Gardner scores 17 as Middleton beats Verona 59-48

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Middleton advances to the Division I semifinals of the WIAA girls basketball tournament, after beating Verona 59-48 today.

Kerry Gardner was the unlikely hero, scoring a game-high 17 points for Middleton. She came in averaging eight points per game, but took advantage when Verona's defense targeted Emily Newman and Lauren Acker.

Middleton (23-3) will face Milwaukee King or Neenah tomorrow.

Senior Leslie Schaefer scored a team-high 16 points for Verona (19-5). Junior guard Kelsey Zwaga added 11 points.

Gardner was 3-for-5 from 3-point range. She also had five rebounds and four assists.

Middleton coach Jeff Kind is now 7-0 against Verona coach Angie Murphy. Murphy had played for Kind in the early 1990s, together leading Middleton its first-ever state tournament berth in 1992.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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