Sports

Sun
22
Jan
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Sun Prairie slips past Middleton

SUN PRAIRIE — Kevin Bavery didn’t want to hear about the Big Eight Conference boys basketball race. Bavery didn’t care about postseason seeds.

Middleton’s boys basketball had just watched his team drop a 71-69 decision to Sun Prairie last Friday. And all Bavery cared about was getting his suddenly slumping group back on track.

“I could give a rats (tail) about seeds,” Bavery said. “I don’t care if we’re (seeded) 1 or 18. We just need to be playing our best basketball at tournament time.”

Right now, that certainly not the case.

Middleton dropped its second straight game and suffered its third loss in five outings. Middleton’s four losses have been by a total of 12 points, with its largest defeat being four points

Wed
11
Jan
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Middleton rebounds, tops Arrowhead

MILWAUKEE — C.J. Fermanich was part of just three regular season losses over the last two years as a Middleton football player.

Each time, though, Fermanich had to wait seven days before getting a chance at redemption.

“Yeah, that’s a long time,” Fermanich said.

Basketball season provides an opportunity to get back on the horse much faster. And that’s just what Fermanich and his Middleton teammates did last weekend.

The Cardinals suffered an 85-81 loss to Big Eight Conference foe Beloit Memorial last Friday. Just 24 hours later, though, the Cardinals erased some of that disappointment with an impressive 85-78 win over Hartland Arrowhead at the Al McGuire Center on the Marquette campus.

Middleton improved to 9-2 overall and is now tied for first place in the league with Madison Memorial at 6-2. Arrowhead, one of the more physically talented teams Middleton will see this year, fell to 7-4.

Tue
03
Jan
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Lemirande steals the show

FRANKLIN — Bria Lemirande wasn’t familiar with the name Christine Rathke before last Thursday. Now, the two will be forever connected — and that’s a good thing for Lemirande.

Rathke, a former standout at Franklin High School and Southeast Missouri State, was killed by a drunk driver in 2003. Since 2008, the folks at Franklin have held a holiday basketball tournament in Rathke’s honor.

After each tournament concludes, the finest player is given the Christine Rathke Award. On Thursday, that award went to Lemirande, a senior point guard at Middleton High School.

In the championship game of the three-day tournament, Lemirande put on a show. Lemirande scored 30 points — the second-highest total of her sensational Middleton career — and lifted the Cardinals to a 78-71 overtime win over upstart Oshkosh Lourdes.

Tue
03
Jan
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Eady, Murphy power Cards

Kevin Bavery has been a boys varsity basketball coach for 26 seasons now.

In Bavery’s 13 years at Oregon, two seasons at Cedarburg and 11 years at Middleton, he’s never experienced what he did last Wednesday. Research shows it may not have ever happened inside Middleton’s program.

Cardinals seniors Tyree Eady and Storm Murphy combined for a whopping 58 points and led Middleton to an impressive 85-56 win over visiting Racine Horlick. That’s the most points scored by a Middleton duo in at least 20 years.

Eady shot 10-of-16 from the floor and had 22 of his game-high 30 points in the first half. Murphy had 20 of his 28 points in the first half and shot 10-of-17 from the floor.

Middleton improved to 8-1, while the Rebels fell to 5-3.

“That was a lot of fun,” said Murphy, the Cardinals’ point guard. “Since the (Madison) Memorial game, we’ve moved the ball a lot better and done a great job on offense. Tonight, we got a lot of really good shots.”

Tue
27
Dec
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Girls hoopsters roll at Franklin

FRANKLIN — Alexis Thomas — and the rest of the seniors on Middleton’s girls basketball team — have enjoyed a great deal of success during their memorable careers.

They have collected two Big Eight Conference titles in three years. There was a trip to the 2015 WIAA Division 1 state tournament. And the Cardinals have won more than 84% of their games since the start of the 2013-’14 campaign.

In that time, though, the Cardinals have lost three straight first round games at the Christine Rathke Memorial Tournament held every holiday break at Franklin High School.

“We’ve always come out sluggish here,” Thomas said. “We wanted to change that.”

Mission accomplished.

Middleton unleashed its sensational full court pressure defense and used it to force 35 Franklin turnovers Tuesday afternoon. That, and an efficient offensive attack, helped the Cardinals rout the host Sabres, 85-56, in the first round of the tournament.

