Sports

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.”

Wed
29
Jan
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Tardiness, turnovers doom Middleton's boys

Timeliness is next to godliness.

Apparently, Middleton’s boys basketball team has yet to hear that old adage.

Cardinals coach Kevin Bavery was set to conduct his pre-game talk last Friday before Middleton met Madison East. When Bavery was ready to begin, though, only seven of his 16 players were in attendance.

“They got caught up watching the freshmen and not paying attention,” Bavery said. “A whole bunch of ‘em were late.”

Things didn’t get dramatically better.

Middleton had 20 first half turnovers and 26 for the game. The Cardinals’ only lead was at 2-0. And East finished the game on a 10-3 surge and notched a 58-49 win over the host Cardinals.

Middleton, which dropped its fourth straight game, fell to 4-7 overall and 3-5 in the Big Eight Conference. Cardinals senior center Parker Van Buren had a big night with 16 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots, while senior wing Cole Deptula added 13 points.

Thu
23
Jan
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Middleton swimmers win Cardinal Relays

The Cardinal Relay Invite provided a solid, late-season test for Middleton’s boys swimming and diving team, as it featured three of the top five teams in Division 1 and a top-five team from Division 2.

The Cardinals passed the test last Saturday, winning their home invite ahead of 12 other teams with a score of 189 points. Madison Memorial was second with 172 points, and Sun Prairie was third with 171.

“Great meet, it’s always a lot of fun,” Middleton assistant coach Mike VerVoort said. “We had a couple fast teams out here. Today isn’t a regular event, just all the relays. We had a few good races and pulled out the final score in the end.”

Middleton senior Ben Collier — who swam in the 200-yard medley relay, 200-yard freestyle relay, 100-yard freestyle relay, and 400-yard freestyle relay — was pleased with the Cardinals’ performance. 

Thu
23
Jan
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Middleton's girls down Madison East

If there were bonus points handed out for degree of difficulty in shot selection, Middleton senior Evie Coleman would have earned the max on one basket in particular Friday night.

Early in the second half, Coleman drove deep into the lane, collided with multiple defenders, lost control of the ball, then recovered to toss up an off-balance shot in traffic while tumbling to the ground.

The whistle blew, the shot dropped in, and Coleman converted the three-point play during a key second-half run to help Middleton defeat Madison East 75-63 during a Big Eight Conference girls basketball game at Middleton High School.

“I didn’t really realize I made it until somebody helped me up and told me,” said Coleman, who finished with 17 points. “I didn’t think it went in. I was really confused. I was like, ‘Oh, I made it? Oh, OK, cool.’ That amps the bench up and it’s really cool to see that energy level turn up a little bit.”

Thu
23
Jan
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Waunakee downs Middleton's boys

For a good portion of the second half Friday night, Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery saw exactly what he had been looking for all season.

His Cardinals got the ball inside, attacking the basket on offense. They converted in transition and drilled the open three-pointer when needed.

On defense, Middleton’s zone frustrated visiting Waunakee, forced turnovers and had the Cardinals in position to earn a quality victory.

Then, just like so many times this season, Middleton lost its rhythm —and eventually the game — during a 56-52 non-conference setback to Waunakee.

After turning a 12-point first-half deficit into a four-point mid-second half lead, Middleton allowed the Warriors to go on a 15-2 run to pull away. After Middleton took the 45-41 lead, Waunakee finished the game with a 16-7 spurt.

Thu
23
Jan
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Middleton's boys fall to Sun Prairie

Middleton’s boys basketball program is well past the point of moral victories.

But if there can be a “good loss”, the Cardinals had one on Jan. 16.

Middleton took Sun Prairie — the WIAA Division 1 state runners-up a year ago — to the wire. But host Sun Prairie made the key plays down the stretch and notched a 68-59 win.

“We were really close in back-to-back games last weekend, against two teams with combined records of 20-3,” said Middleton coach Kevin Bavery, whose team also suffered a narrow defeat to Waunakee last Friday. “We need to get to a point when we make a mistake defensively that it’s because we’re simply flying around too much instead of not enough. We’re confident we’re going to get there.”

Middleton is 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the Big Eight Conference. Sun Prairie improved to 9-1, 7-1.

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