Sports

Tue
12
Feb
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Middleton swimmers aiming high

Hope. Optimism. Excitement.

Middleton’s boys swimming team has them all as they prepare for Saturday’s WIAA Division 1 state meet. The event begins at 3 p.m. at the UW-Natatorium.

Two-time defending state champion Madison Memorial is the overwhelming favorite. But Middleton, which was fourth at state a year ago, has hopes of bettering that finish.

“I think the team is more than capable of being top three at state,” Cardinals senior Jackson Uselman said. “I think anything can happen, and just because Memorial is the favorite, I don't think that that means we can't do great things as a team. I think that we have a lot of talent on our team and we can do great things.”

Cardinals senior Jack McGovern agreed.

Tue
12
Feb
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Middleton sends 10 wrestlers to sectionals

Jake Cain and Grant Laurent hoisted regional championships.

Eight others advanced to sectionals.

Overall, last Saturday was an awfully good day for Middleton’s wrestlers.

Sauk Prairie won the WIAA Division 1 Waunakee Regional with 239.0 points. But the Cardinals were second with 196.0 points and advanced 10 of their 14 wrestlers to this Saturday’s Middleton Sectional, which begins at 10 a.m.

Middleton was trying to reach the state team tournament for the first time since 1994, but fell just short.

“As a team we tried not to dwell too much on not winning regionals,” said Cain, a senior wrestling at 138 pounds. “We performed well, but just came up a little short when it was over.”

Laurent, a senior wrestling at 152 pounds, agreed.

“It’s too bad the team couldn’t move on to sectionals,” Laurent said. “We brought some good people to the tournament, but Sauk Prairie just outwrestled us.”

Tue
12
Feb
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Middleton's boys basketball team heating up

In the end, their recent hot streak didn’t matter as much as Kevin Bavery had hoped.

Bavery, Middleton’s boys basketball coach, went to his postseason seeding meeting Saturday hoping the Cardinals could land a No. 3 seed. But Bavery and Middleton settled for the No. 4 seed, despite winning six of its last seven games and eight of its last 10.

Middleton opens postseason play by hosting fifth-seeded Madison West on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in a regional semifinal.

“We felt we should have gotten the No. 3 seed,” Bavery said. “But at some point we know that you have to beat anyone, anywhere, anytime in order to make it all the way.”

Middleton and Madison West split their two games this season, with both schools winning their home games. The Regents most recently upended the Cardinals, 85-72, on Jan. 26.

Tue
12
Feb
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Hockey Cardinals ready for postseason

The road won’t be easy.

Then again, it never is.

But Middleton’s hockey team is ready and excited about their postseason chances.

The Cardinals closed out the regular season with a 4-0 blanking of Madison West last Tuesday. Middleton finished the regular season in second place in the Big Eight Conference at 11-3 and went 17-5 overall.

Now, it’s on to the postseason.

Middleton, the No. 2 seed in its sectional, hosts seventh-seeded Madison Memorial Thursday at 8 p.m. at Capitol Ice Arena in a regional.

If the Cardinals win there, they’ll most likely host third-seeded Madison Edgewood Tuesday in a sectional semifinal at 8 p.m.

“Memorial and Edgewood present unique challenges,” Middleton co-coach Steve Libert said. “Memorial has a line of very talented players, but not much depth. In one and done games they will play those guys a lot of minutes. Edgewood is a balanced and tested team.”

Tue
12
Feb
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Middleton's girls fall to Verona

Middleton’s girls’ basketball team wanted to prove it could knock off one the top teams in the Big Eight Conference when if faced second-place Verona last Saturday.

And the Cardinals found themselves in prime position to do just that until it all unraveled at the end.

Middleton led by nine points at halftime and took a seven-point lead into the final quarter, only to watch the Wildcats rally to tie the game in regulation. The Cardinals then dropped a heartbreaking 43-41 overtime decision.

“We had opportunities and we didn’t capitalize on them,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “You’ve got to learn to finish the game. I thought we were in pretty good position, but we didn’t finish very well.”

Middleton, which remained in fourth-place in the league, dropped to 11-7 overall and 9-5 in the Big Eight Conference. Verona improved to 15-4 and 13-2 and swept the season series from the Cardinals for the first time since joining the league nine years ago.

