Sports

Tue
04
Feb
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Girls BB team wins 9th straight

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

That’s the message Middleton’s girls basketball team has been delivering to its foes lately.

The Cardinals rolled to a pair of highly-impressive wins last week. First, Middleton trounced host Madison East, 83-49, last Thursday. The Cardinals followed that up with a 73-45 snack down of visiting Madison West last Saturday.

Middleton, ranked No. 6 in the latest wissports.net Division 1 poll, improved to 15-2 overall and 13-0 in the Big Eight Conference.

“Our team is really gelling together,” Middleton senior forward Liz McMahon said. “We’re running our offense well with good spacing and we continue to learn how to best play together.

“Defensively, we’re running our press well and improving on our half court defense. Hopefully we can continue our success, because this last part of the season is where our hard work can pay off.”

Middleton’s hard work has certainly paid off, of late.

Tue
04
Feb
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Rongstad's 33 lifts Middleton

A few games back, Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery sensed a change was necessary.

Bavery had been using senior guard Derek Rongstad at the point all season long. But with the Cardinals in need of an offensive lift, Bavery shifted Rongstad to shooting guard.

The move has paid off in spades.

Last Friday night, Rongstad erupted for a career-high 33 points and powered Middleton to a much-needed 86-79 win over Madison East. Rongstad, a UW-Milwaukee recruit, has now exploded for 86 points in his last three games.

“It was important to get him into more of a scoring emphasis and he's responded,” Bavery said of Rongstad. “The timing is great for us in this stretch run leading into tournament time as it's made us more complete.”

Senior forward Max Oelerich added 16 points and senior forward Derek Rogeberg had 15 points.

Tue
04
Feb
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Middleton wrestlers win Big 8

The conference title was on the line.

And there were just five meets left to decide a champion.

Middleton and Sun Prairie’s wrestling teams — battling for the Big Eight Conference dual meet title — were embroiled in a thriller last Wednesday night.

Sun Prairie was clinging to a 22-21 lead late in the match. But Middleton won four of the final five matches and notched a 43-26 win.

Middleton finished the dual meet season with a 9-0 record and won its second straight regular season conference title. Sun Prairie finished the dual meet season at 8-1.

“That just solidifies their hard work,” Middleton coach Kent Weiler said. “They’re buying into the program and the commitment.

“They didn’t miss a beat. This was expected for them. It’s fun. It’s one of those things where it’s nice to see the hard work pay off. As a coach and program-wise … it’s nice to see it all come together.”

Things certainly came together against Sun Prairie.

Tue
04
Feb
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Carey powers hockey Cards

Middleton’s hockey team needed a lift.

The Cardinals, mired in their first losing season in more than a decade, needed something good to happen last week.

Enter Jordan Carey.

Middleton’s senior forward scored a pair of late goals in a span of two minutes, 22 seconds last Thursday and lifted his team to a 4-3 win over visiting Janesville.

“Jordan is a special player,” Middleton interim coach Steffon Walby said. “He has the ability to take over a game at a moments notice.

“He played extremely well and got a few good bounces that he ultimately capitalized on. When he is mentally sharp and plays a physical game, he can be the best player on the ice.”

Middleton also dropped a 3-0 decision to first-place Verona last Saturday. The Cardinals now stand at 8-10-2 overall this year and are in fourth place in the Big Eight Conference at 6-4-2.

Carey’s heroics were the highlight of the week for Middleton.

Tue
04
Feb
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MHS swimmers peaking at perfect time

 

Crunch time has arrived for Middleton’s boys swimming team.
And the Cardinals appear ready to finish the season with a bang.

Middleton finished in third place at the 21-team Madison West Invitational last Saturday at the UW-Natatorium. And with the postseason now here, the Cardinals seem ready to make a splash.

“The meet went really well for us,” Middleton coach Luke Lengfeld said. “We had a number of season best times or personal best times. We are swimming fast at the right time and it’s really setting us up for a very successful championship season.”

Madison Memorial won the meet with 534 points, while Madison West (283), Middleton (224), Eau Claire Memorial/North (186) and Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial (182) rounded out the top five.

