EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Cayla Golackson, Jr., F, Darlington girls basketball
Darlington junior forward Cayla Golackson scored 14 of her career-high 24 points in the first half to lead the way for Darlington in a 58–57 win at Cuba City in its SWAL opener last Friday night. Golackson also added five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot in the win.In the Redbirds' 37–28 win at River Ridge last Tuesday, Golackson netted 10 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Darlington (3–2, 1–0 SWAL) will host #2-ranked Mineral Point (5–0, 1–0) tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Waylon Palzkill, Sr., G, Belmont boys basketball
Belmont senior guard Waylon Palzkill averaged nearly 23 points per game as the Braves opener the season by going 2-1. He poured in a career-high 32 points in an 82–65 season opening non-conference win at Albany, and then he added a game-high 18 points in a 49–43 win over Black Hawk and also had a team-high 18 points in a 48–42 loss to Monticello. Palzkill and the Braves (2–2) are already halfway to their win total of four from a year ago.
HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Isaac Biba, sr., 285 pounds, Iowa–Grant/Highland wrestling
Biba went a perfect 3–0 with three pins to win the 285-pound title at last Saturday's eight-team Royall Invitational and scored a team-high 26 team points to help the Panthers — who crowed five individual champions — win the team title.
Jamin Crapp, So., 113 pounds; Bryce Galle, Jr., 182 pounds; Ryan McCartney, jr., 195 pounds
Lancaster wrestlers sophomore Jamin Crapp (113 pounds) and juniors Bryce Galle (182) and Jr. Ryan McCartney (195), each went 5–0 to lead the team at Saturday’s Reedsburg Duals, where the Flying Arrows finished second as a team with a dual-meet record of 3–2 and a third-place team finish.
Braden Crubel, Jr., G, River Ridge boys basketball
Crubel scored a game-high 22 points on just 11 shot attempts (7 of 11) to go along with four steals and three rebounds in a 74–50 non-conference win over Southwestern last Thursday night. Crubel then posted 15 points, three rebounds and three assists in a the #5-ranked Timberwolves' (4–0, 1–0 SRW) 62–27 Six Rivers West win over Highland Tuesday night, while helping hold Cardinals' senior standout Max Oleson (who was averaging 26.3 ppg) to just nine points.
Zach Koeller, Sr., G, Lancaster boys basketball
Koeller knocked down five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Flying Arrows (2–2) to a 75–56 victory over visiting Barneveld last Thursday night. He also had five rebounds and a game-high three blocks as a 5'8" guard. Koeller also had 11 points, two steals and two assists in a heart-breaking 62–60 loss at Wisconsin Heights Tuesday night.
Sarah Knowles, Sr., G/F, Boscobel girls basketball
Knowles poured in a career-high 30 points on 14 of 21 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 73–49 non-conference win over De Soto last Tuesday night. She then posted six points and a game-high 16 rebounds in Friday's 52–24 blowout road win at Iowa–Grant in the SWAL opener for both teams, then posted 19 points and career-high 20 rebounds in a 79–39 win over Ithaca. Knolwes, a first-team All-SWAL pick a year ago, is averaging 18.2 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2 steals per game for the 4–1 Bulldogs, who are coming off a 6–14 season in 2020–21.
Brecken Muench, Jr., 120 pounds, Fennimore wrestling
Muench, who missed all of his sophomore season after being an individual state qualifier two years ago as a freshman, went 5–1 with two pins and three decisions to place a team-best third at 120 pounds last weekend at the 28-team Independence Cliff Keene Invitational.
Tyler Rizner, Sr., G, Richland Center boys basketball
Rizner posted a game-high 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead the Hornets (2–0) to a 71–53 win at Hillsboro last Friday night. Rizner also scored a team-high 20 points in Richland Center's 65–41 season-opening victory at Baraboo, Nov. 27.