of beginning the game 6-of-6 on three-pointers. “I remember a sectional semifinal win over Craig when I was coaching at Oregon where we hit four threes in our first four possessions to go up 12-2, but six is unheard of. It was 6-of-6 on our first six possessions.”

The Purple Knights chipped away, though, and closed within 35-32 by halftime.

Fair went 3-for-3 on three-pointers and his 18 points helped the Purple Knights claw their way back.

“We told our guys, ‘Listen, we could be up by 10 or more, so we're in control. We just have to make some adjustments on Fair and really focus on inside touches,’ ” Bavery said. “Every time the ball went inside in the first half something good happened, so that was the message.

“I think assistant coach Jerry Raffel said it best when he said, ‘The good news is we went 6-of-6 from the three-point line to start the game, and the bad news is we went 6-of-6 from the three-point line to start the game.’ When that happens we sometimes call it Fool's Gold because it comes too easy. We started to take some threes that weren't in rhythm instead of getting inside touches first with an inside-out emphasis.”

Middleton did a much better job in the second half pounding the ball inside, primarily to Brunker. And the Cardinals did a terrific job of taking Fair away.

Middleton also shot 20-of-26 from the free throw line for the game (76.9%) and 9-of-11 down the stretch (81.8%).

Senior forward Alan Roden led the Cardinals with nine rebounds. The 6-foot Roden now has 163 rebounds this season, the third-most in Bavery’s 12 years as Middleton’s head coach.

Only 6-foot-10 Will Hudson has more rebounds in a single season over the last 20 years than Roden does this winter.

“We were a little sloppy when they got down enough to start bringing some full court pressure,” Bavery said. “But we also made them pay when we did handle it well.”

• On deck: Middleton hosts Madison East Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on Senior Night. It’s the Cardinals’ final game of the regular season. 


Feb. 16

Middleton 77, Beloit Memorial 53

Middleton ………………….. 35 42 — 77

Beloit Memorial …………… 32 21 — 53

MIDDLETON — Roden 0 2-2 2, Michaels 4 0-0 11, Ticknor 1 5-6 8, Vergenz 1 0-0 2, Brunker 8 8-13 27, Boyle 2 0-0 5, Close 0 3-3 3, Roquet 7 2-2 21. Totals 23 20-26 77.

BELOIT MEMORIAL — Chandler 1 0-0 3, Rodriguez 2 3-5 7, Fair 7 2-2 20, Floyd 0 1-2 1, Hereford 1 0-1 2, Cook 6 1-2 13, Ringer 2 0-0 4, Bell 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 7-15 53.

3-point goals — M 11 (Michaels 3, Ticknor 1, Brunker 1, Boyle 1, Roquet 5), BM 6 (Chandler 1, Fair 4, Bell 1). Total fouls — M 17, BM 21. Fouled out — Cook.



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