Sports

Fri
15
Feb
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MHS girls earn No. 2 seed

Jeff Kind offered up a gentleman’s agreement to John Olson.

And while the offer was rebuffed, it was worth a shot.

Kind, Middleton’s girls basketball coach, told Olson — the head coach at Sun Prairie — that whoever wins the Battle of the Cardinals Thursday night should be the No. 1 seed in the WIAA Division 1 Janesville Craig Sectional.

Olson, believing he had the upper hand, said thanks but no thanks. Turns out that was the right move.

At the postseason seeding meeting held last Saturday, Sun Prairie received the No. 1 seed in the sectional, while Middleton settled for No. 2. Middleton, which has won eight straight games, is 15-5 overall and leads the Big Eight Conference at 14-2, while Sun Prairie is 15-4, 13-2.

The difference, though, is Sun Prairie won at Middleton on Jan. 5. The teams meet again in Sun Prairie Thursday at 7 p.m.

“They were No. 1 on all the ballots,” Kind said of Sun Prairie. “The head to head is huge.”

Fri
15
Feb
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Middleton sends 10 wrestlers to sectionals

Kevin Meicher is a man on a mission.

Now, Middleton’s standout senior wrestler hopes that takes him back to the UW Kohl Center — and a few of his Cardinals pals come along, as well.

Meicher finished first at 152 pounds at the WIAA Division 1 Waunakee Regional last Saturday. Meicher, a University of Minnesota recruit, improved to 28-0 this season and won a regional title for the fourth straight year.

“It’s my senior year, I’m throwing it all out there on the mat, not holding anything back,” Meicher said. “There’s nothing to hold back. I’m going to be tired at the end of the match anyway.”

Meicher was one of 10 Cardinals who advanced to the Verona Sectional, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to sectionals.

Middleton’s Elliot Zanon (182) and Gavin Adler (220) both finished second at regionals.

Fri
15
Feb
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Boys basketball team falls at Craig

JANESVILLE — Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery summed it up best.

“When you’re down 10 and your offense is stagnant, to give yourself a chance to win at the buzzer, you’ve got to give yourself credit for that,” Bavery said.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, that wasn’t enough to earn a victory.

Senior guard Jack Boyle’s three-point shot at the buzzer rimmed out last Saturday. And that allowed host Janesville Craig to escape with a 45-43 win over the Cardinals.

Middleton, which had its three-game winning streak snapped, slipped to 12-7 overall and 9-6 in the Big Eight Conference. The Cougars improved to 10-9, 7-8.

Middleton senior guard Sam Close finished with a game-high 15 points, while Boyle added 13. Junior Aaron Leverson led Craig with 14 points.

“It was kind of a fun game to coach, yet it was a frustrating game,” Bavery said.

Especially the final moments.

Thu
07
Feb
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Swimmers second at Big Eight meet

So much for pre-meet seedings.

Middleton’s boys swimming team — the No. 2 team in the state — was predicted to lose by 60 points to top-ranked Madison West at the Big Eight Conference meet based strictly on seedings.

But that’s why they swim the meet.

Middleton gave a sensational performance and nearly stunned the No. 1 Regents last Saturday. Madison West held on for a 554.5-543 win over the Cardinals in a meet held at Beloit Memorial High School.

“Being able to close that gap as much as we did was a huge accomplishment,” Middleton coach Danny Lynam said.

It sure was.

The Cardinals got a bevy of terrific performances from up and down the lineup.

Middleton senior standout Andrew Martin had a huge day, winning the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.

Thu
07
Feb
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Wrestlers second at conference meet

Middleton’s wrestlers finished first in the Big Eight Conference dual meet season.

But the Cardinals couldn’t make it two titles in the same year.

Janesville Craig won the conference tournament held at Verona last Saturday with 262.0 points. Middleton settled for second at 215.0.

Madison Memorial (146.0), Janesville Parker (139.0) and Beloit Memorial (132.0) rounded out the top five.

Middleton senior Kevin Meicher finished first at 160 pounds, while Remington Lockwood won the title at 170 and Gavin Adler was first at 220.

The Cardinals’ second place finishes came from Jesus Quechol Ramirez at 138, Joseph Hoffman at 152 and Elliot Zanon at 182. Hunter Grimm finished third at 113.

