EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Olivia Liddicoat, Sr., G, Iowa–Grant girls basketball
MIFFLIN — The Iowa–Grant girls’ basketball program has a new all-time leading scorer. Senior Olivia Liddicoat surpassed Mary (Bunker) Schauff’s previous record of 1,370 points with a breakaway layup late in the first half of Friday’s 65–25 blowout of North Crawford in the first round of the Iowa–Grant Holiday Tournament.
Liddicoat jumped in front of a cross court pass, stole the ball near mid-court and raced to the other end for an uncontested layup and a record-breaking basket. Iowa–Grant head coach Dan Liddicoat, who is also Olivia’s father, called a 30-second timeout and the younger Liddicoat was recognized for her accomplishment and thanked for representing Iowa–Grant basketball with class for the last four seasons. Schauff, who graduated IGHS in 1996 and was in attendance on Friday, was also recognized.
“I have been fortunate to coach both my daughters in basketball,” said coach Liddicoat. “They have made me a very proud coach and dad. I am happy for Liv. She loves this sport and playing with her teammates. Being a three-sport athlete means you spend a lot of time in a gym or working on skills for each season. It’s an accomplishment when something like this happens in a sport.”
Iowa–Grant built a 40–9 halftime lead and the winless Trojans (0–6) never really threatened. Liddicoat finished the game with 17 points, six steals and eight assists. Junior Logan Hubbard, a scoring machine in her own right, finished with a game-high 25 points and eight steals.
With the win, the Panthers advanced to the championship game, which was held Friday evening, against River Ridge, the third-ranked team in Division 5.
Liddicoat scored a team-high 17 points (and now has 1,396 career points) and Hubbard added 16 points, but it wasn’t enough. Senior Skylar White, a 1,000-point career scorer, poured in a game-high 23 points to lead the Timberwolves to a 57–43 victory. Liddicoat now has 1,396 career points.
Troy Leibfried, Sr., 285 pounds, Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern wrestling
LA CROSSE — Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern senior Troy Leibfried added another trophy to his impressive career resume with a dominating performance on the mats en route to the 285-pound title at the 38th annual Bi-State Classic held at the La Crosse Center on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 27–28.
Leibfried (21-2, ranked #12 in Division 2) posted six victories during the two-day event with two falls, one major decision and three decisions on the way to his first career Bi-State title.
“This is a huge accomplishment for Troy. Coming into the season, you set goals and you work all season to achieve those goals. Winning a Bi-State title was a goal of his for where he wanted to be by the middle of the season,” said head coach Craig Donar.
Leibfried, who finished fourth in the 285 class at the tournament as a junior, earned his spot in the semifinals for the second straight season with a 22-second pin over Sparta’s Noah Carpenter, a 5-1 decision over Eastview’s Kellen Stewart, a 6-1 decision over Lancaster’s Myles Bender and a 10-0 major decision over Aquinas’ Clay Berra (who is ranked #9 in D3) on day one.
The Southwestern senior advanced to the finals on Saturday morning with a 2:43 pin of Verona’s Jay Hanson, who is ranked #11 in D1; and then captured the title with a 3-1 overtime decision over Calendonia/Houston’s Alex Francis in the championship match on Saturday evening.
“Troy started every match in La Crosse getting after his opponents and setting the pace. He has a good blend of strength, quickness and athleticism, so he matches up well with everyone he wrestles. The biggest thing that winning this tournament does is it gives you confidence going into the second half of the season. He still has another goal to achieve and is going to continue to work hard to accomplish it,” Donar added.
Leibfried was the lone placewinner at the meet for the Cubans, who scored 82 points to finish 16th among the 24 Division 2 teams and tied for 38th overall out of the 70 total teams at the highly-regarded tournament.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Hannah Butler, Sr, F, Black Hawk girls' basketball
Senior forward Hannah Butler scored a game-high 25 points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds along with four steals and two assists to lead the Warriors to a 74–51 victory over #5-ranked Marshall (6–3), the two-time defending WIAA Division 3 state champion.
Brayden Dailey, Jr., G/F, Cuba City boys basketball
Dailey scored 15 of his 34 points over the final 13 minutes of play to keep the Cubans comfortably ahead in last Friday's 100–82 non-conference victory over third-ranked Brookfield Academy at the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook Rick Majerus Shootout at Concordia University in Wisconsin. The top-ranked Cubans (6–0) return home to host Lomira (6–1) in a non-conference contest on Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
Kellen Kenney, Sr., PG, Fennimore boys basketball
Kenney surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career with 13 points in Fennimore's 63–42 victory over host Platteville Friday, Dec. 27 at the Platteville Holiday Jamboree. Kenney also had a game-high 11 assists, nine rebounds and a breakaway two-handed jam in the game. Kenney went on to score 16 points in Saturday's 68–33 win over Black Hawk and now has 1,017 points for his career.