Sports

Thu
11
Feb
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Chirafisi captures gold

WAUKESHA — Nick Chirafisi touched the finish line.

Chirafisi looked up at the scoreboard, then a moment later pumped his fist.

Yes, there was plenty to be excited about.

Chirafisi, a sophomore at Middleton High School, had just finished first in the 200-yard freestyle at the WIAA Division 1 state meet held at Waukesha South High School on Feb. 6.

Chirafisi’s big performance helped the Cardinals finish in 10th place overall. Sun Prairie won the meet with 232.5 points, while Middleton had 92.0.

“Nick continues to impress us year after year,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “Oftentimes after a breakout freshman year some guys will struggle to recreate that their sophomore year. It happens enough that we have a term for it — ‘the sophomore slump.’ Nick blew right through his sophomore year and continued to produce.”

Thu
11
Feb
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Boys basketball team heating up

The postseason road won’t be easy.

But Middleton’s boys basketball team showed last week it’s more than capable of making plenty of noise throughout the playoffs.

The Cardinals notched a thrilling 58-57, double overtime win over Fort Atkinson last Saturday. Middleton also defeated Kingdom Prep Lutheran, 64-44, last Friday and improved to 3-2 on the year.

Those victories helped Middleton earn the No. 4 seed in its six-team postseason pod. Waunakee is the top seed, followed by DeForest, Sun Prairie, Middleton, Verona and Oregon.

Middleton and Verona will meet in a WIAA Division 1 regional quarterfinal at Baraboo High School on Tuesday at 5:30. The winner of that game meets top-seeded Waunakee in a regional semifinal at Baraboo on Feb. 19 at 5:30.

The regional final will be Feb. 20 at a time and location yet to be determined.

Thu
11
Feb
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Edgerton upends Middleton

Middleton’s boys basketball team is just two weeks into this strange, shortened season.

But the Cardinals aren’t — and never have been — about moral victories.

That’s why Middleton’s 61-60 setback at Edgerton on Feb. 1 was a tough one to take. The Cardinals played from the lead much of the night, before the Tide rallied back in the final minutes.

Nick Meinholz led Middleton with 15 points, while Logan Raffel, Kaden Fosdick and Hayden Statz all added eight.

"I'm really proud of the effort and overall where we are at,” said Middleton coach Kevin Bavery, whose team fell to 1-2 on the year. “But this is a competitive group, and playing really well in difficult circumstances and restrictions isn't where they want to be at the end of the night.”

Thu
11
Feb
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Mount Horeb KO's Middleton

BARNEVELD — It wasn’t your typical ‘Senior Night’ celebration that Melanie Accola and the rest of her Middleton Cardinals’ teammates had witnessed during their prep careers.

For one, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Cardinals are unable to host any games in their own Fieldhouse this season.

Middleton was also the visiting team when it met host Mount Horeb — which was also celebrating its own Senior Night — in a non-conference game at Barneveld High School last Saturday night.

Putting a further damper on the Cardinals’ evening was a 50-33 loss to Mount Horeb, when the Vikings pulled away from a 24-24 tie early in the second half.

But Accola was still able to put a positive spin on the evening’s proceedings.

Thu
11
Feb
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Hockey Cards fall in playoffs

Game experience matters.

Middleton’s hockey team, which was thrilled to get back on the ice last month after COVID restrictions delayed the start of its season, found that out the hard way.

Reedsburg’s co-op team was playing its 18th game of the year when it met the Cardinals in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal on Feb. 2. Middleton, on the other hand, was playing just its second game of the season.

In the end, the Beavers’ two extra months of ice time paid immense dividends and Reedsburg posted a 4-1 win.

“Obviously not the result that we wanted, but I thought that the boys played hard,” Middleton first-year coach Dan Truehl said. “We got close a few times early, but just couldn’t find that first goal to settle us down and play from in front.”

The Cardinals were competitive throughout, but converted just one of their 31 shots on goal.

