Girls basketball team splits a pair

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Sitori Tanin and Middleton's girls basketball team downed Madison West, but lost to Monroe last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Pain now.

Gains later.

That’s what Middleton girls basketball coach Jeff Kind hopes will transpire from the Cardinals’ trip to Monroe last Tuesday.

The Cheesemakers, who have reached the WIAA Division 2 state tournament the last two years, toppled Middleton, 59-50. But facing an elite team on the road should pay dividends down the road.

“I think we're improving,” said Middleton coach Jeff Kind. “Fewer turnovers, better defensive awareness, etc. But we have to get more consistency on offense.”

Middleton also rolled past Madison West, 68-25, last Friday and improved to 2-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Big Eight Conference. But the Cardinals’ biggest test was in Monroe.

Evie Coleman had a pair of three-pointers and led the Cardinals with 17 points. Sitori Tanin added 15.

Monroe’s Sydney Hilliard, a University of Wisconsin recruit, led all scorers with 20 points.

“I felt we did a good job on Sydney Hilliard for the most part, but she hurt us with a three late in the game and on few breakdowns in the first half,” Kind said. “Evie Coleman led us … and Sitori Tanin is starting to come around with her offense. But we have to finish better and improve from the free throw line in order to beat the better teams.”

Middleton shot just 10-of-20 from the free throw line (50.0%) and made only 2-of-16 three-point attempts (12.5%).

The Cardinals started strong and led, 30-28, at halftime. But Middleton hit a second half scoring drought and Monroe made 9-of-11 free throws down the stretch to keep the Cardinals at bay.

“We didn't finish several easy shots around the basket,” Kind said. “We went into a scoring drought and fell behind. They are and experienced team and were able to close out the game making free throws in the second half.”

Middleton then hammered West 72 hours later as 11 different Cardinals scored. Tanin led Middleton with 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while Coleman added 10. Karina Bursac had nine and Hannah Flottmeyer added eight.

“West is not very strong and we led from start to finish,” Kind said. “We got a chance to play more people and work on some things defensively and offensively.”

The Cardinals led, 30-11, at halftime, and controlled the game from start to finish. The only downside was Middleton shot just 10-of-29 from the line.

“We did a good job defensively, but still had a stretch or two where we weren't very efficient on offense,” Kind said. “And free throw shooting continued to plague us.”

• On deck: Middleton is at Big Eight favorite Madison Memorial (3-0, 5-0) Thursday at 7:15 p.m. The Cardinals then host Beloit Memorial Saturday at 7:15 p.m.

Madison Memorial’s Leilani Kapinus, one of the top juniors in the state, is averaging 17.2 points per game. Kapinus suffered a knee injury last week, though, and her availability is uncertain.

Emmoni Rankins adds 13.0 points per game for the Spartans.

“Memorial will be a stiff challenge again,” Kind said. “They have multiple scoring threats and are very aggressive defensively and really like to push the ball up the floor. 

“We will have to contain Kapinus and Rankins for sure on defense and offensively we will have to handle their pressure and try to utilize our size advantage.  It will be a good test to see if we are becoming more sound with the ball and if we control them defensively. And it would help to make free throws!” 



Middleton 30 20 — 50

Monroe 28 31 — 59

MIDDLETON — Lemirande 0 1-2 1, Tanin 5 5-8 15, Bursac 2 0-3 4, Dunn 1 1-1 3, Flottmeyer 3 0-2 6, Coleman 8 1-2 19, Hodson 0 2-2 2. Totals 19 10-20 50.

MONROE — Benzschawel 3 2-3 8, Mathiason 3 3-4 10, Updike 0 4-4 4, Hilliard 8 3-4 20, Tostrud 1 2-2 5, Benzschawel 1 1-1 3, Bunker 2 0-0 4, Nesbitt 1 0-0 2, Towne 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 15-19 59.

3-point goals — MID 2 (Coleman 2), MON 4 (Mathiason 1, Hilliard 1, Tostrud 1, Towne 1). Total fouls — MON 16, MID 18.



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