Sports

Thu
08
Feb
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Middleton mixes it up, tops Parker

Something happened late in Middleton’s boys basketball team’s loss to Janesville Craig on Jan. 30.

Cardinals coach Kevin Bavery got an idea.

He was going to take a hockey approach to substitutions.

“We told our players (the next night), we’re not going to keep doing the same thing. We’re just not,” Bavery said of subbing four or five players in at a time, in roughly two-minute increments, as a way to try and solve a month-long losing stretch that saw defeats in six of eight games. “So we decided we’re going to go to ‘shifting.’

“We just wanted to say, ‘Hey, we have to start playing with more energy. We have to start playing harder. So you’re going to go in for about two minutes — so if you start the game at 18 minutes, you know at 16 you’re coming out — so why are you going to do anything other than just play hard?”

Bavery didn’t actually compare the strategy to hockey, though. He chose track and field instead.

Thu
08
Feb
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MHS boys basketball team looking for signature win

Middleton’s boys basketball team has played 18 games this season.

And it’s safe to say the Cardinals are still looking for a signature win.

Middleton had that chance against visiting Sussex Hamilton last Saturday. But the Cardinals dropped a hard fought 55-47 decision.

Middleton fell to 10-8 overall and has lost seven of its last 11 games. The Cardinals are tied for fourth place in the Big Eight Conference at 8-5.

Middleton is now 8-1 against teams with losing records, but 2-7 against teams with winning records. And the Cardinals have yet to defeat a team that’s been in the top-10 this season.

Middleton had a chance to do that against Hamilton, playing the Chargers close throughout. And while Hamilton never pulled away, it also led the entire second half.

Thu
08
Feb
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Swimmers win Big Eight crown

The Big Eight Conference is arguably the state’s best swimming league.

The fact Middleton captured the conference championship Saturday at Verona speaks volumes of what might lie ahead for these Cardinals.

Middleton finished with 554.83 points to easily outdistance runner-up Madison Memorial (464.33). Host Verona was third at 451.33, while Madison West (307) and Sun Prairie West (233.5) rounded out the top five.

Middleton, the defending WIAA Division 1 state champion, now heads to the Madison West Sectional Saturday with the state meet set for Feb. 17. And if things continue to go as planned, the Cardinals could very well capture gold for the second straight year.

“Conference went really well,” Middleton coach Wes Lagerhausen said. “Excited to see the good times continue to roll into sectionals and state.”

There were a lot of good times for the Cardinals at the conference meet.

Thu
08
Feb
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Hockey Cards close in on Big 8 title

Middleton’s hockey team took a major step towards winning the Big Eight Conference last week.

The Cardinals defeated Madison West, 3-2, in overtime on Jan. 30 and stayed tied atop the conference standings at 9-2 with Verona. Both teams have just one conference game remaining.

Middleton also downed Brookfield, 4-2, last Saturday and improved its overall record to 14-8.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Middleton 3, Madison West 2 (OT) — Wyatt Ehrhardt scored an even strength goal just 2:25 into overtime propelling the Cardinals past the Regents.

Ian Eberle was brilliant in net, notching 40 saves and picking up the win.

“Our games with West this year have been very competitive, and this one was no different,” Middleton coach Dan Truehl said. “We didn’t have our best stuff from the start so I’m proud of the boys for gutting this one out.”

Thu
08
Feb
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Wrestlers third at Big 8 meet

Middleton’s wrestlers finished in third place at the Big Eight Conference wrestling meet held at Janesville Parker last Saturday.

Sun Prairie won the title with 302.0 points, while host Parker was second (240.0). Middleton was third with 221.5 points, while Janesville Craig (188.5) and Verona (150.0) rounded out the top five.

Middleton’s Sam Zanton won an individual title at 150 pounds and freshman Reed Falk was first at 190. Cardinals senior Bryce Falk finished second at 175, while Tavish Frank (106), Grady Hargrove (120), Pavil Jones (138) and Braden Dzwonkowski (215) all finished third.

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s performances:

 

106 — Tavish Frank (16-12) placed 3rd and scored 20.0 team points.

