Middleton holds off Madison La Follette
Middleton girls basketball coach Jeff Kind asks a lot of Sitori Tanin.
The 6-foot-2 junior forward’s athleticism is evident, which helps make her an NCAA Division I basketball prospect and a standout prep high jumper. And it is the reason Kind takes advantage of her versatility.
Tanin grabbed 12 rebounds, scored nine points and dished out a couple key assists down the stretch as Middleton held off host Madison La Follette 55-50 in a Big Eight Conference game Tuesday night.
“She is so athletic,” Kind said. “She is one of those diamonds in the rough. She’s still learning how to play the game with her physical abilities.”
Tanin grabbed seven rebounds while anchoring Middleton’s defense underneath in the first half, then played out front in a 1-3-1 zone defense in the second half.
“I actually like being able to play on top of the 1-3-1; I can use my long arms to get deflections,” Tanin said. “In our man-to-man, I like being able to play down low to guard a post. I like to play different positions and contribute as much as I can.”
Said Kind: “She is so long out there (in the 1-3-1), she makes it hard to reverse the ball.”
Senior guard Charlotte Dunn led the Cardinals (9-5 overall, 8-2 Big Eight) with 13 points. Senior forward Hannah Flottmeyer scored 12 points and junior guard Evie Coleman had 10. The Cardinals used a 16-0 first-half run to turn a 15-12 lead with 8 minutes, 39 seconds left into a 31-12 advantage with 4:04 left before halftime.
Freshman guard Demetria Prewitt scored a game-high 22 points for La Follette (9-3, 6-3), which had its five-game winning streak snapped. Lancers freshman guard Malia Green made five high-arcing 3-pointers and had 17 points, including 12 in the first half.
Prewitt and Green combined for 20 of the Lancers’ 22 first-half points. Prewitt had 14 points in the second half when the Lancers increased their defensive pressure and rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit.
“When I took this job, I knew I was bringing a core of freshman girls I had been coaching since kindergarten and first grade and preparing them for this,” La Follette coach Will Green said. “I’m just fortunate to be blessed as the coach to coach my daughter (Malia Green). So, this is a special thing for me and my assistant coach (Dionte Prewitt) to have our daughters out here and getting production from freshmen on the varsity. It is a tough feat to do.”
The Lancers were without 6-0 junior Nyenhail Riak, who suffered a left knee injury Saturday at Madison East. Riak, who was averaging 10.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots per game, is scheduled for further examination today, Will Green said. Then the Lancers lost senior guard Kaytlin Eder, their second-leading scorer this season, with 11:42 left in the first half due to a concussion, Green said.
Tanin, who’s been leading Middleton in scoring and rebounding this season, said she has offers from Drake University, Montana State, North Dakota State, Bradley, Eastern Illinois and Northern Colorado.
“She’s a good player, a good passer,” Will Green said. “She’s under control for a big man. … Experienced players make plays.”
Tanin assisted on the 5-11 Flottmeyer’s inside basket that gave Middleton a 49-38 lead with 5:22 to play. After the Lancers rallied within 50-45, Tanin again made a move into the lane and passed to Flottmeyer, whose basket increased the Cardinals’ lead to 52-45 with 2:05 remaining.
“I think we work together really well,” Tanin said. “I drive down the lane and try to see her down in the post.”
Coleman made two free throws with 25.6 seconds left, boosting Middleton’s lead to 54-47. Lancers senior Jazmyn Ingersoll made a 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds remaining, bringing La Follette within 54-50. Dunn closed the scoring, making the first of two free throws with 7 seconds left.
With its win, Middleton remained in third place in the Big Eight, one-half game behind sixth-ranked Madison Memorial and Sun Prairie.
“We made enough free throws at the end and enough plays,” Kind said. “It was good to battle and win one like that.”
Middleton 33 22 — 55
Madison La Follette 22 28 — 50
MIDDLETON — J. Lemirande 1 0-0 2, Tanin 3 3-8 9, Roquet 2 0-1 4, Coleman 2 5-5 10, Bursac 1 2-4 5, Dunn 3 6-10 13, Flottmeyer 5 2-4 12, Schwartz 0. Totals 17 18-32 55.
MADISON LA FOLLETTE — Lowrey 0 1-2 1, Driver 2 0-0 5, Ingersoll 1 0-0 3, Eder 0, Morgan 0 0-0 0, Murphy 0 0-2 0, Ghelfi 0, Green 5 2-2 17, Prewitt 7 8-10 22, Walker 0 2-2 2, Olson 0. Totals 15 13-18 50.
3-point goals — MID 3 (Bursac 1, Coleman 1, Dunn 1); ML 7 (Green 5, Driver 1, Ingersoll 1). Total fouls — MID 15; ML 23. Fouled out — Walker, Olson, Ingersoll. Technical foul — Mid coach Kind.