Meicher opened with a pair of byes, then pinned Beloit Memorial’s Fernando Badillo in 1:32 in the semifinals. Then in the title match, Meicher pinned Janesville Craig’s Marshall Getchell in 1:27.

Thu
07
Feb
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Girls basketball team routs Parker

Size matters.

And for Middleton’s girls’ basketball team, size wins basketball games.

The Cardinals used their size advantage to spark a 24-0 run in the first half, then cruised to a 58-23 win over visiting Janesville Parker Tuesday.

Middleton won its fourth straight game and improved to 12-5 overall and 11-2 in the Big Eight Conference to remain in second place behind league-leading Sun Prairie (13-1, 15-3).

Parker fell to 2-16 overall and 2-12 in the Big Eight.

“We were a little bit sloppy and we’ve been off for over a week, (so) you can expect a little bit of rustiness,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “But we played pretty good defense in the first half and managed to get a decent lead. We were able to rest some people in the second half which was nice because we have a tough stretch coming up here.”

The win over Parker starts a stretch of six games in 11 days for the Cardinals to finish the regular season.

Thu
07
Feb
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Boys basketball team topples Beloit

BELOIT — Every Wisconsinite knows that at this time of the year, you have to knock the ice off your car before you start it. Middleton’s boys varsity basketball team is no different.

After a 10-day layoff due to the Polar Vortex, the Cardinals were back in action Tuesday night. Unfortunately for Middleton, it was still a little icy from the break. After the Cardinals got going, though, they were downright hot.

Middleton overcame a slow start, broke away from a 33-33 second half tie and posted an impressive 56-45 win.

The Cardinals won their third straight game and improved to 12-6 overall and 9-5 in the Big Eight Conference, good for a fourth place tie in the league with Madison Memorial. Beloit Memorial fell to 2-11, 3-13.

Senior guard Sam Close led the Cardinals with 19 points and senior post Jake Klubertanz added 15. Beloit junior guard Jaden Bell led all scorers with 20 points.

Thu
07
Feb
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Gymnasts shine at own invite

Amazingly, the postseason is just two weeks away for the state’s girls’ gymnastics teams.

And after a subpar performance at the Madison Memorial Invite recently, Middleton head coach Kari Steck gathered her Cardinals for a pep talk.

“After the Spartan Invite (on Jan. 26), we sat down with the team and discussed what their potential was and the effort needed to get there,” Steck said. “Every girl has added new, more difficult skills into their routines to up their start values.”

It paid off in spades last Saturday.

Middleton had one of its best performances of the year and finished third at its own eight-team invitational.

Waukesha West’s co-op won the title with 138.1 points, while Mukwonago/East Troy was second at 132.35 and the Cardinals were third at (131.875).

Wed
30
Jan
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Middleton boys notch huge win over Memorial

The post on a Madison Memorial Twitter account said it all.

“It has now been 1,078 days since Middleton beat us in boys’ basketball, and we’re looking to keep the streak going tonight,” according to the item on JMM Sports Themes.

But a determined Middleton squad led by senior guard Chandon Thomas put a fork in that streak last Saturday night.

Thomas scored 18 points and senior forward Jake Klubertanz chipped in with 14 to rally Middleton from a one-point halftime deficit to a 61-50 victory over host Madison Memorial in a Big Eight Conference game.

“This was a good one to get, breaking a long curse,” said senior guard Jack Boyle who added 11 points for the Cardinals.

Middleton (11-6 overall, 8-5 Big Eight) moved into a tie for fourth place in the Big Eight with Madison Memorial (9-5, 8-5). The Cardinals had lost six straight games in the series with the Spartans dating back to Feb. 13, 2016, when Middleton won 77-63 at Memorial.

Wed
30
Jan
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Close powers Middleton past Madison West

When your father runs a business called ‘Shot Dr. Academy,’ there’s a high level of pressure on you to also be a deadly shooter.

Sam Close has always been a marksman and one of the top shooters in the Madison-area. But Close, a senior guard at Middleton High School, has struggled at times this season.

Last Thursday, though, Close erupted for a career-high 28 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. In the process, Close helped power Middleton to an impressive 62-48 win over Madison West.

The Cardinals, who also defeated Madison Memorial two nights later, are now 11-6 overall and tied for fourth place in the Big Eight Conference at 8-5. Middleton also avenged a one-point loss to the Regents on Dec. 4.

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