Sports

Wed
18
Mar
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Jeff Kind just can't catch a break

Jeff Kind, Middleton’s girls basketball coach, insists you shouldn’t shed a tear for him.

Kind has taken 11 different teams to the WIAA Division 1 state tournament.

He’s helped the Cardinals win at least a share of 11 Big Eight Conference titles since the 2006-’07 season.

And he’s had a large hand in making countless girls better basketball players — and human beings — during his more than four decades in coaching.

But it’s hard not to have a bit of sympathy for Kind these days.

The one thing that has eluded Kind — his white whale, if you will — is a state championship. Middleton’s 2020 team seemed poised to change all of that, to capture the first state title in school history and reward Kind with his first-ever gold ball.

Amazingly, though, this year’s tournament was cancelled on March 19 due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.

If it wasn’t for bad luck at the state tournament, Kind wouldn’t have any.

Thu
12
Mar
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WIAA to restrict attendance at basketball tournaments

STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Middleton's girls basketball team will play in the WIAA Division 1 state tournament Friday and Saturday. But most fans will have to watch it on television.

The WIAA, in accordance with policies and guidance from public health organizations and the World Health Organization for mass gatherings, annpunced Thursday morning that it will be limiting attendance at the remainder of all winter tournament events scheduled March 12-14 and March 19-21.

The guidelines for mass gatherings calls for restriction of public events to 50-250 attendees, depending on the event and venue. This pandemic has created unprecedented circumstances that make these decisions and actions prudent and necessary.

Tue
10
Mar
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Middleton rallies its way to state

MONONA — Thirteen. Nine. Five. One.

As their deficit kept shrinking, their energy kept rising. The noise inside Monona Grove High School rivaled a Metallica concert.

And Middleton’s girls basketball team — which has been the hunted throughout this magical season — was thriving in its new role as the hunter.

“As soon as we started chipping away, you could feel everything changing,” Cardinals senior forward Karina Bursac. “We knew if we just kept playing like that, we had ‘em.”

They sure did.

Middleton, which trailed Madison Memorial, 37-24, at halftime of its WIAA Division 1 sectional final last Saturday, opened the second half on a stunning 20-3 run. The Spartans battled back and forged ties at three different points, but the Cardinals used a late 6-0 run to post a thrilling 61-58 win.

Tue
10
Mar
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Middleton gunning for first-ever state title

Jeff Kind has taken Middleton’s girls basketball program to the state tournament a remarkable nine times since 2008. Overall, Kind has led the Cardinals to state 12 times since 1993.

In that stretch, Middleton has reached the state championship game four times, but is 0-4 in title contests.

Can 2020 finally be the year Kind and the Cardinals bring home a gold ball?

Middleton earned a trip back to state last Saturday with a thrilling 61-58 win over Madison Memorial in a WIAA Division 1 sectional final.

The Cardinals are now the No. 1 seed at the state tournament will battle fourth-seeded Oconomowoc in a state semifinal game on Friday at 6:35 at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Second-seeded and defending state champion Bay Port meets third-seeded Divine Savior Holy Angels in the other semifinal game.

The winners advance to the state championship game Saturday at approximately 8:15 p.m.

Tue
10
Mar
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Season ends for MHS boys

OCONOMOWOC — Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery had seen this movie throughout a frustrating season.

And Bavery certainly wasn’t in the mood for a sequel.

Turnovers. Questionable decisions. Ill-advised shots.

They were all part of the Cardinals’ script this winter. And Middleton had them once again during a 62-48 loss at Oconomowoc in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal last Friday.

Middleton, the 11th-seed in its sectional, finished the year 9-14. Oconomowoc, the No. 6 seed, improved to 14-9, then upset third-seeded Madison Memorial the following night.

“I honestly felt like we were the better team,” Bavery said. “And yet the results, at the end of the day, they speak for you. We were 9-14 and 9-14 is the reality. It’s the old NFL adage, right? You are what your record says you are.”

Fri
06
Mar
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Tanin powers Middleton past Craig

BELOIT — Middleton’s girls basketball team often exchanges warm-up tops when they’re going through their pre-game drills.