Sat
09
Feb
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Boys basketball team seeded 4th

Middleton’s boys basketball team received the No. 4 seed at its WIAA Division 1 Sectional Saturday morning.

The Cardinals will open postseason play by hosting fifth-seeded Madison West on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in a regional semifinal.

Middleton and Madison West split their two games this season, with both school winning its home game.

Sun Prairie, which leads the Big Eight Conference by ½ game, is the No. 1 seed. Madison Memorial is No. 2, followed by Madison La Follette, Middleton, Madison West, Watertown, Madison East, Verona and Oconomowoc.

After the initial votes are tabulated, teams have a chance to appeal. Middleton appealed its seed and lobbied for the No. 3 position. But Cardinals coach Kevin Bavery lost the re-vote to Madison La Follette, 4-3.

Middleton has an 11-8 overall record and is 9-6 in the Big Eight Conference. Madison La Follette is 10-10, 9-7.

Wed
30
Jan
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Middleton's hockey team stays red hot

Middleton’s hockey team is in the middle of its roughest stretch of the season. But the Cardinals refuse to blink.

That’s made for some terrific results now — and bodes extremely well for the upcoming postseason.

Middleton defeated rival Madison Edgewood, 4-2, last Thursday. The Cardinals then upended Fond du Lac — the No. 2 team in the state — 4-2 on Saturday. Middleton also lost to 10th ranked Eau Claire Memorial, 5-2, on Sunday.

With a game against No. 2 Verona set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Eagles Nest, Middleton is in a murderous stretch. So far, though, so good.

“Pretty big stretch for us,” Middleton co-coach Steve Libert said.

Middleton’s win over Madison Edgewood was a huge one for postseason seeding. By defeating the Crusaders, the Cardinals (14-4 overall, 8-2 in the Big Eight) are almost a lock to get the No. 2 seed in their sectional. That means Middleton would have home ice until the sectional finals.

Wed
30
Jan
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Coaches vs. Cancer event at MHS

Middleton’s boys and girls basketball teams, in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, will host ‘Coaches vs. Cancer’ events on Thursday and Friday.

Middleton’s girls host Madison East on Thursday and the boys host Verona on Friday. Both games start at 7:30 p.m.

The sophomore games begin at 5:45 p.m. with the Coaches vs. Cancer organization setting up by approximately 6 pm.  

This year’s girls game will honor three Middleton High School staff members who have all battled cancer head on — Karyn Baxter, Linda Bremmer and Kathleen Shaffer.   

The boys game will honor James Helmuth, a fifth grader at Elm Lawn Elementary School. Helmuth is a basketball player as well as a huge fan of the game.  

Helmuth was diagnosed with adrenal cortical carcinoma nearly a year ago. He continues to inspire others as he battles this disease.  

Wed
30
Jan
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Middleton's girls fall to Parker

The girls basketball teams from Middleton and Janesville Parker have dominated the Big Eight Conference for more than two decades now.

So it almost seems fitting that the Cardinals’ current run will be stopped by the Vikings.

Middleton dropped a 49-41 decision at Parker last Friday that signaled a changing of the guard — at least for this season. Parker built a 20-point first half lead, then held off the hard-charging Cardinals in the second half.

The Vikings stayed unbeaten in the Big Eight, improving to 12-0 in the league and 14-1 overall. Middleton — which has won or shared six straight conference titles — slipped to 6-4, 8-6.

“We don’t have a big margin of error, so we have to put together a whole game,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “There’s a lot of teams in our league that are similar to us. But we just got too far behind them, fought back and never got over the hump.”

Tue
29
Jan
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Middleton wrestlers thinking big

When it comes to conference titles and championships, no one likes to share.

But Middleton’s wrestlers weren’t complaining much last Friday.

The Cardinals downed Madison La Follette, 54-12, and wrapped up a share of the Big Eight Conference title. Middleton, Sun Prairie and Janesville Craig all posted 8-1 records in the Big Eight dual meet season and shared the title.

Middleton’s hopes of earning a share of the league title seemed bleak after it lost to Sun Prairie on Jan. 8. But Sun Prairie later fell to Janesville Craig, creating the logjam at the top of the standings.

“This year everyone on the team has put in a lot of work to get where they are,” Middleton’s Grant Laurent said. “It’s really great to see that all the effort is paying off.”

Middleton had several top notch performances against the Lancers to earn a share of the league title.

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