Sports

Thu
15
Feb
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Girls basketball team seeded 16th

Their path will be treacherous and hazardous.

And unless they can spring a series of upsets, their journey could also be short.

Middleton’s girls basketball team received the No. 16-seed in its WIAA Division 1 18-team sectional.

The top four teams in the sectional received byes, meaning Middleton will host 17th-seeded Madison West in a regional quarterfinal on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

The winner of that contest then travels to top-seeded Oregon on Feb. 23 for a regional semifinal. The regional finals are Feb. 24.

Middleton lost its sixth straight game last week and fell to 4-18 on the year. The Cardinals are also 4-13 in the Big Eight Conference, which has them in eighth place out of 10 teams.

Middleton dropped a 45-42 decision to visiting Sun Prairie East on Feb. 6. The Cardinals then fell to visiting Sun Prairie West, 48-34, on Feb. 9.

Thu
15
Feb
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Middleton gymnasts top Parker

Middleton’s gymnasts defeated Janesville Parker, 129.350-108.725 on Feb. 8.

Middleton’s Abby Arnold finished first in the all-around with a 32.925 score, while Ana Bollig was second (30.450).

Aubrey Anderson was first on the vault with an 8.30, while Arnold was second (8.10), Aubrey Halverson was fifth (7.90) and Sophie Pop-Vicas was seventh (7.650).

Kenavan Lindner was first on the uneven bars (8.30), while Arnold was second (7.90), Halverson was third (7.850) and Bollig was fourth (7.250).

Eva Szczepanski won the balance beam (8.925), while Pop-Vicas was second (8.325), Bollig was third (8.050) and Buna Karanezi was fourth (7.975).

And on the floor exercise, Arnold was first (8.975), Jaelynn Kemp was second (8.30), Halverson was third (7.850) and Bollig was fifth (7.650).

Thu
08
Feb
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Poehls, Simon named Middleton's co-head football coaches

Their philosophies and principles are in lock step.

They’ve been friends for nearly two decades.

And both felt their first year splitting one of the top jobs in the state went extremely well.

So Joe Poehls and Tim Simon — who served as Middleton’s interim co-head football coaches in 2023 — will continue their partnership. Only now, the interim label is gone.

Simon and Poehls were two of six men that interviewed for the position on Feb. 2. When they emerged as the top choices, they told MHS administrators they’d like to continue as co-head coaches.

Middleton’s brass then signed off on that plan, meaning the program will have a pair of familiar faces in charge for the foreseeable future.

“Obviously I’m extremely excited,” Poehls said. “I love the program, love the community, love the school.

Thu
08
Feb
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Middleton mixes it up, tops Parker

Something happened late in Middleton’s boys basketball team’s loss to Janesville Craig on Jan. 30.

Cardinals coach Kevin Bavery got an idea.

He was going to take a hockey approach to substitutions.

“We told our players (the next night), we’re not going to keep doing the same thing. We’re just not,” Bavery said of subbing four or five players in at a time, in roughly two-minute increments, as a way to try and solve a month-long losing stretch that saw defeats in six of eight games. “So we decided we’re going to go to ‘shifting.’

“We just wanted to say, ‘Hey, we have to start playing with more energy. We have to start playing harder. So you’re going to go in for about two minutes — so if you start the game at 18 minutes, you know at 16 you’re coming out — so why are you going to do anything other than just play hard?”

Bavery didn’t actually compare the strategy to hockey, though. He chose track and field instead.

Thu
08
Feb
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MHS boys basketball team looking for signature win

Middleton’s boys basketball team has played 18 games this season.

And it’s safe to say the Cardinals are still looking for a signature win.

Middleton had that chance against visiting Sussex Hamilton last Saturday. But the Cardinals dropped a hard fought 55-47 decision.

Middleton fell to 10-8 overall and has lost seven of its last 11 games. The Cardinals are tied for fourth place in the Big Eight Conference at 8-5.

Middleton is now 8-1 against teams with losing records, but 2-7 against teams with winning records. And the Cardinals have yet to defeat a team that’s been in the top-10 this season.

Middleton had a chance to do that against Hamilton, playing the Chargers close throughout. And while Hamilton never pulled away, it also led the entire second half.