For example, Karina Bursac might don Berkley Smith’s shirt, Smith might wear Lauryn Abezoid’s and Abezoid might put on Kendall Roquet’s.

Like the rest of her teammates, Sitori Tanin was in a different pre-game top Thursday night. When it was time for the real Tanin to step up, though, boy, did she deliver.

In Middleton’s WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal, Tanin had an enormous night with 26 points and 17 rebounds and powered the Cardinals to a 62-55 win over Janesville Craig at Beloit Memorial’s Barkin Arena. After a quiet first half in which she was plagued by fouls, Tanin erupted with 20 points and 11 rebounds in the second half alone.

Fri
06
Mar
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Metro Lynx advances to state title game

MADISON — It didn’t take long for junior forward Ava Jambor and her second-ranked Middleton co-op teammates to make a impact at Veterans Memorial Coliseum-Alliant Energy Center on Thursday afternoon.

Just 1 minute, 54 seconds actually.

That’s how long it took for Jambor to record the first goal for the Metro Lynx — made up of girls from Middleton, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Madison Edgewood and Verona — and ignite a 5-2 victory over the Beloit Memorial co-op in a WIAA prep girls hockey state semifinal game.

“I was actually kind of shocked,” said Jambor, who entered the game with four goals and seven assists this season for the Lynx, “ I just saw the puck, I shot it and I scored. Nothing major really goes through your head, you see the puck, you shoot it.”

Jambor, one of six Middleton girls on the Lynx roster, was the recipient of the first of two assists in the game from sophomore forward Kaya Pelton-Byce.

Thu
05
Mar
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Girls basketball team survives, advances

Sitori Tanin insists she wasn’t worried.

The same goes for Evie Coleman.

They might have been the only two inside Middleton High School last Saturday that weren’t nervous.

Host Middleton, the No. 1 ranked team in the state in Division 1, trailed upstart Verona, 56-53, with 6 ½ minutes left in their regional final. But the Cardinals answered with an 11-0 run and held on for a 68-65 win.

Middleton, the No. 1 seed in the sectional, improved to 23-1 on the year and now meets fourth-seeded Janesville Craig in a sectional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. at Beloit Memorial High School. Verona, the No. 8 seed in the sectional, finished the year 11-12.

“I wouldn’t say I was worried,” said Tanin, a senior post and a University of Loyola recruit. “But I’d say it definitely made us realize how we had to change the momentum there.”

Coleman, a senior guard, agreed with Tanin.

Thu
05
Mar
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Girls basketball team set for sectionals

For nearly a year now, the goal has been earning a trip back to Green Bay.

Since Middleton’s girls basketball team dropped a 50-49 heartbreaker to Bay Port in the WIAA Division 1 state finals last March, the Cardinals have been focused on returning to state.

Middleton will take aim at that this week when it heads to the Beloit Memorial Sectional.

The top-seeded Cardinals face fourth-seeded Janesville Craig in a sectional semifinal Thursday at 7 p.m. at Beloit Memorial High School.

If the Cardinals win there, they’ll meet either second-seeded Madison Memorial or third-seeded Waunakee in the sectional finals. That game is currently scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m. at Beloit Memorial.

“It’s always fun at this time of the year,” said Middleton coach Jeff Kind, whose team is ranked No. 1 in the state. “You get that next week and that’s always a fun week.”

Thu
05
Mar
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Metro Lynx headed to state

The Middleton co-op girls hockey team has made history.

The Metro Lynx — made up of girls from Middleton, Madison Memorial, Madison West, Madison Edgewood and Verona — reached the WIAA girls state hockey tournament for the first time in program history. The Metro Lynx defeated the Cap City Cougars, 3-0, in a WIAA sectional final held at the Sun Prairie Ice Arena last Friday.

Middleton is now the No. 1 seed at the state tournament and will play the fourth-seeded Beloit Memorial co-op Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum-Alliant Energy Center.

If the Metro Lynx wins there, it would advance to the state championship game Saturday at noon at the Alliant Energy Center.

“The girls have played really hard this season and have accomplished quite a bit thus far,” Lynx coach Mike McKersie said.

It’s been a historic season for the Lynx, and among their accomplishments are:

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