Evie Coleman leads Middleton to rout of Memorial in prep girls basketball
Forwards Sitori Tanin and Hannah Flottmeyer give the Middleton girls basketball team considerable length and a definite presence on the interior.
When the Cardinals need to strike from the perimeter, they look to junior guard Evie Coleman.
“She’s probably our best 3-point shooter,” Middleton coach Jeff Kind said. “The big thing for her is to be in the right position to get some open shots.”
Coleman made three 3-pointers and scored a team-high 16 points, leading Middleton to a 63-37 Big Eight Conference victory over host Madison Memorial on Friday night. The Cardinals (11-5 overall, 10-2 Big Eight Conference) won their third consecutive game and remained in second place in conference play — 1½ games behind leader Sun Prairie.
“I usually stay outside the 3-point line,” said Coleman, who moved to Middleton from Fort Atkinson prior to her sophomore year. “A lot of my teammates get good, solid drives into the gaps. So, whenever (opponents) do help, I get the kick. Hopefully, I’ll knock it down. It’s kind of my job. If not, it always opens up other things.”
Coleman, who also scored 16 points in the teams’ first meeting this season, said she has several friends on Memorial’s team from playing AAU basketball together in past summers.
“It’s always fun and kind of intimidating,” Coleman said. “So, it always gives me a little extra confidence boost coming into this game.”
Said Madison Memorial coach Marques Flowers of Coleman: “She’s a good player. She’s a good shooter. She gives them a different dimension.”
Junior guard Emmoni Rankins led the Spartans (12-5, 9-4) with 16 points.
Tanin, a 6-foot-2 junior who finished with 14 points for Middleton, scored the game’s first four points and also grabbed three rebounds in the first 2 minutes, 42 seconds. But she picked up her second foul at the 15:18 mark, sending her to the bench for about nine minutes.
The Cardinals needed to band together without their leading scorer and rebounder, and they did.
“We talked about since we didn’t have our big offensive threat anymore, we needed to keep moving the ball on offense and just really work hard to get our open shots, which really ended up paying off,” said Coleman, who entered the game averaging 9.9 points per game.
Junior forward Karina Bursac scored the Cardinals’ first five points and Coleman scored the final five points, including connecting on a 3-pointer, during a 14-8 run that helped Middleton gain an 18-8 lead.
“(Tanin) picked up a couple quick ones there,” Kind said. “We had some kids come in and do a nice job when she was out. We were able to weather that. I thought, all in all, we had a pretty nice defensive effort. We didn’t give them a lot of easy things.”
The Cardinals used man-to-man defense in the first half and shifted to a 1-3-1 zone for much of the second half, when they pulled away from a 27-19 halftime lead.
Coleman made two 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the second half as the Cardinals outscored the Spartans 36-18.
“We didn’t play to our strengths,” Flowers said. “They are long. Their defense is set up to use their length. We need to play at a faster pace — to push the tempo — because we are faster. We had kids jogging, kids not committed to getting up and down (the court). The one advantage we had, we didn’t utilize.”
In the first meeting, Middleton topped Memorial 67-46 Dec. 6 behind the scoring of Coleman and Tanin, who had 16 points and grabbed 21 rebounds. That game marked the first contest Memorial played without standout junior Leilani Kapinus, who sustained a season-ending knee injury Nov. 30 at Madison East.
“(Kapinus’ absence) hurts them a ton, especially with our size,” Kind said. “They are real small without her. She’s such a good player. She makes everybody else better around her. They will be a great team next year.”
Middleton 27 36 — 63
Madison Memorial 19 18 — 37
MIDDLETON — Schwartz 0 0-2 0, J. Lemirande 2 1-3 5, Hodson 1 1-2 3, Tanin 4 6-8 14, Roquet 3 1-1 7, Coleman 6 1-2 16, Bursac 2 1-2 5, Dunn 0 2-2 2, Accola 1 0-0 2, Flottmeyer 3 1-2 7, Acker 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 14-24 63.
MADISON MEMORIAL — Wilson 2 1-2 6, Peters 0 0-0 0, Brown 1 0-1 2, Rankins 8 0-1 16, Sweet 0 0-0 0, White Eagle 1 0-0 3, Rosales 2 2-2 6, Maier 1 0-0 2, Garcia 1 0-1 2, Thorns 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 3-7 37.
3-point goals — Mid 3 (Coleman 3); MM 2 (Wilson 1, White Eagle 1). Total fouls — Mid 12; MM 23. Fouled out — Rosales.