Sports

Thu
21
Dec
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Middleton’s rough year continues

Year 2 of the Rashard Griffith-era certainly hasn't gone according to plan.

And things didn't get any better last week for Griffith and his Middleton’s girls basketball team.

The Cardinals went to both Sun Prairie schools and lost a pair of games.

First Middleton fell at Sun Prairie East, 48-44, on Dec. 12. The Cardinals then lost at Sun Prairie West, 59-52, last Friday.

Middleton fell to 2-8 overall this season. The Cardinals also slipped to eighth place in the 10-team Big Eight Conference at 2-6.

Here’s the recap from another rough week for Middleton:

• Sun Prairie East 48, Middleton 44 — Kenzie Zimmerman had 14 points and six rebounds for Middleton, while Brooke Michelotti added 12 points and four steals in a losing effort.

Sun Prairie East snapped a five-game losing streak.

Mon
18
Dec
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Middleton football job being posted

The biggest coaching job at Middleton High School is open once again.

Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims said he'll be posting an opening for the head football coach this week. Sims said he would like to begin the interview process early in 2024 and have the Cardinals’ next head coach in place by Feb., 2024.

Joe Poehls and Tim Simon served as co-interim head coaches last season and led the Cardinals to a 9-2 overall record and a second place finish in the Big Eight Conference at 6-1.

Middleton lost both of its matchups to arch-rival Verona, though, including a 28-26 defeat in Level 2 of the postseason. And that left many close to the program disappointed that one of the Cardinals’ most talented teams this century didn't achieve even more.

“Obviously, we didn’t get the best result we wanted from football,” Middleton standout running back Bryce Falk recently told the Times-Tribune.

Thu
14
Dec
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Middleton rallies past Craig

They trailed for the entire first half.

They rallied, only to blow a 10-point lead midway through the second half.

And they struggled mightily at the free throw line in clutch time.

It wasn’t easy for members of the Middleton boys basketball team Friday night against Janesville Craig, but they persevered.

The Cardinals found a way to scratch and claw their way to a 62-56, Big Eight Conference win over the visiting Cougars.

“One word I would use to describe it is gutsy,” Cardinals senior guard Gavin Meister said. “Craig’s a great team, but we have to be way more disciplined. At the end we gutted it out when we needed to, though.”

Indeed, that’s exactly how Middleton (4-1, 3-1 Big Eight) won its third straight game in league play after opening with a lopsided loss to Madison Memorial.

Thu
14
Dec
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Middleton rolls past Verona

Middleton was hopeful Gavin Meister would be part of its Big Eight Conference championship team last season.

Instead, Meister was ineligible for varsity play due to WIAA transfer rules.

Meister is making up for lost time today.

Meister made four 3-pointers and had a team-high 28 points as Middleton downed Verona, 76-65, on Dec. 5. The Cardinals improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big Eight Conference, while Verona fell to 3-1, 2-1.

“Gavin Meister shot lights out from beyond the arc,” Middleton coach Kevin Bavery said.

MHS junior center Will Garlock added 13 points and 11 rebounds despite battling early foul trouble, while Marquis Walker had 11 points, two assists and a steal. Avery Houden added nine points, three rebounds and three blocks, while Isaiah Oliver had seven points, five assists and four rebounds.

Verona senior wing Drew Murphy led all scorers with 30 points, while junior forward Cameron Williams had 19 points.

Thu
14
Dec
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Hockey Cards split a pair

Middleton’s hockey team had a chance to grab early control of the Big Eight Conference race on Dec. 5.

Instead, Middleton dropped a 2-1 decision to host Sun Prairie.

Middleton rebounded with a 7-4 win over University School of Milwaukee on Dec. 8.

Middleton is now 4-2 overall and sits in second place in the Big Eight at 2-1. Sun Prairie leads the conference with a 3-1 mark.

Here’s a recap of Middleton’s week:

• Sun Prairie United 2, Middleton 1 — Gabe Passini’s goal at 11:55 of the second period gave Middleton a 1-0 lead. Patrick Passini and Alexander Moreau assisted on the play.

But Sun Prairie evened the game, 1-1, with just 9 seconds left in the second period. United then got the game winner just 3 minutes into the third period.

Middleton put 32 shots on goal, but converted just one.

Middleton’s Ian Eberle made 24 saves, but took the loss.

Thu
14
Dec
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Girls basketball team rallies past East

Middleton’s girls basketball team needed a spark.

Some type of catalyst to potentially reverse what’s been an extremely frustrating season.