Tue
27
Dec
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Boys basketball team takes Big 8 lead

There’s still a long ways to go.

But Middleton’s boys basketball team has jumped to the front of the Big Eight Conference race.

The Cardinals rolled past host Madison La Follette, 76-44, last Tuesday. Middleton followed that with a 96-29 pasting of visiting Janesville Parker last Thursday.

The Cardinals are now 7-1 overall and lead the Big Eight at 6-1. Janesville Craig, Sun Prairie, Beloit Memorial and Madison Memorial are all one game back at 4-2 in the conference.

Senior forward Tyree Eady led Middleton with 26 points in its win at La Follette. Senior guard Storm Murphy added 14 points, while senior wing Myron Ashford Jr. added eight points.

Junior sparkplug guard Alan Roden added six points on 3-of-3 shooting, and led the Cardinals with eight rebounds and four assists.

Tue
20
Dec
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Middleton KO's Verona

Angie Murphy knows a thing or two about championship teams.

Murphy led Verona to the 2016 WIAA Division 1 girls basketball title in March. And as Murphy left Middleton High School Tuesday evening, she realized her Wildcats might have just faced their eventual successors.

Middleton, ranked fourth in the latest wissports.net poll, dominated the defending champs from start to finish and posted an impressive 58-38 win. The Cardinals improved to 5-0 both overall and in the Big Eight Conference, while eighth-ranked Verona fell to 4-1, 5-2.

“I think they do,” Murphy said when asked if the Cardinals have the look of a championship team. “They have a target on their back and that was us last year.”

There’s no doubt, 2015-’16 was the year of the Wildcats. Verona used its rare blend of size, skill and experience to become the Big Eight’s first state champion since Janesville Parker in 2001. Perhaps the 2016-’17 Cardinals will make it two in a row for the league.

Thu
15
Dec
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Boys basketball team heating up

Deep. Gifted. Resilient.

If ever there was a time Middleton’s boys basketball team proved they were all of the above, it was last week.

The Cardinals rolled to a pair of impressive Big Eight Conference wins against two teams that frustrated them at times last season.

First, Middleton defeated Madison West, 76-44, last Tuesday avenging a postseason loss to the Regents from last March. Then the Cardinals belted Janesville Craig, 78-56, in a game where point guard Storm Murphy (illness) didn't play.

Middleton improved to 4-1 overall and is 3-1 in the Big Eight Conference. The Cardinals remained tied for second in the league with Sun Prairie, one game behind conference leader Madison Memorial (4-0, 4-0).

Middleton’s win over Madison West was extremely impressive.

The Regents returned a solid core from last year’s team, which reached the sectional finals. But Middleton jumped to a 47-19 halftime lead and cruised to an easy win.

Thu
15
Dec
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Verona topples hockey Cardinals

Middleton and Verona have dominated the Big Eight hockey landscape the past seven years. The Cardinals have won four conference titles in that time and the Wildcats have notched three.

If their first match-up is any indication of how the battle for the top will be this season, hockey fans are in for a real treat.

Verona got the best of Middleton last Friday night, surviving a late rally by the Cardinals to win 4-3 in overtime at the Verona Ice Center.

Middleton provided theatrics in the third period, scoring two goals in the final eight minutes, including the game-tying goal by forward Connor Julius with 2:45 remaining in the game.

It wasn’t enough for the Cardinals, as Verona capped off the win in dramatic fashion, scoring the winning goal just 21 seconds into the bonus period.

Fri
09
Dec
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MHS swimmers have high hopes

Danny Lynam has high hopes, big goals.

And by the looks of it, Middleton’s first-year boys swimming and diving coach could see those lofty expectations come to fruition.

The Cardinals went to the 14-team Nicolet Invite last Saturday and finished first among a gifted field. Middleton finished with 450 points, easily outdistancing runner-up Verona-Mount Horeb (246).

“Our win at Nicolet has helped to show the depth we have on the team this year,” Lynam said. “Almost all of the guys placed top-16, with a number of younger guys stepping up to fill some weaknesses we have had in the line-up in the past.”

Middleton had several terrific performances at Nicolet.

The Cardinals won the 400-yard medley relay, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 500-yard freestyle relay.

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