EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday morning throughout the calendar year.
Kennedy McMillian, Sr., C, Cassville girls basketball
Cassville senior Kennedy McMillian had quite a week on the hardwood. The 5-foot-10 center averaged 23.3 points and 15 rebounds in four games in the last week, including back-to-back-back wins over Potosi last Thursday, Argyle on Monday and Wauzeka–Steuben on Tuesday. McMillian stand head and shoulders above the competition as this week’s Mast Water Technology SWnews4U.com Athlete of the Week.
McMillan opened her stretch of four straight double–doubles with a 19-point, 10-rebound performance in a 70–35 loss to Benton on Tuesday, Dec. 13. Last Thursday night, McMillan poured in a career-high 32 points and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds to lead the surging Comets to a 62–44 comeback victory over visiting Potosi. Cassville trailed Potosi 49–41 with nine minutes to play, but McMillan had four baskets in the final 3:27 to power the comeback.
“We played our most complete game of the season [against Potosi]," said Cassville head coach Martin Kirschbaum. "Our defense in that seconds half was very good and the ball movement was great.
This past Monday McMillan scored 22 points and pulled down a career-best 19 rebounds in a 58–46 non-conference victory over Argyle. A night later she posted 20 points and 12 rebounds in a 54–43 non-conference victory at Wauzeka on Tuesday night.
“We had very good scoring balance and our defense was as good as I have seen us play all year,” Kirschbaum said of Monday’s win over Argyle. “I’m very pleased with how this group has stepped up their game. After three tough losses, they have not hung their heads. We’re not perfect, but the effort has been fun to watch.”
McMillan is now averaging 18 points and 12 rebounds per game for the Comets, who are now 5–5 on the season and 1–2 in the Six Rivers West, after starting the season with back-to-back losses.
Ethan Groom, So., G, Potosi boys basketball
The Potosi sophomore exploded for a career-high 25 points and a game-high 13 rebounds to lead the Chieftains (4–4, 2–1 Six Rivers West) to a 72–44 victory over Benton on Tuesday night. It was Groom’s second straight double–double. He led the Chieftains with 16 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in Potosi’s 61–53 victory at Cassville last Thursday night. Groom is now averaging a team-high 12.5 points and 6.7 rebounds per game for coach Mike Uppena’s Chieftains.
Noah Johnson, Sr., G, Richland Center boys basketball
Johnson scored a team-high 16 points and passed out four assists in the Hornets’ dominating 71–49 victory over River Valley last Thursday night. Johnson then poured in a career-high 24 points and assisted on Ryan Peterson’s game-winning three-point play with two seconds left in RC’s 74–71 non-conference win over Wisconsin Heights on Tuesday night.
Hattie Rennert, Sr., G, Shullsburg girls basketball
Rennert exploded for 18 of her game-high 24 points in the second half to help the Miners put away visiting Potosi 58–41 in a Six Rivers West clash on Monday. Rennert also had 10 points, three assists and two steals in a 43–32 victory at Belmont last Tuesday night.
Gavin Steiber, Jr., C, River Ridge boys basketball
Steiber scored 26 of his game and career-high 31 points in the second half to lead River Ridge to a 68–50 comeback victory at Benton last Thursday night. Steiber also grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves, who outscored the Zephyrs 40–16 in the second half. Tuesday night, Steiber posted 10 points, seven boards and three blocks as Ridge improved to 2–4 on the season and 2–1 in the Six Rivers West with a 73–29 victory over Belmont (0–8, 0–4 SRW).
Jackson Vigen, Jr., G, Iowa–Grant boys basketball
Vigen made four 3-pointers and scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the second half to lead Iowa–Grant to a 62–56 over Cuba City last Tuesday night. Vigen made four second-half treys and went 6 for 7 from the foul line as I–G rallied from a 34–27 halftime deficit. He also scored six points in the Panthers’ 51–40 win at Boscobel on Monday night.