Perhaps it came on Dec. 7.

Middleton used a late 9-0 run to take a 59-55 lead over visiting Madison East. The Cardinals then held on for a thrilling 59-58 upset win.

Middleton improved to 2-6 on the year and 2-4 in the Big Eight Conference. East fell to 4-2, 4-2.

The Cardinals got a team-high 19 points from Senior forward Zimmerman and nine each from sophomore guard Brooke Michelotti and Sophia Ynclan. East’s Valerie Richardson led all scorers with 24 points.

Middleton trailed most of the second half and still found itself in a 55-50 hole with 3 ½ minutes remaining.

The Cardinals ran off nine straight points, though, over a 2-minute window and took control.

Thu
14
Dec
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MHS swimmers second at Brookfield Invite

Middleton’s boys swimming team had a busy weekend

The Cardinals defeated Janesville Craig and Sun Prairie West in a triple dual meet held at MHS last Friday. Middleton then finished second at the eight-team Brookfield Invite held last Saturday.

“Friday was our first home meet … and we won all the varsity events and continued to show how our lineups can be developed,” Middleton coach Wes Lagerhausen said. “We were even able to go 1-2 in two out of the three relays.”

In Middleton’s triple dual win, the Cardinals downed Sun Prairie West, 112-58, and bested Janesville Craig, 128-41.

Middleton’s 200-yard medley relay team of Anton Peters, Samuel Wolf, Cowan Vitense and Henry Bohachek was first, while the foursome of Maxwell Carter, Colin Gabert, Caden Van Buren and Samuel Keith was second.

Thu
14
Dec
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MHS wrestlers split a triple dual

Middleton’s wrestlers split a triple dual at Madison East on Dec. 7.

The Cardinals defeated the host Purgolders, 47-36. Middleton also lost to Janesville Parker, 42-36.

In Middleton’s win over East, Grady Hargrove (126), Alborz Dehnavi (132),  Pavil Jones (138), Sam Zanton (150), Finn Grauwels (157), Bryce Falk (190) and Bruce Ortiz (215) all notched pins. Reece Miller (144) also won by technical fall.

In the Cardinals’ loss to Parker, Dehnavi, Jones, Miller, Zanton and Grauwels all pinned their opponent. Tavish Frank (106) posted a 4-3 win over his foe, while Falk defeated his opponent, 14-9.

Here’s a breakdown of how the Cardinals performed:

 

Middleton 47, Madison East 36

106: Boone Freihoefer (Madison East) over Tavish Frank (Middleton) (Fall 3:55)

113: Saidu Njie (Madison East) over Forfeit (Middleton)

120: Bobby Thao (Madison East) over Forfeit (Middleton)

Fri
08
Dec
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Football Cards dominate all-Big 8 team

Middleton’s football team had a terrific year, going 9-2 overall and finishing second in the Big Eight Conference behind Verona.

The Cardinals were properly recognized for their achievements, as the Cardinals gobbled up 19 places on the all-Big Eight Conference team.

Senior quarterback Gabe Passini was named first-team all-conference as well as the league’s Offensive Player of the Year. Senior inside linebacker Sam Pilof, a Rutgers recruit, was also named first-team all-Big Eight and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year.

Senior left tackle K.J. Peterson was a first-team all-conference selection and the league’s Offensive Lineman of the Year, while senior Dom Frost earned first-team all-league honors and was the conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Senior offensive linemen Hudson Cleary and Carter Kadow, along with junior defensive linemen Torin Pettaway and Quone Burks were named first-team all-conference, as well.

Fri
08
Dec
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Madison Memorial routs Middleton

MADISON — There’s a time and place for sugarcoating things.

Thursday night, in the hallways outside the fieldhouse at Madison Memorial High School, was not it — not for Middleton boys basketball coach Kevin Bavery, anyway.

Not after his team, ranked ninth in Division 1 in the first WisSports.net coaches poll of the 2023-24 season, suffered its first loss of the young campaign, a 50-34, Big Eight Conference defeat at the hands of the rival Spartans.

“It was just ugly,” Middleton’s veteran coach said. “It was just ugly all night long.”

It was especially so in the second half.

Middleton (1-1, 0-1 Big Eight) trailed just 21-19 at the break following an acrobatic tip-in basket by Marquis Walker with 7 seconds to go in the opening stanza.

But Memorial (1-1, 1-0) went on a 15-0 run after halftime — holding the Cardinals scoreless for the first 9-plus minutes of the half — to take command.

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