EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Max Maylor, Sr., 160, Iowa–Grant wrestling
Highland senior Max Maylor has been one of the state’s best wrestlers since he first joined the Iowa–Grant/Highland high school team three years ago. Last weekend he continued to prove it by winning the 160-pound title at the 61-team Bi-State Classic. He scored a team-high 48.5 points to help the Panthers (154.5) to finish third in the Division 3 standings. Maylor is this week’s choice for the Mast Water Technology SWnews4U.com Athlete of the Week.
In a bracket full of highly-ranked wrestlers, Maylor rose to the top of the medal stand by beating three straight undefeated wrestlers Friday and Saturday to claim the 160-pound title at the 36th annual Bi-State Classic at the La Crosse Center.
Eight wrestlers in the 160-pound bracket entered Bi-State with perfect records, yet Maylor outlasted them all. Maylor (24–1), a three-time state qualifier who is currently ranked second in Division 3 at 160 according to wiwrestling.com, cruised through his opening round matches Friday with a bye, a pin and a technical fall. He then pinned Prairie du Chien’s Nick Rogge, who entered the match 16–0 and ranked fifth in Division 2, in Friday night’s quarterfinal round. Next, Maylor defeated Medford’s Kolton Hanson, who was also 16–0 and is ranked second in D2 at 170, by the score of 9–3 in Saturday’s semifinal. He then dominated Hudson’s Jacob Anderson (16–1, #4 in D1) 16–4 in Saturday’s night’s championship match.
“Max did a great job of wrestling his style this weekend,” said Panthers’ head coach Ryan Allen. “He stayed moving even when guys tried their best to slow him down.”
Maylor and the Panthers (8–4, 2–1 SWAL) will return to action Saturday morning at the Lancaster Invitational. Iowa–Grant/Highland will then host Darlington/Black Hawk (3–1, 2–1 SWAL) in a SWAL dual on Friday, Jan. 12.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Jacob Berendes, Jr., G, Shullsburg boys basketball
Berendes averaged a team-high 13 points per game in a pair of non-conference wins over host Benton, 58–50, and Southwestern, 51–40, to lead Shullsburg (4–5) to its fourth straight championship at the Benton Mike Alexander Christmas Classic.
Tyler Hale, Sr., 285, Lancaster wrestling
The Lancaster senior placed fifth at 285 pounds at last weekends 61-team 36th annual Bi-State Classic in La Crosse. Hale entered the tournament seeded 18th but went 7–2 to finish fifth and scored a team-high 32 of Lancaster’s 124.5 team points to help the Flying Arrows placed sixth out of 18 teams in the Division 3 standings.
Brianna Leahy, Sr., C, Shullsburg girls basketball
Leahy finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks to lead Shullsburg (8–1) to a 41–37 victory over host Cuba City last Thursday at the Cuba City Christmas Classic. She also had 12 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks in a 33–28 semifinal victory over River Ridge/Scales Mound a day earlier.
Sami Martin, So., C, Platteville girls basketball
Martin averaged a team-high 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and shot 76 percent (16 of 21) to lead the Hillmen (9–1, ranked #1 in Division 3) to a pair of lop-sided non-conference victories over Living Word Lutheran, 67–32, and Barneveld, 60–31, last Wednesday and Thursday at the 3rd annual Candy Cane Classic at Platteville High School.
Cade Rohrbach, Jr., G, Platteville boys basketball
Rohrbach hit a game-winning 3-pointer with six seconds left to lift Platteville to a 58–56 victory over Lakeland in the championship game of the large schools Platteville Boys Basketball Holiday Jamboree last Friday afternoon. He finished with 11 points and four rebounds. A day earlier, Rohrbach also hit a clutch 3-pointer with 40 seconds left to give the Hillmen a 77–73 and finished with 16 points and two assists to lead in a 79–76 semifinal win over Clinton on Thursday night.
Jenna Thomas, Jr., G, Richland Center girls basketball
Thomas scored 13 of her game-high 20 points in Richland Center’s 50–49 win over Barneveld last Wednesday in the 3rd annual Candy Cane Classic at Platteville High School. One day later, she scored 15 points in a 64–47 victory over Mount Horeb Thursday at the Candy Cane Classic as the Hornets improved to 4–5.