Gritty Middleton, Returns to WIAA D1 Championship Game

Semifinals: Friday, March 20 – 6:35 p.m.

#1 Middleton Cardinals (25-1) vs #4 Oconomowoc Raccoons (22-4) 6:35 p.m.

Unless you have been living under a rock you know this is obviously not a serious post….but here is how we think it would have happened

ASHWAUBENON — After a week delay, due to the coronavirus scare, the 2020 WIAA Girls State Tournament is back!

Middleton (26-1) won for the 20th straight time, grinding past Oconomowoc (22-5), 59-51, on Friday night. Senior Sitori Tanin had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Cardinals to their second straight WIAA Division 1 championship game.

Senior Olivia Sobczak led the Raccoons with 20 points and nine rebounds.

Middleton’s defense was once again stout throughout, as the Cardinals limited Oconomowoc to 36.4 percent shooting from the floor.

Senior Karina Bursac tallied 12 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore McKenna Monogue scored 10 and also grabbed eight rebounds. Senior Evie Coleman had a well-rounded game with nine points, four assists and four steals.

When the Cardinals most-needed their defense, it came up big, forcing turnovers on three consecutive possessions that led to Middleton baskets tipping a 46-46 tie game in the Cardinal’s favor with less than four minutes remaining.

Tanin’s hard-fought layup with 3:12 put the Cardinals up 48-46 off a Oconomowoc miscue — that proved to be the basket that gave the Cards the lead for good. Monogue finished her own putback, and a Kendall Roquet reverse layup gave the Cards a 52-46 lead with 1:50 remaining. All three baskets were the result of turnovers by the Raccoons, with Coleman coming up with steals twice.

Middleton’s free-throw shooting was sensational, as the Cards shot 18-of-20 in the game, including 7-of-8 in the final 1:11 to secure the victory.

Oconomowoc rallied back from an eight-point deficit thanks to strong 3-point shooting. The Raccoons hit three treys in the span of three minutes to take a 44-43 lead with six minutes left in the game. Natalie Gricius connected on a 3-pointer to tie the game at 41 and then Elizabeth Cleary’s triple gave the Raccoon’s their first lead, at 44-43, since they were up 21-19 with about four minutes left in the first half.

A Caitlin McArthey’s layup extended the Raccoon’s spurt to 13-4 and lead to 46-43 with 5:06 left in the game.

Monogue knocked down a 3-pointer for the Cardinals to tie the game at 46 all with 4:48 left.

After a tight first half where neither team led by more than two possessions, the Cardinals built a lead of eight with less than 14 minutes left in the game as Josie Lemirande made a pair of free throws. That gave Middleton a 37-29 lead with 13:53 remaining.

The teams were within four points for the entire first half, with the Cardinals holding a 26-24 lead at intermission. The teams were tied six times, and the lead changed hands six times in the first half, as neither team was able to pull away.

Middleton will play in the WIAA Division I Girls basketball Championship against the winner of the Bay Port vs DSHA game. 

FINAL   1 2 T

4 Oconomowoc   24 27 51

1 Middleton   26 33 59

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