Sports

Thu
13
Feb
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MHS gymnasts win Cardinal Invite

Middleton’s girls gymnastics team performs before a standing-only-room only crowd most nights in the school’s “small gym.”

Last Saturday, the Cardinals took their act to the “big gym” — and put on a show in there, as well.

Middleton won the highly-competitive, eight-team Cardinal Invite with a team score of 136.675. Waukesha North’s co-op was second (135.65) and Verona/Madison Edgewood was third (133.075).

The event also raised more than $400 for the Pancreatic Cancer Coalition. Every gymnast competed with a purple ribbon in their hair to show support for pancreatic cancer, and coaches all wore a "Cardinal Strong" wristbands.

Middleton athletic director Bob Joers is battling pancreatic cancer.

Thu
13
Feb
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Rough times for boys basketball team

As a three-point ace himself, Middleton sophomore Logan Raffel can certainly appreciate quality outside shooting when he sees it.

Unfortunately, Raffel and the Cardinals saw too much of it from Madison Memorial Friday night.

The Spartans hit 5-of-9 three-pointers in the second half — including a trio from junior Kyle Yu in a 2-minute span early in the period — en route to defeating host Middleton, 63-42, in a Big Eight Conference game.

“They’ve got a lot of shooters,” Raffel said. “We could have got (out on them) quicker, but it just didn’t work out. When they have that many threats they just pass for more and it’s another three. It’s hard to get out to those shooters.”

Senior forward Cole Deptula scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first half and Raffel chipped in 12 points for the Cardinals (5-9 overall, 4-7 Big Eight), who pulled within five points at 26-21 with 16 minutes left after a pair of baskets by senior forward Billy Johnson.

Thu
13
Feb
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MHS swimmers win Big 8 meet

Conference dual meet title?

Check.

Conference meet championship?

Check.

Now, we’ll find out what box Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team checks next.

The Cardinals accomplished another goal last Saturday, winning the Big Eight Conference meet, which was held at Beloit Memorial High School. Middleton finished with 508 points and edged runner-up Sun Prairie (494.5). Madison West (364), Madison Memorial (342) and Verona/Mount Horeb (311) rounded out the top five.

“We went into the meet knowing it was going to be a battle for first place,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “We struggled to find the best times we had been swimming all season and Sun Prairie came into the meet feeling good.

“We have the most guys tapering for sectionals we have had in a while, and most of them had a hard time getting up and racing. However, the guys that tapered for conference swam great.”

Wed
12
Feb
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Hockey Cardinals gaining momentum

The postseason has arrived for Middleton’s hockey team.
And the Cardinals are heading in with a little bit of momentum.

Middleton split a pair of games last week against two teams ranked in the top-10 of the state.

The host Cardinals edged No. 8 Northland Pines, 2-1, last Thursday. Middleton then dropped a 6-3 decision at No. 3 Hartland Arrowhead last Saturday.

Middleton then received the No. 6 seed in its sectional and will host 11th-seeded Tomah/Sparta in a regional semifinal Feb. 18 at Capitol Ice Arena at 7 p.m. If Middleton wins there, it would travel to third-seeded Sun Prairie for a regional final on Feb. 20 at 8 p.m.

Verona is the No. 1 seed in the sectional, with Madison Edgewood, Sun Prairie, Sauk Prairie’s co-op and Madison West rounding out the top five.

Thu
06
Feb
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Middleton girls KO Madison Memorial

Before each game, Middleton’s girls basketball team gathers together in the locker room for a players-only moment that sets the tone for what is to come out on the court.

They go around the room one-by-one, letting each other know how they are going to help the team return victorious.

On Friday night, minutes before arguably their biggest game of the season against second-ranked Madison Memorial, Cardinals senior Sitori Tanin’s turn came in the huddle.

“Every game I say I’m going to crash those boards and get a lot of rebounds,” Tanin said. “And in this game, I feel like I reached that goal pretty well.”

That would be an understatement.

