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In a game that saw defense matter for both teams on Saturday night, Sun Prairie’s defense mattered a little bit more.

The host Cardinals rode a strong start-to-finish effort to a 44-29 victory over Madison Memorial, the sixth-ranked team in the Division 1 state poll.

The Spartans (9-2, 8-2 Big Eight) were held to 13 points in the first half and trailed the Cardinals (8-4, 6-3) by eight points at the break. The loss dropped Memorial into a second-place tie with Madison La Follette in the conference, two games behind Madison East with eight league games remaining.

The only player for either team to score in double figures was Sun Prairie’s Brock Voigt, who had 11 points.

Sophomore guard Kyle Yu led Memorial with nine points.

Madison East 64, Middleton 47

The top-ranked Purgolders (14-0, 10-0 Big Eight) broke open a one-point halftime lead with a 9-0 run to start the second half on their way past the host Cardinals (8-5, 6-4).

The Purgolders outscored Middleton 36-20 in the second half.

East senior Damontae Thompson finished with 23 points, and season scoring leader Anthony Washington scored nine of his 11 points in the second half. Middleton junior Cole Deptula had 14 points and Jake Klubertanz scored 12.

Verona 46,

Janesville Parker 37

Reagan Klawiter went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the second half and made all 10 attempts overall, totaling 16 points to lead the Wildcats (3-10, 3-7 Big Eight) past the visiting Vikings (2-11, 1-9).

Ryan Van Handel scored 12 points for the Wildcats, who teamed up to go 11-for-15 from the line in the second half.

Parker got 12 points from Brenden Weis and 10 from Tremar Curry.

Madison La Follette 82,

Madison West 52

The Lancers (9-3, 8-2 Big Eight) started the game with a 17-0 run and cruised to a victory over the host Regents (5-9, 3-7).

Senior Donneil Gray led with 21 points, Ben Probst had 17 and Isaiah Stewart added 14. West junior Dayne Armwald scored 23 points.

Janesville Craig 73, Beloit Memorial 66

With five players scoring in double figures, the Cougars (4-9, 3-7 Big Eight) overpowered the Purple Knights (6-7, 3-7) at home.

Seve Bertagnoli, Jack Huml, Jacob Lynch and Angelo Rizzo all had 12 points, and Aaron Leverson scored 10.

Beloit’s Jaden Bell finished with 18 points.

Kimberly 71,

Beaver Dam 67

The visiting Papermakers (11-1), ranked fifth in Division 1, beat the Beavers (7-6) in a non-conference showdown, led by senior forward Levi Neinhaus-Borchert’s 28 points.

Beaver Dam kept the game close throughout behind 21 points from senior guard Cade Ferron and 19 from sophomore point guard Nate Abel.

Prairie du Chien 46, Stoughton 32

The visiting Blackhawks (10-2) rode their balanced offense and team defense to a victory over the Vikings (7-6).

Junior guard Mason Kramer had 12 points for Prairie du Chien. Stoughton’s Adam Hobson had 13 points.

Lake Mills 54,

Sauk Prairie 43

The visiting L-Cats (10-3) picked up a victory over the Eagles (4-9), with guards Matt Johnson and Adam Moen each scoring 13 points for Lake Mills.

Jack Henderson led Sauk Prairie with 20 points.

North Scott (Iowa) 48, Wisconsin Dells 23

The top-ranked team in its division in Iowa, Eldridge’s North Scott (15-0), used a 27-8 first half to build a comfortable victory over the host Chiefs (9-3) at JustAGame Fieldhouse.

Tytan Anderson scored 22 points for the winners. No Dells player scored more than six points.

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Wisconsin State Journal prep sports editor Art Kabelowsky has traversed the state to cover sports while working for daily papers in Fort Atkinson, Racine, La Crosse, Milwaukee and Baraboo.