MHS boys knock off Madison West

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MTT News's picture
Adam Hatlan/For the Times-Tribune
Cole Deptula and Middleton’s boys basketball team split a pair of games last week./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Win No. 1 is officially in the books.

But it wasn’t easy.

Middleton boys' basketball team entered last Saturday’s game against Madison West seeking their first victory of the year after losing a nailbiter to Verona two nights earlier.

West used a 9-0 run in the second half to get within one possession, but the Cardinals were able to pull away late and beat the Regents, 67-53, in a Big Eight conference game at Middleton.

The Cardinals improved to 1-1, 1-1 in the Big Eight. West fell to 0-4, 0-3 in the Big Eight.

“Thursday was a close one for us, but it feels really good to get that first win under our belt,” Middleton senior Cole Deptula said.

Middleton head coach Kevin Bavery knew that even though West entered the game winless, they couldn’t be overlooked.

“I think early in the season players get wrapped up in comparative scores, like ‘oh they beat this team by this many,’ and so on,” Bavery said. “Sure, West lost to (Madison) East by (39 points), but they have the returning leading scorer in the conference in (Dayne) Armwald and only lost to (Madison) La Follette by three.”

Deptula led the Cardinals in scoring for the second consecutive game. Deptula scored 18 against West after pouring in 25 against Verona, and he currently leads the Big Eight in scoring at 21.5 points per game.  

“Hopefully I can keep up the hot shooting, but it’s all about winning games,” Deptula said. “I’ve been taking advantage of the open looks and not trying to force too much, taking what they’ve been giving me.”

Bavery noted the work Deptula put in during the offseason.

“Cole is the type of player that when others don’t really have a plan, he’s over in the corner doing two-ball work, working on his step-backs, and shooting, shooting, shooting. He has the ability to focus and work,” Bavery said. “There might be some kids that came close, but there is no way anybody put more time into their individual skill work like Cole did.”

Armwald led the Big Eight in scoring last season at 17.2 points per game. Bavery noted that stopping Armwald was a focal point of the defense.

“We were able to hold him to four points in the first half. Part of it was awareness, but part of it was we came up with a shadow concept where we matched up to him out of our zone — we would match up with him man-to-man,” Bavery said. “Cian Carlson is a key role player for us and tonight we said ‘Ok, you match up with Armwald, the other four guys are going to play zone. You have to keep him off the board.’ Cian fouled out, but he set the tone against Armwald in not letting him get to the boards without a fight.”

Armwald finished with 16 points, and Jerome Jacobs had 13 for West. West shot 15-of-62 (24.2%) from the field and 4-of-34 (11.8%) from three-point range. 

In addition to Deptula’s big night, Henry Patterson added 12 points for the Cardinals. Middleton was efficient shooting and went 23-of-40 (58%) from the field and 7-of-12 (58%) from three-point range.

West scored the first basket and led, 5-4, after a three from Elliot Berry with 14:35 left in the first half. But Middleton responded with an 8-0 run to go up 12-5 with 10:55 left in the first half. The Cardinals stretched their lead to 17-7, and headed to the half leading, 29-17.

Middleton led, 31-19, with 16:22 left after a basket from Parker Van Buren. But the Cardinals then went on a 4-minute scoring drought.

West took advantage and answered with a 9-0 run to pull within 31-28 with 12:37 left in the game.

Deptula ended West’s run 20 seconds later with an and-one play, taking a quick pass from Billy Johnson off a West turnover and using a fingertip lay-in to score the hoop and draw the foul.

“Billy had the vision to find me there on an open cut with a nice pass, and I got fouled and finished it,” Deptula said.

West hung around, though, never trailing by more than six over the next four minutes. Deptula stymied the West momentum again, this time drilling a three to put Middleton ahead, 41-33, with just under eight minutes left in the game.

“At crunch time, we ran Cole off a down screen instead of going through the back side, and he hit a big three off of that,” Bavery said. “Cole’s decision making in the situation was very sound.”

Deptula scored the next five points for Middleton as the Cardinals stretched their lead to 45-35.

West came as close as six down the stretch, but Middleton senior Logan Schultz hit two clutch three-pointers to give Middleton a 53-44 lead with 3:44 left in the game.

West pulled within 55-48 with 1:51 left, but Middleton ended the game on a 12-5 run and left with a hard fought first victory.

“We let a little pressure speed us up tonight, and when we do that we start pounding the ball a little too much and not just believing in back door cuts and solid screens,” Bavery said. “We get out of sync offensively, and I think that allowed West to get back into it in the second half.”

Bavery is just happy his Cardinals are in the win column.

“The first win of the season is always the best one,” Bavery said.

• On deck: Middleton travels to Memorial on Friday at 7:15 p.m.

West ………. 17  36 — 53

Middleton .... 29  38 — 67

Middleton — Raffel 2 2-2 7, Bauer 2 0-0 5, Deptula 6 5-5 18, Patterson 3 5-8 12, Schultz 3 0-0 9, Van Buren 3 1-2 7, Fosdick 1 1-4 3, Johnson 3 0-1 6. Totals 23 14-22 67.

West — Jacobs 3 6-7 13, Bowman 0 2-2 2, Berry 3 1-3 9, Richmond 0 3-4 3, McGrath 4 1-1 10, Armwald 5 6-10 16. Totals 15 19-27 53.

Three-point goals: MID 7 (Schultz 3, Patterson, Deptula, Bauer, Raffel), West 4 (Berry 2, McGrath, Jacobs). Total fouls: MID 23 WEST 22. Fouled out-- Carlson (MID). 


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