Sports

Tue
17
Dec
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Wrestlers 11th at Tomah Scramble

 

Middleton’s wrestling team finished in 11th place at the 16-team Tomah Scramble last Saturday.

Sean Benedict (8-1) was the star of the day for Middleton, finishing first in the heavyweight division.

Benedict pinned Mauston’s Alex Nelson in 48 seconds, then pinned Royall’s Landon Robertson in 4:32. Benedict followed that by pinning Tomah’s Ryan Sutherland in 4:31 and defeating Caledonia’s Blake Mauss, 5-3.

Finally, Benedict pinned Baraboo’s Jeremy Bowers in 1:43 to cap his perfect day.

Nathan Dresen finished second at 160.

Dresen pinned Harley Springborn of Viroqua in 1:52, then pinned Westby’s Brock Leum in 3:43. Dresen defeated Caledonia’s Mitchell Schmitz, 8-4, lost to Lancaster’s Trenton Cornell, 15-4, and pinned Tomah’s Ben Linzmeier in 3:42.

Middleton’s Lon Yeary (220) and Taggart Haase (182) were both fifth.

Wed
11
Dec
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Girls basketball team 2-0 in Big 8

There are positives all around.

There are also areas that must be shored up.

But perhaps the most encouraging thing for Middleton’s girls basketball team is it’s winning games in spite of a few problem spots.

The Cardinals opened Big Eight Conference play last week with a 78-60 dismantling of Beloit Memorial on Thursday and a 71-64 win over Janesville Parker on Saturday. Middleton improved to 2-0 in the conference and 2-1 overall.

“After the first two conference games there are some positives as well as some concerns,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “On a positive note, we're scoring points and we're getting production from a variety of players.  

Wed
11
Dec
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Beloit knocks off Middleton

Middleton’s boys basketball team believes it can win the Big Eight Conference championship this fall. And there’s certainly evidence to suggest that’s possible.

But if the Cardinals are going to make a run at the crown, they can’t have any more hiccups.

Middleton fell to Beloit Memorial, 64-53, last Friday in a game that undoubtedly stunned many throughout the conference. The loss came just three days after Middleton defeated 10-time defending conference champion Madison Memorial.

The Cardinals fell to 1-2 in the league and overall, while Beloit Memorial improved to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

“We knew coming in that this was the best the league was going to be top to bottom since we've been here,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “There are no Vander Blue's or Will Hudson's, but it's the deepest and most senior-led rosters across the board.  

Wed
11
Dec
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MHS gymnasts thinking big

 

Kari Steck is a little different than most coaches.

Middleton’s girls gymnastics boss doesn't talk about conference championships, sectional titles and trips to state. Instead, Steck likes to keep her goal list lighter.

“I have the same expectations for the girls every year,” said Steck, whose team opened its season Tuesday at Mount Horeb. “I want them to have fun, make memories, and accomplish their personal and team goals. 

“To me, that’s what gymnastics is all about. When the girls are having fun, it will show in their routines and scores.”

That’s certainly been the case during Steck’s first two seasons.

Middleton won Big Eight Conference and sectional titles in both 2012 and ’13. The Cardinals were then sixth at state in 2012 and seventh a year ago.

With several gifted gymnasts back, the Cardinals could be poised for another big year.

Wed
11
Dec
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Hockey Cards open Big 8 play 2-0

 

Middleton’s hockey team would love to win every time it takes the ice.

But if the Cardinals were going to suffer a defeat last week, they picked the right game to do so.

Middleton won a pair of Big Eight Conference games, toppling Sun Prairie, 4-1, last Tuesday and downing Madison Memorial, 2-1, in overtime last Thursday. The Cardinals fell to Monona Grove, 7-5, last Saturday, but still felt pretty good about gaining four points in the conference.

“The good news is we won the two conference games,” Middleton co-coach Steve Libert said. “We had a great opportunity to sweep the week, but we ran out of gas and let our fading legs affect our hockey brain.

Wed
11
Dec
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Swimmers start strong

 

It was a week that had to border on exhausting and exhilarating — all at the same time.

Middleton’s boys swimming team opened its season with three meets in five days, and performed admirably at each one.

