A New Era for MHS Girls’ Basketball


Collin Walser

The girls’ team gathers in a huddle on the court before their game. Girls’ varsity basketball went 13-11 in their 2022-2023 season under new head coach Rashard Griffith.

Stevee Kraemer

The Middleton High School girls’ basketball season has come to a close, with this season marking the start of a new era for the program. 

The 2022-2023 season began with Rashard Griffith named new head coach. The former Badger basketball player, who has been working at Middleton High School since spring of 2022, took the position after former Coach Jeff Kind stepped down shortly before the season was set to begin. He was accompanied by assistant coaches Jessica McIntosh and Megan Ray.  

This season, Griffith led the girls’ team to go 13-11 overall in the regular season and 12-8 in conference games. The group was defeated in the first round of the playoffs in a close and hard-fought battle with Sussex-Hamilton. The team was guided by senior Loyola University commit Audrey Deptula, who led the team in points, rebounds, assists and steals this year. She recently made the Big Eight All-Conference First Team and has offered immense talent and competition to the Big Eight Conference. 

Deptula was accompanied by other standout players, such as freshmen guards Brooke Michelotti and Rowan Borne. They both contributed much to the team in terms of offense and defense this year, and the program as well as its fans are excited to see what the young duo accomplish in their next three years on the team.  

This year’s team marks the beginning of a new coaching era under Griffith. By the time the players reached high school, they had had years of playing under different coaches, learning different things. When asked about his first year coaching, Griffith (or Griff, to his athletes) said that establishing a new culture was his main priority. This began with learning the current players on the team, what worked for them and what systems to put into place that would result in success. 

One of the biggest challenges with the individual players was their mental space. One of Griffith’s orders of business was to have the girls understand “how good they are, and how good they can be.” 

Once in a scrimmage during practice, a player did not shoot a wide open shot they had after being coached throughout their playing career that their job was not to shoot the ball. Griffith called practice to a stop and said something along the lines of, “That is your shot, you need to trust yourself, because you know your team trusts you to take that shot and make it.” This situation is one of many that displays the calm redirection of mindset and building of confidence that Griffith facilitated with many players over the season. 

Griffith said his goal for next season is to get in as much off-season work as possible, saying the off-season is the time when players get better. This is especially applicable now, because in the previous off-season the team was in between coaches. 

This year, however, the foundation is set. The culture of this program is changing. As a player on the team, I know we are so excited to see those changes.