EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Bailey Butler, So., G, Black Hawk girls basketball
Butler finished with 19 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists to help Black Hawk win the WIAA Division 5 state championship with a 51–36 victory over #2 Clayton Saturday at the Resch Center in Green Bay. Butler also scored a team-high 18 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds and 3 steals in Friday’s 71–39 state semifinal victory over Fall River.
Bulter was also named the Six Rivers East Co-Player of the Year over the weekend, along with teammate Natalie Leuzinger. Butler finished her sophomore season averaging 17.5 points, 4.6 steals, 4.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. She also shot 43.1 percent (177 of 411) from the field, 72.8 percent (67 of 92) from the free throw line and 38.4 percent (68 of 177) from beyond the 3-point line this year while leading the Warriors to a 28–0 mark, including a 12–0 record in Six Rivers East play.
Natalie Leuzinger, Jr., F, Black Hawk girls basketball
Junior Natalie Leuzinger scored a game-high 23 points on 10 of 13 shooting and added four rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals to lead undefeated Black Hawk (28–0) to a 51–36 victory over #2 Clayton in Saturday’s WIAA Division 5 state championship game. Leuzinger also had 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in the Warriors’ 71–39 state semifinal victory over Fall River last Friday.
Leuzinger was also named the Six Rivers East Co-Player of the Year over the weekend, along with Bulter. She finished her junior season averaging a conference-high 18.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.2 assists per game. She also shot 56.2 percent (203 of 361) from the field, 75.8 percent (72 of 95) from the free throw line and a stellar 39.4 percent (39 of 99) from beyond the 3-point line this year while leading the Warriors to a 28–0 mark, including a 12–0 record in Six Rivers East play.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Sami Martin, Jr., C, Platteville girls basketball
Martin was recently named the Southwest Wisconsin Conference Girls Basketball Player of the Year despite missing three of her team’s 10 league games. Martin averaged a team-high 16.5 points, a team-best 11.5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1.5 assists per game in 22 contests to lead the Hillmen to a 20–5 mark, a second-place finish in the SWC (8–2) and a fourth straight regional title. She averaged 16.1 points and 13.6 rebounds during league play and became just the third player in program history to surpass 1,000 points for her career in a 61–60 win over Lancaster on Jan. 17.
Dylan Rieken, Sr., G, Southwestern boys basketball
Rieken scored a game-high 22 points in Southwestern’s 59–48 WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinal victory over Shullsburg last Thursday at Mineral Point High School. Rieken again led the way Saturday, with a team-high 15 points, but the Wildcats’ magical playoff run came to an end with a 70–60 sectional final loss to defending D5 state champion Bangor. Southwestern finished the year 15–11 overall after going 6–8 in the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League.
Skylar White, Jr., G, River Ridge girls basketball
White was named the Six Rivers West Player of the Year after averaging 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 2.6 assists per game. White led the Timberwovles to a 21–3 overall record, a perfect 10–0 mark in conference play and to a WIAA Division 5 regional title.