The highlight came Saturday, when Middleton won a championship at the 14-team Nicolet Sprint Invite. The Cardinals also dropped a dual meet to Madison Memorial, and finished in third place at the Brookfield East Invite.

“It was a long week for the team,” Middleton coach Luke Lengfeld said. “The times got better and we put our best foot forward.”

Middleton was at its best during the Nicolet Invite.

The Cardinals were runaway winners, finishing with 386 points. Cedarburg was a distant second at 252, while Shorewood (236), Verona/Mount Horeb (227) and Waukesha North/ Kettle Moraine/ Pewaukee (202) rounded out the top five.

Wed
11
Dec
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Wrestlers 2nd at Reedsburg Invite

 

Middleton’s wrestling team opened its season by finishing in second place at the Reedsburg Invite on Saturday.

Host Reedsburg won the seven-team event, followed by Middleton, La Crosse Logan, Westby, Westfield, Oregon and Monroe.

Middleton opened with a 38-36 win over La Crosse Logan.

The Cardinals got pins from Brandon Best at 152 pounds, Nathan Dresen at 160, Shay Haase (170), Taggart Haase (182) and Sean Benedict (heavyweight).

Middleton’s Chris Rogers notched a 12-2 win at 126 and Marino Alcorta had a 10-0 victory at 145.

The Cardinals then rolled past Oregon, 57-15.

Middleton got pins from Trevaun Turner at 113, Rogers (126), Best (152), Dresen (160), Shay Haase (170), Lon Yeary (220) and Benedict (heavyweight). Middleton’s Colton Best received a forfeit at 106, Justin Swiersz posted a 6-5 win at 132, Alcorta had a 9-2 win at 145 and Taggart Haase notched a 3-2 win at 182.

Middleton also cruised past Westby, 54-16.

Tue
03
Dec
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Middleton ends streak, tops Memorial

 

It had been exactly eight years and 10 months.

Derek Rongstad decided that was long enough. Luke Schafer, Max Oelerich and the rest of Middleton’s boys basketball team agreed.

So after years of frustration, the Cardinals finally had their moment in the sun Tuesday night.

Middleton defeated visiting Madison Memorial, 54-50, in a Big Eight Conference thriller. That win was the Cardinals’ first over the Spartans since Feb. 3, 2005.

In the time since, Memorial had rolled off 20 straight wins over Middleton. And Cardinals coach Kevin Bavery had an 0-17 record against Memorial during his time at Middleton.

Afterwards, Middleton’s student body stormed the court. And the Cardinals celebrated their most impressive regular season win in years.

“As a player, you hear it in the background that Memorial has Middleton’s number,” said Schafer, a senior guard. “So to finally beat these guys feels great.”

Tue
03
Dec
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Swimmers thinking big again

 

The goals rarely change anymore.

Middleton’s boys swimming team has become one of the state’s elite outfits. And year-in and year-out, the Cardinals’ aspirations are largely the same.

It begins with competing for a championship in the Big Eight Conference, which is undoubtedly the state’s premier league. It extends to sending as many swimmers as possible to state.

And it ends with a top-five finish at the state meet.

The Cardinals finished fourth at state a year ago, and bring several key cogs back from that team. And when Middleton began its season Tuesday at the Brookfield East Invite, the expectations were for another big year.

“I bring the same approach each year,” Middleton coach Luke Lengfeld said. “That our team can compete with the best in the state and should be considered a top team in the state.  

Tue
03
Dec
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Middleton wrestlers gun for top — again

 

Kent Weiler wasn’t shy.

Middleton’s wrestling coach was discussing the Big Eight Conference race recently. And Weiler wasn’t running from expectations.

Instead, he was creating them.

“Middleton’s the team to beat,” said Weiler, whose team begins its season Saturday at the Reedsburg Invite. “I don’t care about any of the other teams. They have to contend with us. Middleton’s the team to beat right now.”

It’s easy to see why Weiler is so bold.

Middleton won the Big Eight’s dual meet title and the conference championship a year ago. Now, the Cardinals bring back 10 letterwinners — including five that competed at sectionals — and should field an extremely talented team once again.

“I’m pretty excited,” Weiler said. “I don’t know if guys know what the expectations are right now. But we’ve improved each and every year. We lost a good group of guys, but I believe we’ve filled the holes fairly solid at this point.”

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