Middleton is at the Big Eight Conference meet Saturday at Beloit Memorial at 2 p.m. The Cardinals then host the Middleton Sectional Feb. 15 and are at the WIAA Division 1 state meet Feb. 22.

Tue
28
Jan
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Norregaard shoots Middleton past Parker

JANESVILLE — Tom Klawitter is a tough man to silence.

Janesville Parker’s girls basketball coach is one of the most vocal, demonstrative and outspoken coaches you’ll find in the state of Wisconsin.

But last Friday night, Middleton junior guard Elizabeth Norregaard and her Cardinal teammates pushed the mute button on Klawitter and his Vikings.

Norregard erupted for 32 points, which is believed to be the most by a Middleton player since Angie Halbleib’s 44-point effort during a WIAA state tournament game in 1993. Norregaard’s huge night helped the Cardinals pummel the host Vikings, 62-36.

“Wow. I had no idea,” said Norregaard, whose family moved from Denmark just three months ago. “That’s really neat. I guess I’m pretty proud.”

With good reason.

Tue
28
Jan
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Boys basketball team falls to Parker

Derek Rongstad was baffled.

Two thirds of the way into this boys basketball season filled with enormous promise, Middleton’s senior guard wasn’t expecting this.

“Every time we take a step forward, we take two steps back,” Rongstad said. “Every time we win, it seems like the next night we come out and don’t have the same energy. It’s extremely frustrating.”

And how.

Middleton’s search for a branch of consistency to grab onto fell short again last Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals wasted a 15-point lead and eventually fell to visiting Janesville Parker, 77-76, in overtime.

It’s believed to be the first time Parker has ever won at Middleton and marked the first time since the Cardinals joined the Big Eight Conference 20 years ago that they were swept in a season series by the Vikings.

Tue
28
Jan
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Boys basketball team tops Beloit

 

They were down seven when the fourth quarter began.

They were playing in a tough environment and struggling on both ends of the floor.

But last Thursday night, Middleton’s boys basketball team picked the perfect time to reverse its course. The Cardinals embarked on an 18-0 run and surged past host Beloit Memorial, 64-58, at Barkin Arena.

“An 18-0 run in the final quarter is as dominating as it gets,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “Good decision-making, great defensive rebounding and knocking down free throws was the key.”

Senior guard Derek Rongstad had a terrific all-around game and led Middleton with 24 points. Senior guard Luke Schafer added 13 points.

Beloit Memorial, which won in Middleton on Dec. 6, got five three-pointers and 19 points from Blake Farr.

“Doc was solid start to finish in all phases,” Bavery said of Rongstad.

Tue
28
Jan
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Wrestlers set for showdown

This is why athletes compete.

It’s why coaches coach.

Middleton and Sun Prairie’s wrestling teams were scheduled to meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. in a Big Eight Conference showdown in Sun Prairie. Both teams entered the match 8-0 in league dual meets and the winner will exit with the conference’s dual meet title.

“It should be fun,” Middleton coach Kent Weiler said. “These kids haven’t failed themselves yet. As a team, we’re really coming together … and I think we can be pretty dangerous.”

Middleton was certainly dangerous last Saturday, going a perfect 4-0 at the Big Eight Conference Duals at Janesville Parker.

The Cardinals defeated Verona, 50-22, in Round 1, then toppled Madison West, 63-18, in Round 3. Middleton blanked Madison Memorial, 84-0, in Round 4 and downed Janesville Parker, 75-4, in Round 5.

Tue
28
Jan
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Gymnasts rounding into form

This is what they’ve been waiting for all season.

A relatively healthy roster. Athletes beginning to peak. And top-notch performances.

It all came together for Middleton’s girls gymnastics team last Saturday, when the Cardinals won the Southwestern Invite.

Middleton finished with a season-best score of 139.325 and edged runner-up Mukwonago (139.1). Holmen was third at 133.675, followed by GET (131.60) and Reedsburg (109.30).

“This is a great group of girls, and all season long we thought we’d have a chance for scores like this if we could get healthy,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said.

Middleton senior Aryn Skibba, who was injured much of the season, competed as an all-arounder for the first time this year and had a memorable performance.

Skibba, who finished sixth individually at state last year, posted an all-around score of 36.225.

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