Sports

Tue
12
Mar
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Middleton falls in state title game

ASHWAUBENON — In the moments immediately following the toughest loss of their collective lives, it took someone with great perspective, attitude and maturity to somehow look at the glass — and see it as half full.

Meet Charlotte Dunn.

Dunn, a senior point guard for Middleton’s girls basketball team, and the rest of the Cardinals just had a state championship ripped from their grasp at the Resch Center last Saturday night. Bay Port’s Emma Nagel broke free on inbounds play and scored with just 2.4 ticks left — a basket that eventually gave the Pirates a 50-49 win in one of the most dramatic and memorable WIAA Division 1 state title games in history.

Afterwards, Dunn battled through the heartbreak and found a way to fixate on the positives.

Sat
09
Mar
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Middleton's girls one step from state title

ASHWUAUBENON — Their upset bid was on life support.

Middleton’s girls basketball team had watched its nine-point lead vanish against No. 1 Mukwonago in the WIAA Division 1 state semifinals held at the Resch Center Friday night. And with the game now deadlocked, 50-50, with 4 ½ minutes left, the Cardinals knew their “now or never” moment had arrived.

“We looked up at that (score)board and we just wanted it,” senior post Hannah Flottmeyer said. “And we knew that we weren’t playing to lose. We were playing to win and so we just came together and wanted it.”

And they proceeded to get it.

Middleton went on a stunning 12-0 run, which helped it shock Mukwonago, 62-53. The Cardinals, seeded fourth among the four Division 1 participants, won their 14th straight game and improved to 22-5. Mukwonago finished the year 24-2.

Sat
09
Mar
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Coleman's heroics help MHS reach title game

ASHWAUBENON — If Hannah Flottmeyer is anything, she’s honest.

And Middleton’s entertaining senior center outlined the Cardinals’ plan of attack during the second half of last Friday’s WIAA Division 1 state semifinals against Mukwonago.

“Just get Evie the ball,” Flottmeyer said. “That was pretty much it.”

Evie would be junior guard Evie Coleman. And getting her the ball was a brilliant strategy.

Coleman drilled 4-of-5 second half three-pointers and had 16 of her game-high 19 points after halftime to power Middleton to a 62-53 upset of the Indians.

“I’ve never shot like that. I can’t imagine I’ll ever shoot like that again,” Coleman said. “But hopefully I can do it (Saturday).”

Coleman’s previous career-high was 18 points against Verona on Nov. 20, 2018. And her career-high for three-pointers was four, something she had done three times this season.

Wed
06
Mar
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Middleton faces No. 1 Mukwonago at state

Overlooked? Been there.

Disrespected? Done that.

Underdogs? Oh well.

Middleton’s girls basketball team has traveled each of these paths this season and the Cardinals will do it again this weekend.

Middleton received the No. 4 seed at the WIAA Division 1 state tournament at the Resch Center in Green Bay and will meet No. 1 seed Mukwonago in a semifinal game Friday at 6:35 p.m.

The winner of that game meets either second-seeded Kimberly or third-seeded Bay Port in the state finals Saturday at approximately 8:15 p.m.

For Middleton, being discounted and snubbed has been par for the course this season.

“I love being the underdog,” said senior point guard Charlotte Dunn. “We’ve kind of been that all season.

“We’re young, no expectations there. Coming off of last year, losing in the first round, it was kind of like ‘let’s see what they can do.’ We wanted to prove them wrong, and here we are. Now we’re going (to state).”

Wed
06
Mar
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Middleton's girls headed back to state

JANESVILLE — With 5.7 seconds remaining, Middleton senior point guard Charlotte Dunn stepped to the free throw line and broke into a huge grin.

No pressure.

Just finish off an impressive victory over a conference rival and let the party begin.

But first, Dunn made eye contact with fellow senior and co-captain Hannah Flottmeyer, who began to tear up as they shared a moment they will treasure the rest of their lives.

