Coleman's heroics help MHS reach title game

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Evie Coleman's shooting heroics helped Middleton's girls basketball team upset Mukwonago Friday night in the state semifinals./Photo courtesy of Mary Bavery

ASHWAUBENON — If Hannah Flottmeyer is anything, she’s honest.

And Middleton’s entertaining senior center outlined the Cardinals’ plan of attack during the second half of last Friday’s WIAA Division 1 state semifinals against Mukwonago.

“Just get Evie the ball,” Flottmeyer said. “That was pretty much it.”

Evie would be junior guard Evie Coleman. And getting her the ball was a brilliant strategy.

Coleman drilled 4-of-5 second half three-pointers and had 16 of her game-high 19 points after halftime to power Middleton to a 62-53 upset of the Indians.

“I’ve never shot like that. I can’t imagine I’ll ever shoot like that again,” Coleman said. “But hopefully I can do it (Saturday).”

Coleman’s previous career-high was 18 points against Verona on Nov. 20, 2018. And her career-high for three-pointers was four, something she had done three times this season.

Mukwonago head coach Rick Kolinske watched countless hours of tape on Middleton prior to their matchup. Kolinske knew Coleman could be dangerous, but not the assassin she was against the Indians.

“A lot of those (threes) were well beyond the three-point arc, well beyond,” Kolinske said. “I don’t think those are normal shots that she’s taking. Now she takes a lot of threes. We knew that. But I don’t know that she’s shot this well.

“But she hit big shots. They played very well and they moved the ball very well and they handled that pressure. They did a great job. We could always look back at what we would have done differently, but it wasn’t our night.”

Coleman was a big reason it wasn’t Mukwonago’s night.

Coleman had a quiet first half, scoring just three points as the Cardinals raced to a 30-27 intermission advantage.

“I really didn’t feel like I was doing much and it was super frustrating,” Coleman said. “My team knows that when I’m an offensive threat, we play a whole different game. It makes my body language better, it makes my attitude better and when that’s all good, I’m a completely different player.”

Coleman was an entirely different player in the second half. And she’s a huge reason the Cardinals advanced.

Coleman scored 11 straight points during a 3 minute, 20 second stretch in the second half as Middleton turned a 34-32 deficit into a 44-38 lead. The Cardinals never trailed again.

Coleman made all four of her shots in that run— including three straight 3-pointers and a driving lay-up.

“It was like nothing I ever experienced,” Coleman said.

On Coleman’s first triple, senior point guard Charlotte Dunn fired a cross court pass over the Indians’ trapping defense to Coleman on the left wing. Coleman fired a 24-footer with Mukwonago’s Kat Lopez flying at her and drilled it to give the Cardinals a 35-34 lead.

One possession later, Flottmeyer caught a pass at the free throw line and fired to Coleman — who was in almost the identical spot. Coleman quickly released another three-pointer, was fouled by the late-arriving Lopez, then watched the ball splash through the net again to give Middleton a 38-34 lead.

After Mukwonago tied the game at 38, junior forward Kendall Roquet found Coleman in the same spot on the left wing, and once again, the Cardinals’ sharp-shooter drained a three-pointer to give Middleton a 41-38 lead.

On Middleton’s next possession, Coleman cut backdoor for a lay-up to make it 43-38.

In a span of 2 minutes, 58 seconds, Coleman made all four of her shots and had a remarkable 11 points.

“Evie is our best outside shooter,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “And she gets a little streaky sometimes.”

This was kind of streak that makes any coach smile.

And one that will be talked about around Middleton for years to come.

• Another chance: Kind led Middleton to the state championship games in 1993, 2003 and 2011. The Cardinals lost all three of those contests.

So everyone was clearly thrilled with a chance to make history.

“This whole thing is just unbelievable,” Coleman said. “I never thought I’d be at state or in the state championship game. It’s amazing.”

• Déjà vu: In 2017, Mukwonago was the No. 1 seed in its sectional and Middleton was seeded fourth. The teams met in a sectional semifinal and the Cardinals pulled off a 71-66 upset.

This year, Mukwonago was the No. 1 seed at state and Middleton was seeded fourth. Once again, the Cardinals prevailed.

“Middleton’s a very good team,” Kolinske said. “They’ve got a lot of length. I think that bothered us a little bit.

“But there were some plays … those 50-50 plays and they are ones you’ve got to come up with in a tight game like tonight. Unfortunately we didn’t make those plays and Middleton did and credit to them. They did a nice job.”

• Odds and ends: Middleton led for 26 minutes, 25 seconds, while the Indians led for 4:37. The game was also tied for 4:58. … Middleton had 22 points in the paint vs. 16 for the Indians. … The Cardinals’ bench outscored Mukwonago’s, 10-4. … Mukwonago’s only loss this season had been a 59-58 setback to second-ranked Milwaukee King.

 

 

 

 

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