MHS girls top Lancers, win Big 8 title

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Charlotte Dunn and Middleton's girls basketball team clinched the outright Big Eight Conference title thanks to their win over Madison La Follette on Feb. 16./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Karina Bursac is one of the most unselfish players on Middleton’s girls basketball team.

When it comes to championships, though, Bursac had no interest in going halves.

“I don’t want to share,” Bursac said of the Big Eight Conference title.

She doesn’t have to.

Middleton entered its game with visiting Madison La Follette last Saturday with a one-game lead over Sun Prairie.

The Cardinals made things tough on themselves, falling behind the Lancers, 18-4, in the first 10 minutes. But Middleton rallied back, posted a 58-50 win and captured sole possession of the Big Eight title.

Middleton finished the regular season 16-2 in the league, 17-5 overall and has won nine straight games overall. Sun Prairie (14-3, 16-5) finished one game back of Middleton.

Middleton won the league for the fourth time in the past six years.

“It feels really good,” junior forward Sitori Tanin said of winning the league. “I think we just worked really hard going up and now we’re on that peak and gradually getting better.”

Tanin led Middleton with 14 points, nine of which came in the second half. Junior guard Evie Coleman added 12 points, all in the second half.

With Middleton in an early 18-4 hole, junior guard Josie Lemirande drilled a three-pointer and the Cardinals crept back within 35-25 by the break.

“We were able to hang around and went into half down 10,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said.

The Cardinals did a better job attacking the basket in the second half and got the Lancers into foul trouble. Middleton also shot 14-of-21 from the line in the second half (66.7%).

Demetria Prewitt, the Lancers’ leading scorer at 14.6 points per game, picked up her fourth foul with 7 ½ minutes left in the second half after Middleton closed within 47-45.

Senior center Hannah Flottmeyer later drilled a pair of huge free throws to give the Cardinals a 54-50 advantage with 2 minutes left.

Down the stretch, the Cardinals continued to hit free throws. Meanwhile, the Lancers went cold and Prewitt eventually fouled out.

“It was a nice comeback after an emotional win vs. Sun Prairie and a good way for the two seniors (Charlotte Dunn and Flottmeyer) to close out the regular season by clinching the outright title at home,” Kind said. “And it helps maintain some momentum heading into the tournament.”

Bursac agreed.

“This is really big,” Bursac said of winning the Big Eight. “It didn't look all that promising halfway through the year. But we’ve worked well together and become a lot better as the year has gone on.”

Middleton now heads to the postseason with a head of steam.

The Cardinals are seeded second in their sectional, and will host 15th-seeded Janesville Parker in a regional semifinal Friday at 7 p.m. If Middleton wins there, it would host either seventh-seeded Verona or 10th-seeded Waunakee in a regional final Saturday at 7 p.m.

“We’re really an upperclassmen heavy team,” Dunn said. “So we're kind of like really pushing as far as we can. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

 

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