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River Ridge senior scores 29 in key SRW victory over 2nd-place Shullsburg
Cole Crubel
Senior Cole Crubel scored a game-high 29 points, including 10 in the final 2:30 to lead the first-place Timberwolves to a key 63–56 victory at Shullsburg Monday night. - photo by A.J. Gates

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

Cole Crubel, Sr., G, River Ridge boys basketball

     SHULLSBURG — River Ridge senior Cole Crubel came up huge in the biggest moments of the season thus far. Crubel scored a team-high 29 points, including 10 in the final 2:30, to lead the first-place Timberwolves to a key 63–56 Six Rivers West victory over second-place Shullsburg in Monday night's make-up game. On the night he was 12-of-19 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.

     “Cole is as good as anyone I’ve ever coached, but we had other guys step up," said River Ridge head coach Tom Nieses. "Will (Esser) scored, Logan (Drone)  scored, we’re starting to get a little bit out of Owen Hamilton, Brayan Barrita had a big steal and a couple of big threes, and Archie was just tenacious on defense in the second half. This is a great team win for us.”

      Ridge (10–2, 6–0 SRW) outscored the Miners 14–4 in a span of five minutes to claim a 49–40 advantage with 5:12 to play in the game. Shullsburg (7–7, 5–2) made one last  charge with an 8–0 scoring run to pull within 49–48 with just under three minutes to play, but the Timberwolves, who haven’t won at Shullsburg in six years, answered with a 14–8 run of their own to close out the game.

     “That’s when our seniors just decided that we want to be a contender and we’d like to win a championship here this year,” said Neises. “Our seniors, Cole especially, just put us on their back.”

Nathan Busch, Sr., G, Platteville boys basketball

     Busch made four 3-pointers and scored a season-high 17 points in Platteville's 56–34 win over Richland Center Thursday night. Two days later he made five triples and matched his season-high of 17 points in a 48–47 win over Poynette to lift the Hillmen (3–10) a second straight victory.

Will Lawrence, Sr., G, Benton boys basketball

     Lawrence scored a season-high 19 points to lead a balanced-attack and also led the Zephyrs on the defensive end of the court holding Highland leading-scorer Max Oleson to six points while he was in the game in a 67–46 win over the visiting Cardinals last Thursday night. Lawrence also scored eight points in a 57–41 win at Benton last Tuesday.

Natalie Luezinger, Sr., F, Black Hawk girls basketball

     Leuzinger scored 49 points in Black Hawk's two wins last week, scoring 16 of her game-high 28 points in the second half of the Warriors' 78–62 non-conference win at #2 Melrose–Mindoro on Saturday. She also had 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists in a 90–19 victory over Monticello last Thursday night. 

Jack Misky, Sr., F,  and Jackson Noll, Sr., G, Cuba City boys basketball

     Misky scored 16 of his game-high 27 points in the second half, and Noll added 18 points and six assists to lead the top-ranked Cubans to a dominating 86–61 victory over #3 Darlington last Thursday night.