Middleton's boys hold off Verona

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Adam Hatlan/For the Times-Tribune
Cole Deptula had 19 points in Middleton’s win over Verona on Jan. 30./Photo courtesy of Mary Bavery

VERONA — Middleton guard T.J. Bauer was having a quiet night last Thursday and hadn’t attempted a shot the entire game against Verona.

But when Bauer took his first shot with less than three minutes remaining, Bauer delivered in the loudest way for Middleton’s boys basketball team.

Bauer hit a clutch, tie-breaking three-point shot off an inbounds play with just more than two minutes left to help propel the Cardinals to a 60-52 road victory over the Wildcats.

Bauer, a sophomore, came off the bench and had converted two free throws in the first half before hitting the go-ahead shot with the game tied at 49.

“My guy was under the basket and I had a wide open shot. I kind of gave Cole (Deptula) under the basket a nod and he passed it in to me and I knocked it down,” Bauer said of the play. “I hadn't taken any shots before that shot. I just saw the basket and let it go and it felt good. I knew it was going in.”  

Middleton forward Cole Deptula was inbounding and found Bauer standing alone in the corner on the play as Verona had three players guarding Parker Van Buren, anticipating an inbound lob to the Cardinals’ 6-foot-9 center.

“We had run that inbounds play at least five times during the game, and we were always looking for Logan (Schultz) or Parker,” Deptula said. “Verona turned their back on T.J. on that last one and he was wide open in the corner and knocked down the shot.” 

Deptula had confidence Bauer would make the shot.

“Bauer is always making shots in practice, rarely misses,” Deptula said. “If he’s open, give him the ball. He’s going to make it.”

Bauer was the hero down the stretch for the Cardinals. After he nailed the go-ahead shot, he then stole a pass on the next Verona possession and made a fast break layup to put Middleton ahead, 54-49, with 1:22 left.

Bauer finished with seven points.

“After the three-pointer, I felt like I had a little rhythm going,” Bauer said. “I had the breakaway layup and made a few nice passes in the final stretch of the game.”

Middleton improved to 5-7 overall and 4-5 in Big Eight. Verona fell to 2-12, 2-9 Big Eight. 

Middleton opened the game on a 10-0 run after hitting its first four shots and six of its first eight to go up, 16-4. Logan Schultz scored Middleton’s first five points, and Deptula followed with the next five.

Deptula finished with a game-high 19 and Schultz added 13.

“We jumped out right away with Logan Schultz getting hot, and Cole had some big hits for us,” Middleton head coach Kevin Bavery said. “To be up 10 right away, there is a little bit of fool’s gold in that. We knew Verona would make a run at some point. Verona couldn’t buy a basket at the start.”

Verona started the game by missing its first six shots, and then made a run. After starting the game 0-for-6 from the floor, Verona finished the first half making 11 of its final 16 (68.8%) shots. 

The Cardinals led, 28-12, with 5:18 left in the first half, but turned the ball over on five of their final six possessions of the half. Verona took advantage of Middleton’s miscues and used a 16-4 run to close the half and pull within 32-28.

Schultz came out of the break on fire for the Cardinals and hit two three-point baskets to put Middleton ahead, 38-31.

After Verona pulled within 38-35, Middleton went on a 6-0 run and led, 44-35, for its biggest lead of the second half.

“We kind of built the lead back up out of the break, but it just stayed in the four to seven-point range most of the way after that,” Bavery said. “Verona was able to keep it within reach.”

Verona answered with a 14-4 run to go ahead, 49-48, and led for the first time the entire game with 3:41 remaining.

Deptula hit the front end of a one-and-one to tie the game at 49 with 3:02 left and then Verona missed a shot on its end.

Middleton grabbed the rebound on the Verona miss, Deptula missed a shot, but the ball went out-of-bounds off a Verona player.

That gave the Cardinals the ball underneath their own hoop and set up the heroics from Bauer to put Middleton ahead for good.

“Verona was so focused on Parker on the inbounds play, that T.J. was standing all alone in the corner,” Bavery said. “For Bauer to hit that shot as a sophomore, in the corner, in a tie game, with about two minutes to go, that was huge.”

Schultz stole a pass with seven seconds to go and sprinted the length of the floor, throwing down a reverse dunk to put an exclamation point on the Cardinals' 12-3 run to end the game.

“We had a really good week of practice, so we had some momentum as a team coming into this one,” Bauer said.

Middleton shot 21-for-43 (48.8%) in the game, including 9-for-21 (42.8%) from three. Verona shot 20-for-47 (42.6%) in the game, but was only 4-for-22 (18.1%) from three.

“This is the first game where we’ve had a big lead, lost it, re-taken the lead, and closed the game out for a win,” Bavery said. “One thing we’ve been questioning is our toughness plays. Tonight we showed some toughness, and if we do those things, we have a chance against anybody we play.”

Deptula agreed.

“We finished off strong and closed out the win,” Deptula said. “It feels great knowing that we lost all of our momentum from the beginning of the game and gained it back to close out and win this game.”

• On deck: Middleton hosts Madison Memorial Friday at 7:15 p.m., hosts Madison LaFollette on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., then plays at Madison East Feb. 11 at 7:15 p.m.

 

Jan. 30

Middleton 60, Verona 52

Middleton ……. 32   28 — 60

Verona ………... 28   24 — 52

Middleton — Raffel 4 1-3 10, Bauer 2 2-3 7, Deptula 5 5-6 19, Patterson 2 0-0 4, Schultz 5 0-0 13, Van Buren 3 1-5 7. Totals 21 9-17 60.

Verona — H. Anderson 3 3-4 9, J. Anderson 1 1-2 3, Bekx 2 0-0 5, Kisting 2 1-1 5, Odetunde 3 0-0 8, Roddick 1 0-0 3, Poller 1 0-0 2, Sherry 3 3-3 9, Jannusch 1 0-0 2, Comber 2 0-0 4, Rae 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 8-10 52.

Three-point goals: MID 9 (Deptula 4, Schultz 3, Bauer, Raffel), VER 4 (Odetunde 2, Bekx, Roddick). Total fouls: MID 15, VER 19.

 

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