EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Brody Lee, So., 106, Fennimore wrestling
MADISON — With a state championship hanging in the balance, and the weight of the entire Fennimore wrestling community on his shoulders, sophomore Brody Lee delivered in the biggest way possible.
Nine days earlier, Lee exited the WIAA Individual State Championships with a disappointed first-round loss. This time around he played the role of concurring hero. Lee’s ’s second-period pin of Stratford freshman Logan Gaulke at 106 pounds, in the final match of Saturday’s WIAA Division 3 Team State Championship dual, secured the Golden Eagles’ 31–24 victory over top-ranked Stratford and the program’s second team state title in the past four years.
The Golden Eagles (11–0) led 25–24 entering the final match, after Stratford’s senior heavyweight state champion Dylan Schoenherr earned a 7–0 victory over Fennimore senior Brayden Leffler at 285 pounds.
It all came down to one match for the state title, and Lee was Fennimore’s man.
Lee (29–12) built a 5–0 lead in the first period. He chose neutral to begin the second period and hip-tossed Gaulke (25–21) to his back and pinned him 52 seconds into the second period to clinch the 2019 D3 team state title.
“I sat Luke Blair and Brody Lee down months before season and explained to them that one of them need to be at 106 in March for us to win the title,” said Fennimore head coach Chad Steldt. “Lee took on the challenge. It is extremely hard to put into words how hard it was for Brody and his parents to be discipline enough for him to get to weight while keeping up with school work and competing in a very tough schedule.
“As it came to be, that talk in September worked out just as perceived and the team title came down to Brody Lee at 106, and we were quite confident that the training would payoff. We were right. Brody’s hip toss to a pin will be forever etched in Fennimore wrestling history.”
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Jacob Berendes, Sr., G, Shullsburg boys basketball
Berendes made four of Shullsburg’s 11 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 21 points, and held Potosi leading scorer Brady Curtis scoreless in the Miners’ 66–52 victory over the second-seeded Chieftains (19–5) in Saturday night’s WIAA Division 5 regional final at PHS. Berendes scored a game-high 19 points in Friday’s 71–52 win over Benton. He also scored a game-high 19 points in the Miners’ 63–21 regional quarterfinal victory over Ithaca last Tuesday night. Shullsburg (21–4) will face Southwestern (14–10) Thursday night in a D5 sectional semifinal at Mineral Point.
Natalie Luezinger, Jr., F, Black Hawk girls basketball
Luezinger averaged 21.5 points, 5 rebounds and 3.5 assists to lead top-ranked and unbeaten Black Hawk to a pair of lop-sided sectional victories last week. Luezinger, a Division 1 recruit, scored 21 points in the Warriors’ 58–27 WIAA D5 sectional semifinal over Six Rivers West champion River Ridge last Thursday night. Two days later, Luezinger scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed five boards in a 70–39 sectional final blowout of Independence. Black Hawk (26–0) will face fifth-ranked Fall River (24–3) in a WIAA D5 state semifinal Friday morning at 9 a.m. at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
Adam Larson, So., Fennimore boys basketball
Larson made a career-high 7 of 12 3-pointers — including five in the first half — and matched his career high with 31 points on 11 of 16 shooting to lead Fennimore to an 81–76 WIAA Division 4 regional semifinal victory over visiting Wisconsin Heights last Thursday night. He also added six rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots. Two nights later he scored 10 points and blocked a game-high eight shots in a defensive battle to help Fennimore knock off top-seeded Darlington 47–42 in a D4 regional final. Larson and the Golden Eagles (20–4) will face New Glarus (22–2) Thursday night at Reedsburg High School at 7 p.m. in a D4 sectional semifinal. The winner advances to Saturday’s D4 Middleton sectional final.
Will Lawrence, Jr., G, Benton boys basketball
Lawrence scored the game-winning layup at the buzzer after racing down court after a missed free throw to lift Benton to a 59–58 victory over visiting Iowa–Grant in last Tuesday’s WIAA Division 5 regional quarterfinal. He finished with 18 points. Lawrence scored seven points three night’s later in the Zephyrs’ season-ending 71–52 loss to third-seeded Shullsburg in a D5 regional semifinal.
Breckin Scheinder, Jr., F, Southwestern boys basketball
Schneider scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Southwestern to a 64–51 upset of top-seeded Wauzeka–Steuben in last Saturday night’s WIAA Division 5 regional final at Wauzeka. Schneider also scored a game-high 18 points in the Wildcats’ 60–40 victory over River Ridge in last Tuesday’s regional opener. He scored nine points in Friday’s 69–43 regional semifinal victory over Highland. Southwestern will face third-seeded Shullsburg (21–4) Thursday night at Mineral Point at 7 p.m. in a D5 sectional semifinal.