EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Natalie Leuzinger, Fr., G, Black Hawk girls basketball
Black Hawk freshmen Natalie Leuzinger, Hannah Butler and Maddie Huschett have burst onto the high school scene this year leading the fifth-ranked Warriors to a perfect 13–0 record so far this year. Last week, was Leuzinger’s time to shine. The talented all-around guard scored 72 points to lead Black Hawk to victories of Six Rivers East foes Juda and Barneveld, and Southwest Wisconsin Conference-leading Platteville.
Leuzinger scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals to lead the Warriors to a 53–31 conference victory in South Wayne last Thursday, in Black Hawk’s first game in 12 days. Two days later, Leuzinger was even better, pouring in a season-high 30 points with four rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead the Warriors to a dominating 76–55 non-conference victory at Division 3 Platteville (10–4) Saturday afternoon.
After a tight first half (Black Hawk led 31–27), the Warriors dominated the final 18 minutes 45–28 to run away with a 21-point victory. “We knew coming in it was going to be a game of runs,” said Black Hawk head coach Mike Flanagan. “I thought coming out of halftime that if we could get something going we’d be okay. I can’t say enough about how these kids listen.”
Tuesday night, Leuzinger led the way once again with 23 points, 10 rebounds and three assists to lead Black Hawk to a 64–44 victory at Barneveld (8–7, 4–2).
Leuzinger and the Warriors will returns to action Friday night with a non-conference makeup game at Benton, then will travel to Argyle for a makeup Six Rivers East on Saturday.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Lucas Fugate, Sr., 182, Belmont/Platteville wrestling
The Platteville senior was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at Saturday’s Monroe Invitational after winning the 182-pound title. Fugate (31–3) scored a 20-second pin in the quarterfinals, a 5–2 decision in the semis, the nominated Whitewater’s Jimmy DuVall with a 14–4 major decision in the finals.
Emma Lawrence, Jr., G, Benton girls basketball
Lawrence poured in a game-high 32 points and 11 rebounds to lead Benton to a 71–50 victory at Belmont last Thursday night. Two days later she scored 19 points in a loss at Shullsburg to surpass the 1,000-point mark for her career against former teammates and former coach Nathan Russell (and grabbed 12 boards her ninth double–double of the season). Lawrence scored 308 of her points as a freshman as a member of the Benton/Shullsburg co-op that was coached by Russell. She then had 22 points, eight rebounds and eights steals in a 72–48 win over Cassville as the Zephyrs improved to 9–4 overall and 6–2 in the Six Rivers West. Lawrence is leading the conference in scoring at 22.2 points per game.
Brianna Leahy, Jr., C, Shullsburg girls basketball
Leahy scored a game-high 24 points, making 12 of 13 from the free throw line, and broke the Miners’ all-time rebounding school record, that she previously shared with older sister Maureen, with 19 rebounds to lead fourth-ranked Shullsburg (10–3, 6–0 SRW) to a 60–39 victory over visiting Benton in a make-up game on Saturday. Leahy also had 11 points in a narrow 41–36 non-conference loss at Galena last Thursday.
Callie Norton, Sr., Darlington girls basketball
Callie Norton was in the sixth grade the last time Darlington defeated Cuba City. Last Thursday night, she poured in 15 of her game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the Redbirds (8–4, 5–2 SWAL) 67–44 conference victory at CCHS. Darlington outscored the Cubans 45–23 in the final 18 minutes to avenge a 57–47 to Cuba City back on Dec. 2.
Dillon Shinee, Sr., F, Platteville boys basketball
Shinee posted a double–double of 16 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Southwest Wisconsin Conference-leading Hillmen to a narrow 65–62 victory at Lancaster last Friday night. Shinee also had 10 points and six boards in a 61–45 loss to undefeated Shullsburg (13–0), the new number one ranked team in Division 5.
Chad Thomas, Sr., C, Iowa–Grant boys basketball
Thomas scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds to lead Iowa–Grant (6–6, 4–3 SWAL) to 70–37 conference victory over Riverdale last Friday night, then scored 12 points in a 68–28 non-conference win over visiting Belmont on Saturday.