Sports

Sat
22
Dec
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Middleton's girls hammer Verona

Jeff Kind doesn’t need to go into Tony Robbins-mode when Verona comes to town.

Kind, Middleton’s girls basketball coach, simply needs to point at the schedule.

“With Verona, we don’t have to sell anything,” Kind said. “It’s just one of those games. The kids know it’s a big game.”

And on Dec. 20, Middleton gave a big-time performance.

The Cardinals got 16 points and 12 rebounds from senior post Hannah Flottmeyer and junior forward Sitori Tanin had 14 of her 18 points in the second half as Middleton drilled Verona, 65-49. Senior guard Charlotte Dunn added 10 points and did a masterful job getting the Cardinals into their offense, while junior forward Karina Bursac added nine points and eight rebounds.

Fri
21
Dec
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Hellenbrand, Thomas power Cards

Casey Hellenbrand has waited a long time for his chance to shine.

The same goes for Chandon Thomas.

Middleton’s duo both erupted on Dec. 18 and powered the Cardinals to a 67-54 win over visiting Janesville Craig.

Thomas, a senior guard who’s been in and out of the starting lineup all season, led Middleton with 15 points. Hellenbrand, a reserve senior guard, added a career-high 13 points.

Hellenbrand added five rebounds and two steals, while Thomas had four rebounds and two steals.

The Cardinals improved to 5-3 overall and 4-3 in league play, while Craig fell to 4-3, 3-3.

“Chandon is all out, all the time,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “He can get out of control at times, so we do have to reel him in a bit, but he’s starting to get better at picking and choosing when is a good time to gamble and when is a good time to just play sound.

Wed
12
Dec
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Middleton girls KO Madison Memorial

Evie Coleman wasn’t about to let a mangled pinkie finger stop her.

Coleman dislocated the finger during the volleyball season and has been playing with the injury during the girls’ basketball season. In a Big Eight Conference showdown against visiting Madison Memorial last Thursday, Coleman banged the finger several times before and during the game and was asked by the trainer if she just wanted to stay on the bench.

That was an easy answer for Coleman.

“She told me at half that I could sit if I wanted or play and it was fine,” Coleman said. “It’s okay, I’ll just tape it.”

Fortunately for the Cardinals, Coleman stayed and played a huge role in Middleton’s 67-46 victory over the previously unbeaten Spartans. The junior guard scored 16 points while connecting on four 3-pointers and helped form a lethal inside-outside attack with post players Sitori Tanin, Hannah Flottmeyer and Karina Bursac.

Wed
12
Dec
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Boys basketball team takes their lumps

This was not the kind of week anyone envisioned.

And now, Middleton’s boys basketball team has a lot of work to do to get its season back on track.

The Cardinals fell to host Madison West, 79-78, in overtime last Tuesday. Madison Memorial then routed Middleton, 60-34, last Friday at MHS.

Middleton fell to 1-3 in the Big Eight Conference and is 2-3 overall.

“We’re five games in with mixed results,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said. “So we'll continue to work while looking at making some changes that fit our personnel to take advantage of many of the strengths that we have on both ends of the court that are starting to emerge in practices and games.”

Right now, though, finding those strengths — and taking advantage of them — has been a challenge.

Madison West was coming off a 4-20 season and many believe the Regents aren’t greatly improved. Middleton would likely disagree.

Wed
12
Dec
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MHS swimmers off to sensational start

Middleton and Madison West were the top two boys swimming teams in the state last year.
And early indications are this year will be much of the same.

Middleton continued its terrific start to the season last week by winning the Brookfield Central Invite on Tuesday and the Beloit Memorial triple dual on Friday.

The Cardinals then had an impressive showing at the Janesville Parker Invite last Saturday, finishing second to defending state champion Madison West.

“We have a great attitude this year, with some really solid leadership,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said. “The guys are holding themselves with a confidence I haven't seen before and it is having a great impact on their racing. If we keep this going, I think we can have another really solid year.”

