EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Carter Lancaster, Jr., F, Darlington boys basketball
DARLINGTON — Junior Carter Lancaster became the sixth member of the Darlington boys’ basketball 1,000-point club after pouring in a game-high 18 points to lead the Redbirds over the visiting Boscobel Bulldogs 67–22 in SWAL action at DHS on Tuesday, Feb. 4. Lancaster needed just seven points to reach the 1,000-point milestone and he wasted no time getting there, burying a 3-pointer from the corner at the 11:29 mark of the first half to hit his mark while leading the Redbirds (17–1, 10-º1) out to an early 18–1 lead.
“It’s a great feeling, especially joining my dad as a 1,000-point scorer,” said Lancaster, whose father, Aaron, is the Redbirds’ second all-time leading scorer with 1,391 points. “My teammates have really helped me to get to this great accomplishment. This is about them, too.”.
With 1,022 points and counting, Lancaster is currently three points away from passing Brian Nethery (1,025) for fifth-place on the program’s all-time scoring list. Alex Erickson leads the way with 1,775 career points, followed by Aaron Lancaster (1,391), Gary Mevis (1,295) and Riley Fitzsimons (1,222)
While his scoring is a key component to his game, Lancaster brings so much more to the court for the #4-ranked Redbirds according to his coach.
“I’m very proud of Carter and happy for him to reach 1,000 points as a junior," said Darlington head coach Tom Uppena. "He has worked incredibly hard at his game to get to this milestone. The best thing about Carter is he is more than just a scorer, though. He plays great defense, rebounds well, and just plays hard whenever he’s on the court. I’m glad to see him get some recognition for his hard work because he isn’t someone who seeks it out."
Lancaster then scored 11 points and junior Curtis Stone scored eight of his career-high 22 points in the final two minutes of the game to lift the Division 4 #4-ranked Redbirds to a 62–51 SWAL victory over the D4 #9-ranked Golden Eagles.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Leif Bredeson, Sr., 285 pounds, Darlington/Black Hawk wrestling
The Darlington senior repeated as the 285-pound conference champion at the 33rd annual SWC/SWAL CLash hosted by Mineral Point on Saturday, Feb. 8. Bredeson (26–3, #2 in Division 2) defeated Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern senior Troy Leibfried (33–5, #4 in D2) by a 7–4 decision in the finals at 285. He reached the finals with a bye, a 4–1 decision over Dodgeville's Louden Fuerstenberg and a 54-second pin of Iowa–Grant/Highland's Josh Bowen.
Hannah Butler, Sr., G, Black Hawk girls basketball
Butler has been an offensive force for the Warriors, posting back-to-back games scoring a career-high 30 points to pass older brother Heath's family scoring record of 1,367 points. The also pulled down 10 rebounds for a double–double in last Tuesday's 88–16 win over Pecatonica. She then tallied 30 points, eight rebounds and seven steals in Thursday's 63–26 win at Argyle last Thursday night.
Will Schaefer, Sr., 182 pounds, Belmont/Platteville wrestling
Schaefer won the 182-pound title for the second straight year at Saturday's 33rd annual SWC/SWAL Clash conference tournament. Schaefer (32–5, #3 at 195 in D2) dropped down to 182 to take home his second Clash title defeating CC/B/SW's Brad Goffinet (17–3) 7–1 in the finals. The Platteville senior, who won the 195-pound title a year ago, opened his day with a bye and then pinned Darlington/Black Hawk's Wiley Zasada in 36 seconds and posted a 9–0 major decision over Mineral Point's Madon Hughes to reach the finals.