EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Nate Reiff, Sr., F, Southwestern boys basketball
HAZEL GREEN — Senior Nate Reiff scored a team-high 18 points on 5-of-14 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range to lead the Southwestern Wildcats to a 56–54 overtime victory over #6 Darlington last Tuesday night. He also went 5-of-8 from the free throw line, while also pulling down a team-high 12 rebounds and blocking one shot.
“Nate played at a pretty high level against a very good post player in Carter Murray,” said coach Southwestern head coach Clint Nemitz of his 6’8” forward. “We didn’t know how that match-up would end up in the plus or minus category, but having Nate get 18, and for us to limit Murray to two was big. Nate was able to hit some deep shots to stretch the defense as well as score in the post. He just had it going.”
Reiff kept the momentum going with another monster game three nights later in a 75–42 win over Boscobel, scoring a career-high 28 points to go along with nine rebounds to keep the Wildcats (8–4, 3–1 SWAL) in a first-place tie in the SWAL with #3-ranked Cuba City (9–1, 3–1), which suffered its only loss of the season Friday to visiting Mineral Point, 52–50, and Fennimore (6–5, 3–1). Reiff also had 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks in a 74–33 win over Belmont Monday night to help coach Nemitz collect his 100th career victory.
Reiff is averaging a team-high 15.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game for Southwestern.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Mark Kenney, Sr., F, Fennimore boys basketball
Kenney scored a team-high 15 points, grabbed four rebounds and passed out a game-high six assists — including a near full-court laser to classmate Mason Adkins with 3.4 seconds left in the game that led to Adkins game-winning layup as time-expired in last Tuesday's 61–59 win at Mineral Point. Kenney also 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 75–38 win over visiting Riverdale Friday night. Kenney is averaging 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3 assists per game for the first-place Golden Eagles (6–5, 3–1).
Porter Mandurano, Jr., 285 Belmont/Platteville wrestling
Mandurano dominated on his way to claiming the title in the 285-pound weight class at last Saturday's Lancaster Invitational registering four first-period falls en route to his first-place finish. Mandurano (21-4), who is ranked 9th at 285 in Division 2, pinned Sparta’s Carter Veith (0:45), River Ridge/Cassville’s Owen Callahan (1:45), Darlington/Black Hawk’s Bryan Lazaro (0:46) and Sparta’s Cadence Zwiefel (1:29).
Ayden Nolan, Sr., 120 pounds, Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern wrestling
Nolan pinned his way to the title at 120-pounds at last Saturday's Lancaster Invitational. Nolan (21-5), who is ranked 7th at 120 in Division 2, registered four straight pins in under a minute to open his tournament, and then earned the 120 title with a 4:50 fall over Sparta’s Devon Lietzau in the fifth round. The Cuba City senior also stuck Iowa Grant/Highland Reserves’ Kalan Koch (0:54), Brodhead’s Jameson Wallin (0:37), Belmont/Platteville’s Mason Oellerich (0:38) and Lancaster’s Devin Tydrich (0:57).
Owen Seffrood, Fr., 132 pounds, Darlington/Black Hawk wrestling
Seffrood won the 132-pound title at Saturday's Lancaster Invitational.Seffrood, who is ranked 11th at 132 in Division 2, was named the meet’s Most Valuable Wrestler by the coaches after earning his title and helping the WarBirds capture the team title with 254.5 points. Seffrood (17-0) followed an opening round bye with a 45-second pin and two technical fall decisions to make the finals at 132. The Black Hawk freshman remained unbeaten on the season with a 7-2 decision over B/P’s John Burbach in the championship match.
Blair Watters, Sr., Mineral Point girls basketball
Watters poured in a game-high 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds, snatched seven steals and had four assists in an 80–41 blowout win at Cuba City Tuesday night. Watters also had 15 points, eight steals and seven rebounds in a 59–35 win over Wisconsin Heights Saturday and a career-high 27 points, seven rebounds and five steals in a 67–26 win over Riverdale last Thursday. Watters in averaging 14.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game for the top-ranked and undefeated Pointers (14–0, 6–0 SWAL).