Dunn sank one of two free throws to put an exclamation point on an impressive 60-45 victory over Sun Prairie in a WIAA Division 1 sectional final held at Janesville Craig High School on Saturday afternoon.

Wed
06
Mar
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Middleton's girls rally past Memorial

VERONA — The tension was palpable, the gym deafening. Nearly everybody inside Verona High School was on their feet. 

During the final five minutes of last Thursday’s WIAA Division1 girls basketball sectional final between Middleton and Madison Memorial, the Big Eight Conference rivals traded blow after blow.

Thanks to smothering defense, though, and some clutch baskets down the stretch, the Cardinals rallied back from an eight-point deficit and downed the Spartans, 41-39.

The win was the 12th in a row for Middleton and improved its record to 20-5. The win also placed the Cardinals in their second sectional final in three years.

Memorial finished the year 19-6 and had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

Wed
06
Mar
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Craig ends Middleton's year

In many ways, they overachieved from Day 1.

Middleton’s boys basketball team was dealt a crushing blow last October when Max Schlicht — arguably its most talented player — was lost for the season due to an ACL injury.

In rather impressive fashion, though, the Cardinals still went 13-9 in the regular season, snapped an ugly losing streak against Madison Memorial and received the No. 6 seed in an 18-team sectional.

Last Friday night, though, those accomplishments meant little.

Visiting Janesville Craig toppled the Cardinals, 61-52, in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal. And as the Middleton’s coaches and players exchanged season-ending hugs and high-fives, there were tears coming from every corner of the Cardinals’ locker room.

“It hurts a lot,” senior point guard Jack Boyle said. “The end is hard.”

Middleton coach Kevin Bavery agreed.

Wed
06
Mar
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MHS gymnasts finish up big year

In some ways, the results were almost secondary.

Middleton’s girls gymnastics team, a surprise participant at the WIAA Division 1 state meet held at Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln High School, was truthfully fine with whatever happened.

“We were just happy to be at state,” Middleton coach Kari Steck.

And that made the outcome easy to digest.

Middleton finished 10th among 10 teams at the state team meet last Friday. Franklin captured the team title with a score of 148.2833, while Middleton was 10th at 130.7667.

Then during the individual meet Saturday, Middleton senior Jordan Baggot was 22nd in the all-around competition, while sophomore Taylor Engelkes was 23rd.

“I don't think the girls were nervous,” Steck said. “It was a great experience for a young team.”

Middleton certainly wasn’t at its best at the team meet. Then again, no one was complaining.

Thu
28
Feb
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Middleton girls win regional title

Josie Lemirande doesn’t always look for her shot.

But, when she does, look out.

The junior guard unleashed a sharp-shooting clinic as she drilled five 3-pointers, including a halftime buzzer-beater from just beyond half court, to lead Middleton’s girls basketball team to a 60-38 WIAA Division 1 regional final victory over Waunakee last Saturday night.

The long distance shot gave the Cardinals a 28-16 halftime lead and some much needed momentum going into the second half.

“Josie had a nice game for us,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “That was a nice momentum booster hitting that buzzer beater at the end of the first half. That was a big turnaround because they had a layup that could very easily have gone in. It was nice to get that lead going in.”

Thu
28
Feb
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MHS girls set for Madison Memorial

There’s an axiom in sports about how hard it is to beat a team three straight times.

Truth is, that’s a total myth.

In the National Football League, for example, 20 teams have had to face a divisional opponent in the playoffs after beating them twice in the regular season since the 1970 merger. Thirteen of those teams won the third matchup (65.0%).

A study in women’s college volleyball showed that the team winning the first two matches also won the third match 75% of the time.

Middleton’s girls basketball team certainly hopes this long-standing adage proves to be a fable.

The second-seeded Cardinals meet third-seeded Madison Memorial in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. at Verona High School. The winner advances to the sectional final Saturday at 1 p.m. at Janesville Craig against either top-seeded Sun Prairie or fifth-seeded Madison East.

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