EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Jesse Martin, Sr., G, Platteville boys basketball
PLATTEVILLE — Platteville has been winning games with defense and grit early this year. Last Thursday night Jesse Martin and the offense carried the Hillmen to their sixth victory of the season. Martin scored a career-high 39 points on 14 of 18 shooting from the field to lead the Hillmen to a commanding 80–60 non-conference victory over visiting Wisconsin Heights in the nightcap of a girls–boys doubleheader.
“When a young man finds his rhythm like Jesse did on Thursday and is making shot after shot, it is just a joy to watch,” said Platteville head coach Mike Huser. “What really impressed me is everything he did was within the context of our offensive scheme and he took what was available to him, which is a credit to his growth as a basketball player.”
Martin had it going from the opening tip, scoring 23 of his points in the first half as the Hillmen (6–3) build a 46–24 halftime advantage. Martin made 10 field goals and two free throws in the first half, and kept attacking the basket in the second half, going 8 of 9 from the line while making four field goals in the second half. He also added eight rebounds, two steals and one assist.
“I think everyone was excited for Jesse and the night he had offensively,” said Huser. “He was 14 of 18 from the floor and 10 of 11 from the line, so his efficiency was just incredible. We knew after missing all of last year, that it might take a bit for him to find his stride and he seems to be finding that right now. Jesse and Devin Digman had outstanding nights offensively and they are a tough combination to stop when they get rolling like they did on Thursday evening.”
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order:
Braden Crubel, Jr., G, River Ridge boys basketball
Crubel went off for a career-high 30 points, making 8 of 10 3-pointers, and grabbed five rebounds in a 84–45 win over Barneveld Tuesday morning at the River Ridge Holiday Classic. Crubel then scored a team-high 14 points and had three assists in a 57–26 victory over Iowa–Grant in the championship game later Tuesday afternoon. River Ridge improved to 8–1 overall with the pair of wins.
Sarah Knowles, Sr., F, Boscobel girls basketball
Knowles scored 14 points, grabbed a career-high 26 rebounds, blocked three shots and had four steals to power the Bulldogs comeback from a 15-point first half deficit to defeat previously undefeated Kickapoo 55–54 last Tuesday night.
Matthew Hughey, Sr., F, Lancaster boys basketball
Hughey scored a career-high 16 points on 8 of 10 from the field and grabbed four rebounds to led Lancaster to an emotional 65–32 victory over visiting Boscobel last Thursday night just one day after the Flying Arrows buried teammate Braeden Bausch.
Tatianna Place, Sr., F, Lancaster girls basketball
Place scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Flying Arrows to 49–43 non-conference victory over visiting Belleville last Thursday night.
Tyler Rizner, Sr., G, Richland Center boys basketball
Rizner scored a game-high 25 points to lead Richland Center (5–3) to a 65–56 non-conference victory over host Gale–Ettrick–Trempeleau Monday night. Rizner also made three 3-pointers and finished with 21 points in the Hornets' 57–47 win at Viroqua last Tuesday night.
Hailey Weigel, Sr., F, Platteville girls basketball
Weigel posted a double–double with a career-high 19 points, a career-high 10 assists, five steals and four rebounds in Platteville's 70–22 SWC victory over River Valley last Thursday night.