• Champ. Round 1 - Frank received a bye

• Quarterfinal - Frank won by fall over Jude Seaver (Janesville Craig) 12-20 (Fall 4:39)

Thu
08
Feb
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Girls basketball team has another tough week

It was another rough week for Middleton’s girls basketball team.

The Cardinals lost three games and fell to 4-16 on the year and 4-11 in the Big Eight Conference.

Middleton dropped a 77-43 decision to visiting Madison Memorial on Jan. 30. The Cardinals were handed a 49-47 setback at Madison East on Feb. 1. And Middleton fell to Madison La Follette, 64-55, last Saturday.

Here’s a recap of the Cardinals’ week:

• Madison Memorial 77, Middleton 43 — The visiting Spartans raced to a 38-20 halftime lead and were never challenged in the second half. Memorial put four players in double figures.

Sophomore Brooke Michelotti led Middleton with 10 points, while Emily Utter added seven points and Hailey Strode scored six.

Thu
08
Feb
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Gymnasts second at Middleton Invitational

Middleton’s gymnastics team finished in second place at the eight-team Middleton Invitational last Saturday.

Oconomowoc won the team title with 131.675 points, while the Cardinals were a close second at 129.70. Waukesha North/Catholic Memorial (129.60), Verona/Madison Edgewood (127.20) and Waunakee/DeForest (126.80) rounded out the top five.

“I am so incredibly proud,” Middleton coach Alexis Cairo said. “We are seeing consistent progress. We'll be working hard the next few weeks to really clean up our skills and routines before conference.”

Middleton’s Abby Arnold was fourth in the all-around with a 33.150, while Ana Bollig was seventh (32.40).

Bollig was third on the vault (8.50), while Arnold was seventh (8.450), Aubrey Anderson was 16th (8.250) and Anja Schmidt-Voils and Aubrey Halverson tied for 20th (8.150).

Thu
01
Feb
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Super Noah game returns

It’s ba-a-ack.

Middleton will host the fifth annual ‘Super Noah’ hockey match on Saturday at the Capitol Ice Arena.

The Cardinals will host Brookfield with the JV game set to face off at 5 p.m. and the varsity game to follow at 7 p.m.

But this is more than an ordinary hockey game.

All funds collected at the annual ‘Super Noah’ hockey match will go directly to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Children’s Cancer Research Foundations.

“The boys are very excited to be a part of the ‘Super Noah’ game again,” Middleton coach Dan Truehl said. “Over the past few years, they’ve really embraced playing for a greater cause.

“It’s sometimes tough at that age to see how big of an impact they can have on their community and this game allows for them to do and see just that.”

Tue
30
Jan
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Middleton's football interviews are Friday

Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims and a panel of eight others will conduct interviews Friday for the school’s vacant head football coaching position.

Sims said there were 16 applicants for the job, and the panel will interview six finalists.

Sims said if things go well, he could have the Cardinals’ next coach in place by the weekend. He’s also open to conducting second interviews next week.

“We’ll do whatever we need to do to get the right person,” Sims said.

Joe Poehls and Tim Simon served as co-head coaches in 2023 when the Cardinals went 9-2, but lost to arch-rival Verona twice, including a 28-26 setback in Level 2 of the WIAA Division 1 playoffs.

Many believed Middleton’s 2023 team had more talent than any MHS team in decades and were disappointed the Cardinals didn’t achieve more.

Sims met with Poehls and Simon on Dec. 13, then opted to post the job.

Tue
30
Jan
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MHS looks for positives in defeat

MILWAUKEE — Tick, tick, tick …

As the calendar turns to February, and the postseason is just one month away, Middleton’s boys basketball team knows time is of the essence.

The Cardinals’ season — one that began with enormous expectations — has clearly hit a crossroads, something that was clearly evident during Middleton’s 70-58 loss to Hartland Arrowhead at Fiserv Forum last Friday.

The Cardinals showed they have all the pieces to succeed by playing Arrowhead — ranked No. 2 in the latest Division 1 poll — to a 29-29 first half tie. But Middleton’s inconsistency, which has been an issue all season, reared its ugly head in the second half.

The result was the Cardinals’ second straight loss and their fifth setback in seven games, dropping Middleton’s record to 8-6. Arrowhead won its 14th straight game since dropping its season-opener against Wisconsin Lutheran, the top-ranked team in Division 2.

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