Middleton rolls past Sun Prairie

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Tyree Eady scored 20 points in Middleton's win over Sun Prairie last Thursday./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

Middleton’s boys basketball team is smart enough to understand that rankings truly mean little. Especially at this time of the year.

But there is a respect factor involved. And when Middleton was unranked last week — and saw Big Eight rival Sun Prairie jump to No. 6 — MHS felt a little snubbed.

“We didn’t really like that,” Middleton junior forward Tyree Eady said. “We felt we deserved to be up there.”

So Middleton did something about it.

In a showdown of Big Eight unbeatens last Thursday, Middleton raced to an 18-point, first half lead and rolled to a 69-61 victory.

Middleton improved to 5-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Eight. Sun Prairie slipped to 4-1, 3-1.

“That was a big win for us,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “Sun Prairie’s really good.”

Eady finished with a team-high 20 points and added two steals, while junior guard C.J. Fermanich had 19 points, four rebounds and two steals.

Junior guard Storm Murphy added 11 points and four assists, and Middleton’s relentless pressure defense helped force 27 Sun Prairie turnovers.

Middleton raced to a 19-7 lead behind 12 quick points from Fermanich and seven by Murphy. Middleton’s lead grew to as much as 35-17 late in the first half, but Sun Prairie countered with a 10-0 burst and pulled within 35-27 at halftime.

Sun Prairie went on its run when Bavery elected to sit starters Cody Markel and Fermanich with two fouls late in the first half.

“Clearly a momentum shift,” Bavery said. “But with the lead we decided to sit Fermanich and Markel … and we told our guys at halftime that we’d rather be up eight than down eight at half, and to take the 0-0 mentality with them to start the second half.”

Middleton did exactly that, but Sun Prairie showed why it entered the game undefeated and with a lofty ranking.

Eady erupted for 16 of his 20 points in the second half. But Sun Prairie wouldn’t go away.

Sun Prairie pulled within 55-50, but Middleton got a pair of big second half three-pointers by Eady and clutch three balls from senior guard Kevin Ripp and junior guard Daydrian Spears.

Eady also made 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch, while junior Jack Smith also made a pair of critical free throws late.

“Sun Prairie has an outstanding group and a couple of very difficult matchups, so we knew they weren't going to roll over and quit,” Bavery said. “They made several runs at us, but we continually answered. And although the score got close a couple of times it never got to one possession.”

 

Sun Prairie ………….. 27 34 — 61

Middleton …………….. 35 34 — 69

SUN PRAIRIE — Black 3 0-0 6, Hauser 1 1-1 3, Johnson 5 9-9 23, Kerr 4 0-0 8, Ruffin 3 2-3 8, Suchomel 1 0-1 3, Verstegen 4 1-2 10. Totals 21 13-16 61.

MIDDLETON — Bacon 1 0-0 3, Brunker 1 3-3 5, Eady 5 8-10 20, Fermanich 7 3-3 19, Markel 1 1-1 3, Murphy 3 4-4 11, Ripp 1 0-0 3, Smith 2-2 2, Spears 1 0-0 3. Totals 20 21-32 69.

3-point goals — M 8 (Bacon 1, Eady 2, Fermanich 2, Murphy 1, Ripp 1, Spears 1), SP 6 (Johnson 4, Suchomel 1, Verstegen 1). Total fouls — M 18, SP 25.

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