That was evident during another impressive week.

Thu
06
Dec
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Thomas leads MHS past Verona

VERONA — Chandon Thomas relishes his role on Middleton’s boys’ basketball team.

The 6-foot senior guard is a key reserve for the Cardinals, tasked with the responsibility of providing a spark off the bench any way he can.

“We told him we want him to create 10 points for everybody else by setting great player screens, by getting offensive rebounds and finding open cutters, by taking charges, all those things,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said.

“But we’ve always known that if he takes his time and is in the flow of things, we know he’s capable of scoring.”

You can add scoring to Thomas’ to-do list after he recorded a game-high and career-best 18 points, including 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute, as Middleton held on for a thrilling 57-51 victory over host Verona in a Big Eight Conference game last Saturday night.

Thu
06
Dec
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Girls basketball team splits a pair

Pain now.

Gains later.

That’s what Middleton girls basketball coach Jeff Kind hopes will transpire from the Cardinals’ trip to Monroe last Tuesday.

The Cheesemakers, who have reached the WIAA Division 2 state tournament the last two years, toppled Middleton, 59-50. But facing an elite team on the road should pay dividends down the road.

“I think we're improving,” said Middleton coach Jeff Kind. “Fewer turnovers, better defensive awareness, etc. But we have to get more consistency on offense.”

Middleton also rolled past Madison West, 68-25, last Friday and improved to 2-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Big Eight Conference. But the Cardinals’ biggest test was in Monroe.

Evie Coleman had a pair of three-pointers and led the Cardinals with 17 points. Sitori Tanin added 15.

Monroe’s Sydney Hilliard, a University of Wisconsin recruit, led all scorers with 20 points.

Thu
06
Dec
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Gymnasts poised for special season

The numbers are impressive once again.

There is youth up and down the roster.

And while Middleton’s girls gymnastics team was hit some unexpected challenges this offseason, the Cardinals are still thinking big.

Middleton begins its season Thursday against Madison West at 6:30 p.m. The Cardinals have an extremely young team, but also have the biggest squad in school history with 27 gymnasts.

“It's a young team, with only one senior,” Middleton coach Kari Steck said. “So it will definitely be a building year for Middleton. The depth and potential is incredible though. There is a lot of talent to work with.”

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Karina Sabol elected to return to club gymnastics. A year ago, Sabol joined the Cardinals and had a sensational season highlighted by a state championship on the vault.

Thu
06
Dec
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MHS swimmers have high hopes

Last season was a memorable ride for Middleton’s boys swimming team.

This year could be more of the same.

The Cardinals notched the best finish in school history when they placed second at the WIAA Division 1 state meet. Now, with a terrific group of returnees and several promising newcomers, Middleton could be poised for another sensational year.

“It was a surreal moment for everyone when we realized we had a shot at second,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said of the Cardinals’ state run in 2017-‘18. “Everyone was so laser focused and tried to get every touch out we could. In the end, everyone was incredibly happy. We couldn't have asked for better from anyone.”

Middleton, which kicked off its season last weekend, brings back a terrific core that hopes to make a run at a state title.

Fri
30
Nov
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Verona knocks off MHS girls

Jeff Kind had just one word for Middleton’s second game of the girls basketball season.

“Frustrating,” Kind said.

Kind, the Cardinals’ veteran coach, saw his team build an eight-point, second half lead at Verona on Nov. 20. But the Wildcats battled back and eventually posted a 70-63 win.

Middleton guard Evie Coleman led five players in double figures with a career-high 18 points. Sitori Tanin had 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Hannah Flottmeyer had 10 points and nine rebounds.

Karina Bursac and Charlotte Dunn both had 10 points, as well.

Middleton fell to 1-1 overall and in the Big Eight Conference. Verona improved to 2-1, 2-0.

“Offensively, we rebounded well, got some second chance points, and managed to pull into a couple five point leads and even an eight point lead in the second half,” Kind said. “But each time, Verona came back with a run.”

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