Tanin pulled down 21 rebounds to go along with 17 points to lift No. 4 Middleton to a 77-68 Big Eight Conference victory before a playoff-like atmosphere at Middleton High School.

Thu
06
Feb
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Middleton's boys hold off Verona

VERONA — Middleton guard T.J. Bauer was having a quiet night last Thursday and hadn’t attempted a shot the entire game against Verona.

But when Bauer took his first shot with less than three minutes remaining, Bauer delivered in the loudest way for Middleton’s boys basketball team.

Bauer hit a clutch, tie-breaking three-point shot off an inbounds play with just more than two minutes left to help propel the Cardinals to a 60-52 road victory over the Wildcats.

Bauer, a sophomore, came off the bench and had converted two free throws in the first half before hitting the go-ahead shot with the game tied at 49.

“My guy was under the basket and I had a wide open shot. I kind of gave Cole (Deptula) under the basket a nod and he passed it in to me and I knocked it down,” Bauer said of the play. “I hadn't taken any shots before that shot. I just saw the basket and let it go and it felt good. I knew it was going in.”  

Thu
06
Feb
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Swimmers win Middleton Invite

The second season has officially arrived.

And if it’s anything like the first season, it’s going to be a lot of fun for Middleton’s boys swimming team.

The Cardinals won the 11-team Middleton Invite last Saturday, posting a team-score of 387.5 points. Sun Prairie was second with 333 points, while Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson (291), Madison West (280) and Madison Memorial (220.5) rounded out the top five.

“We were very pleasantly surprised at how well things went,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “We felt this could be an opportunity for us to really shine. Our sectionals guys were still in the peak of their training last week, so it was encouraging to see them still able to get out and be competitive with some of the fastest teams around us.”

Wed
29
Jan
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Kryka named Middleton's interim A.D.

Mark Kryka’s retirement didn’t last long.

Kryka, Verona High School’s athletic director from 1989-2019, retired at the end of last school year. But with Middleton athletic director Bob Joers battling pancreatic cancer, Kryka recently agreed to become the Cardinals’ interim A.D.

Kryka is under contract to work 92 days between now and the end of the school year. Joers, who has been working limited hours since being diagnosed last fall, will continue in a reduced role.

“I was not looking to go back to work,” Kryka said. “But I had to do it for Bob.”

Kryka enjoyed a long and extremely successful run at Verona.

He was named the Big Eight Conference’s athletic director of the year in 2016, then was selected as the state’s 2016 A.D. of the year at the Wisconsin Athletic Directors Association meeting.

Wed
29
Jan
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Swimmers win Big 8 dual meet title

They are the champions — of the Big Eight Conference dual meet season.

Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team won its own triple dual last Friday. The Cardinals rolled past Madison La Follette, 135-30, and upended Beloit Memorial, 126-44.

Middleton improved to a perfect 9-0 in conference dual meets and captured the league title.

“It was a good moment to stop and appreciate, and a nice early payoff for all the hard work some of these guys have been doing for years,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “It also was a nice confirmation for us that we are on the right track. Now we get to set our sights on the conference and state meets.”

Middleton’s quartet of Nate Lamers, Jay Sullivan, Nick Chirafisi and Ben Collier won the 200-yard medley relay, while Nathan Kim, Venden Berge, Tyler Choedak and Calvin Roberts was second.

Wed
29
Jan
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Middleton's girls topple Verona

VERONA — Middleton and Verona’s girls basketball teams met earlier this season in a game where the Cardinals struggled with the Wildcats’ 2-3 zone, but eventually prevailed.

Middleton knew it would encounter another battle with Verona — and its aggressive zone defense — during last Thursday's rematch. This time, though, the Cardinals handled things much better.

Fueled by a strong second half from Sitori Tanin and clutch moments from their bench, the Cardinals pulled away in the second half and posted a 59-41 win.

“Verona is always going to battle. (Verona head coach) Angie (Murphy) coaches them very well,” Middleton head coach Jeff Kind said. “They’re going to be scrappers, they’re going to play sound defense. They’re a young team and did a nice job against us.”

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