Thu
08
Feb
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Swimmers win Big Eight crown

The Big Eight Conference is arguably the state’s best swimming league.

The fact Middleton captured the conference championship Saturday at Verona speaks volumes of what might lie ahead for these Cardinals.

Middleton finished with 554.83 points to easily outdistance runner-up Madison Memorial (464.33). Host Verona was third at 451.33, while Madison West (307) and Sun Prairie West (233.5) rounded out the top five.

Middleton, the defending WIAA Division 1 state champion, now heads to the Madison West Sectional Saturday with the state meet set for Feb. 17. And if things continue to go as planned, the Cardinals could very well capture gold for the second straight year.

“Conference went really well,” Middleton coach Wes Lagerhausen said. “Excited to see the good times continue to roll into sectionals and state.”

There were a lot of good times for the Cardinals at the conference meet.

Thu
08
Feb
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Hockey Cards close in on Big 8 title

Middleton’s hockey team took a major step towards winning the Big Eight Conference last week.

The Cardinals defeated Madison West, 3-2, in overtime on Jan. 30 and stayed tied atop the conference standings at 9-2 with Verona. Both teams have just one conference game remaining.

Middleton also downed Brookfield, 4-2, last Saturday and improved its overall record to 14-8.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Middleton 3, Madison West 2 (OT) — Wyatt Ehrhardt scored an even strength goal just 2:25 into overtime propelling the Cardinals past the Regents.

Ian Eberle was brilliant in net, notching 40 saves and picking up the win.

“Our games with West this year have been very competitive, and this one was no different,” Middleton coach Dan Truehl said. “We didn’t have our best stuff from the start so I’m proud of the boys for gutting this one out.”

Thu
08
Feb
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Wrestlers third at Big 8 meet

Middleton’s wrestlers finished in third place at the Big Eight Conference wrestling meet held at Janesville Parker last Saturday.

Sun Prairie won the title with 302.0 points, while host Parker was second (240.0). Middleton was third with 221.5 points, while Janesville Craig (188.5) and Verona (150.0) rounded out the top five.

Middleton’s Sam Zanton won an individual title at 150 pounds and freshman Reed Falk was first at 190. Cardinals senior Bryce Falk finished second at 175, while Tavish Frank (106), Grady Hargrove (120), Pavil Jones (138) and Braden Dzwonkowski (215) all finished third.

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s performances:

 

106 — Tavish Frank (16-12) placed 3rd and scored 20.0 team points.

• Champ. Round 1 - Frank received a bye

• Quarterfinal - Frank won by fall over Jude Seaver (Janesville Craig) 12-20 (Fall 4:39)

Thu
08
Feb
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Girls basketball team has another tough week

It was another rough week for Middleton’s girls basketball team.

The Cardinals lost three games and fell to 4-16 on the year and 4-11 in the Big Eight Conference.

Middleton dropped a 77-43 decision to visiting Madison Memorial on Jan. 30. The Cardinals were handed a 49-47 setback at Madison East on Feb. 1. And Middleton fell to Madison La Follette, 64-55, last Saturday.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Madison Memorial 77, Middleton 43 — The visiting Spartans raced to a 38-20 halftime lead and were never challenged in the second half. Memorial put four players in double figures.

Sophomore Brooke Michelotti led Middleton with 10 points, while Emily Utter added seven points and Hailey Strode scored six.

Thu
08
Feb
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Gymnasts second at Middleton Invitational

Middleton’s gymnastics team finished in second place at the eight-team Middleton Invitational last Saturday.

Oconomowoc won the team title with 131.675 points, while the Cardinals were a close second at 129.70. Waukesha North/Catholic Memorial (129.60), Verona/Madison Edgewood (127.20) and Waunakee/DeForest (126.80) rounded out the top five.

“I am so incredibly proud,” Middleton coach Alexis Cairo said. “We are seeing consistent progress. We'll be working hard the next few weeks to really clean up our skills and routines before conference.”

Middleton’s Abby Arnold was fourth in the all-around with a 33.150, while Ana Bollig was seventh (32.40).

Bollig was third on the vault (8.50), while Arnold was seventh (8.450), Aubrey Anderson was 16th (8.250) and Anja Schmidt-Voils and Aubrey Halverson tied for 20th (8.150).

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