Sports

Fri
21
Feb
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Sources: Middleton knew hockey player was ineligible

Middleton’s hockey program applied for an eligibility waiver for senior forward Joe O'Reilly in October, 2019. The WIAA denied the Cardinals’ request, but Middleton coach Steffon Walby played O'Reilly throughout the season anyway.

That approach eventually caused Middleton to forfeit its win over Tomah/Sparta in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal game on Feb. 18. The Cardinals, who went 14-10 during the regular season, will likely be stripped of all their other wins, as well.

Multiple sources confirmed these details to the Times-Tribune Friday.

“It was a pretty cut and dried eligibility case,” said one source, who requested anonymity. “They were told not to play him and they went ahead and played him anyhow.”

Middleton athletic director Bob Joers refused to answer questions Friday.

Thu
20
Feb
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Hockey Cardinals thrown in the penalty box

Middleton’s hockey team expected to compete for a WIAA Division 1 regional championship Thursday night. Instead, the Cardinals were thrown into the penalty box — for good.

Middleton defeated Tomah/Sparta, 7-2, in a regional semifinal Tuesday. But the WIAA determined the Cardinals used an ineligible player in that game and were forced to forfeit.

Instead of advancing to face Sun Prairie, Middleton’s season came to abrupt end.

“We learned this week that we used an ineligible player in our WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal victory,” said Perry Hibner, the Director of Communications for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. “As a result we have forfeited that game.”

The WIAA received an anonymous tip on Wednesday that the Cardinals had used a player that had not established residency in the district — making that player ineligible.

Wed
19
Feb
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Middleton girls jump to No. 1

Four weeks ago, Karina Bursac had her doubts.

Middleton’s senior forward and a four-year letterwinner who helped the Cardinals reach the WIAA Division 1 state title game last year, was uncertain where this season was headed.

“If you would have asked me a month ago, I would have said, ‘No way are we as good as last year,’ ” Bursac said. “But we’ve come together really well and everybody on the team is doing really well. So, I think mentally, the way we’re going into the playoffs, is really good.”

It should be.

The Cardinals had another terrific week, both on and off the court.

Middleton pushed its winning streak to 14 games after routing host Janesville Parker, 80-39, on Feb. 11 and rolling past visiting Janesville Craig, 60-40, last Friday.

The Cardinals improved to 19-1 overall and moved into a first place tie atop the Big Eight Conference with Madison Memorial at 15-1.

Wed
19
Feb
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Swimmers take aim at state title

It wasn’t an ideal finish.

And it’s certainly not where they hope to be when the music stops Saturday night.

Good thing for Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team it was an appetizer to the bigger meal.

Middleton finished third at its own WIAA Division 1 Sectional last Saturday. Sun Prairie was first with 373 points, Madison West was second (341.5) and Middleton was third (334).

Middleton will now head to the state meet, which begins at 3 p.m. at the UW Natatorium, with hopes of winning the first state title in school history.

Wed
19
Feb
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Hockey Cardinals are red hot

The postseason has arrived.
And Middleton is playing arguably its best hockey of the year.

The Cardinals won three straight games last week and are heading to the playoffs with a world of steam.

Middleton upended visiting Beloit Memorial, 4-1, on Feb. 11 on Senior Night. The Cardinals rolled over host Madison East/La Follette, 10-2, on Feb. 13. And Middleton toppled host Sauk Prairie, 3-2, last Saturday.

The Cardinals finished the regular season 14-10 overall after winning four of their final five games. Middleton also tied for third place in the Big Eight Conference with a 9-5 mark.

Middleton, the No. 6 seed in its sectional, began the postseason Tuesday night by hosting 11th-seeded Tomah/Sparta in a regional semifinal. If the Cardinals won, they’d travel to third-seeded Sun Prairie Thursday at 8 p.m. in a regional final.

The sectional semifinals are Feb. 25 and the sectional finals are Feb. 29.