Thu
04
Feb
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Boys basketball team opens with a win

WAUWATOSA — It had been 327 days since Middleton’s boys basketball team last took the court.

So when the Cardinals traveled to Wauwatosa Kingdom Prep last Wednesday, there was rust. There was inconsistency.

Amazingly, there was also a victory.

Middleton rallied from a deficit as big 10 points and posted a 49-46 win on its season-opener. Kayden Fosdick led a balanced Middleton scoring attack with nine points, while Matt Zimmerman added six.

Q’Andre Washington led the Wolfpack with 19 points and eight rebounds.

“This felt more like a scrimmage than a game,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “But it also just felt great to get back in the gym and have a chance to compete against somebody else.

“These are strange times when you have your first game of the year in January. But I thought we did some good things after kind of a sluggish start.”

Thu
04
Feb
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Boys BB team falls to St. John's

DELAFIELD — St. John's NW Military Academy — located in Delafield — might be small in numbers.

The Lancers have just 140 students and will play in the WIAA Division 3 tournament this year.

Everything else about St. John’s is large, though.

The Lancers’ starting lineup averages 6-foot-6. Senior Bradin Podziemski is averaging 35 points per game and is being courted by several Division 1 high majors. And senior guard Brennan Timm averages 20.0 points per game and will likely play collegiately himself.

This is the challenge Middleton’s boys basketball team faced in just its second game of the season last Thursday.

The host Lancers got 26 points from Timm and another 23 from Podziemski and toppled the Cardinals, 71-56. Junior guard Logan Raffel led the Cardinals with 13 points, while junior guard Nick Meinholz added 10.

Thu
04
Feb
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Swimmers set for state

Their season was truncated.

They had far less pool time than a regular campaign.

But several members of Middleton’s boys swimming team are back where they always wanted to be — state.

The Cardinals finished third at the WIAA Division 1 Middleton Sectional that was moved to Waukesha South last Saturday.

Sun Prairie won the seven-team sectional with 407 points, followed by Verona/Mount Horeb (358) and Middleton (303).

“This year's sectional was so unusual in so many different ways,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “The obvious difference was the significantly shortened season, but even at the meet there was a limited crowd, the guys weren't allowed on deck to cheer each other on, and it was the first time we actually swam against anyone else in person.

Thu
04
Feb
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Girls basketball team seeded 5th

The road will be brutal.

But at least Middleton’s girls’ basketball team is part of the race.

The Cardinals received the No. 5 seed in its five-team postseason pod. The Cardinals will face fourth-seeded Oregon in a WIAA Division 1 regional quarterfinal on Feb. 9.

The winner of that game would face top-seeded Waunakee in a regional semifinal Feb. 12. The regional final would be Feb. 13 against either second-seeded Verona or third-seeded DeForest.

Sectional semifinals are Feb. 18 and sectional finals are Feb. 20.

Middleton fell to 0-2 in its truncated season last week, falling to DePere, 72-32, on Jan. 28. The Redbirds, ranked 10th in Division 1, improved to 19-2.

Junior forward McKenna Monogue led the Cardinals with 11 points, while senior forward Mel Accola added eight.

Thu
04
Feb
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Wrestlers fall short at regionals

And just like that, it was over.

Middleton’s wrestling team didn’t get a chance to compete in a dual meet or an invitational this season due to COVID-19 restrictions. So the Cardinals’ first competition of the year came last Saturday at the WIAA Division 1 Baraboo Regional.

Unfortunately for Middleton, the season proved to be short and not all that sweet.

The Cardinals finished in seventh place at the seven-team regional and failed to advance anyone to sectionals. So just like that, Middleton’s year ended.

Reedsburg won the regional with 233 points, followed by Waunakee (226), Baraboo (213.5), Sauk Prairie (160), Mount Horeb (124.5), Verona (82) and Middleton (51).

The top two wrestlers in each weight class advanced to sectionals. Middleton’s top finishes were fourth place finishes by Walker Hargrove at 132 pounds and heavyweight Adham Elshaboury.

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