Wed
19
Feb
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Boys basketball team wins two straight

The drought was just shy of six weeks.

To those inside Middleton’s boys basketball program, it felt more like six years.

The Cardinals hadn’t strung together consecutive wins since the first week of January. But Middleton ended that skid with a pair of hard fought victories last week.

The Cardinals downed visiting Beloit Memorial, 78-65, last Thursday. Middleton then defeated host Janesville Parker, 61-55, last Saturday.

The Cardinals also fell to Madison East, 73-31, last Tuesday and now sit at 7-11 overall and 6-9 in the Big Eight Conference.

“We have had leads late in a number of close games, but haven’t been able to either hold on to a lead, or come back from a late deficit,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “Closing out back-to-back games when we were either down or our opponent was charging shows how much these guys won’t quit and still have goals to make some noise in our final four games, as well as at tournament time.”

Thu
13
Feb
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Girls basketball team stays red hot

They are peaking at the perfect time.

They’re beating the top teams on their schedule. And they’re routing the teams that aren’t as strong.

Middleton’s girls basketball team, which finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament last year, is positioning itself to make another run at the title.

The Cardinals pushed their winning streak to 12 games last week with two more impressive wins. Middleton routed Madison La Follette, 67-29, on Feb. 4, then whipped Beloit Memorial, 63-36, on Feb. 6.

The Cardinals improved to 17-1 overall and are 13-1 in the Big Eight Conference, ½-game behind league-leading Madison Memorial.

Thu
13
Feb
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MHS gymnasts win Cardinal Invite

Middleton’s girls gymnastics team performs before a standing-only-room only crowd most nights in the school’s “small gym.”

Last Saturday, the Cardinals took their act to the “big gym” — and put on a show in there, as well.

Middleton won the highly-competitive, eight-team Cardinal Invite with a team score of 136.675. Waukesha North’s co-op was second (135.65) and Verona/Madison Edgewood was third (133.075).

The event also raised more than $400 for the Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. Every gymnast competed with a purple ribbon in their hair to show support for pancreatic cancer, and coaches all wore a "Cardinal Strong" wristbands.

Middleton athletic director Bob Joers is battling pancreatic cancer.

Thu
13
Feb
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Rough times for boys basketball team

As a three-point ace himself, Middleton sophomore Logan Raffel can certainly appreciate quality outside shooting when he sees it.

Unfortunately, Raffel and the Cardinals saw too much of it from Madison Memorial Friday night.

The Spartans hit 5-of-9 three-pointers in the second half — including a trio from junior Kyle Yu in a 2-minute span early in the period — en route to defeating host Middleton, 63-42, in a Big Eight Conference game.

“They’ve got a lot of shooters,” Raffel said. “We could have got (out on them) quicker, but it just didn’t work out. When they have that many threats they just pass for more and it’s another three. It’s hard to get out to those shooters.”

Senior forward Cole Deptula scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first half and Raffel chipped in 12 points for the Cardinals (5-9 overall, 4-7 Big Eight), who pulled within five points at 26-21 with 16 minutes left after a pair of baskets by senior forward Billy Johnson.

Thu
13
Feb
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MHS swimmers win Big 8 meet

Conference dual meet title?

Check.

Conference meet championship?

Check.

Now, we’ll find out what box Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team checks next.

The Cardinals accomplished another goal last Saturday, winning the Big Eight Conference meet, which was held at Beloit Memorial High School. Middleton finished with 508 points and edged runner-up Sun Prairie (494.5). Madison West (364), Madison Memorial (342) and Verona/Mount Horeb (311) rounded out the top five.

“We went into the meet knowing it was going to be a battle for first place,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “We struggled to find the best times we had been swimming all season and Sun Prairie came into the meet feeling good.

“We have the most guys tapering for sectionals we have had in a while, and most of them had a hard time getting up and racing. However, the guys that tapered for conference swam great.”

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