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SUPPZ.COM SWNEWS4U CO-ATHLETES OF THE WEEK: River Ridge's Braden Crubel and Lancaster's Ryan McCartney
Crubel joins 1,000-point club McCartney notches 100th career win on the mat
Braden Crubel
River Ridge senior Braden Crubel scored a game-high 26 points in last Tuesday's non-conference victory at Seneca to become the third Ridge boy to join the 1,000-point club. (file photo by A.J. Gates)
Ryan McCartney
Lancaster senior Ryan McCartney went 5–0 to win the 195-pound title at Saturday's Lancaster Invitational and became the 30th wrestler in school history to record 100 wins. - photo by photo by A.J. Gates / Herald Independent

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

By A.J. Gates, Herald Independent / Tri-County Press

Braden Crubel, Sr., River Ridge boys basketball
PATCH GROVE — Just 10 games into the 2022-23 boys basketball season, River Ridge senior Braden Crubel joined a very elite club.

Needing 21 points to reach 1,000 career points, Crubel scored 26 in last Tuesday night’s non-conference victory over visiting Seneca, making him only the third player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark.

Since reaching the milestone last Tuesday night, Crubel has gone on to score 21 points against Shullsburg the following Friday night and 21 points against Boscobel this Monday evening.

In 60 career games, Crubel sits with 1,047 career points, having scored 379 points in 23 games as a sophomore, 425 points in 25 games as a junior, and currently 243 points in 12 games this season.

Assured of at least 11 more games this season, barring a serious injury, Braden will surpass Weston Nemitz as the school’s second-leading scorer, but realistically has no chance of dethroning his brother Cole as the school’s scoring king.

Nemitz was the first player in school history to score 1,000 points, and from 2007–11 scored 1,140 career points in 85 games for an average of 13.4 points per game.

As the school’s all-time leading scorer, Cole Crubel scored 1,812 career points from 2016–20. He did it in 93 games for a career scoring average of 19.5 points per game.

If Braden plays 11 more games this season, he would need to average just 8.5 points per game to surpass Nemitz. To unseat is brother Cole, he would need to average an unheard-of 69.5 points per game. In his senior season, Braden is averaging 20.2 points per game in his first 12 games.

Ryan McCartney, Sr., 195 pound, Lancaster wrestling
LANCASTER – With a team score of 185, the Lancaster varsity wrestling team finished second of seven teams at their own invitational last Saturday, and was just 11 points behind the champions from Sparta.

Coach Brad Sturmer’s Flying Arrows crowned three individual champions, including senior Ryan McCartney, who went 5–0 on the day to claimi the 195-pound title and become the 30th wrestler in school history to reach 100 career victories.

Following Saturday’s invite, McCartney has a career record of 101–36, going 23–15 as a freshman, 21–4 as a sophomore, 38–12 as a junior and currently 19–5 as a senior.

On Saturday he followed up a first-round bye with three straight pins before defeating Ross Crist of Darlington/Black Hawk, 4–3, in his championship match.

“Ryan does everything right. He does all the little things and the big things right. He really truly earned everything that he’s accomplished,” said coach Sturmer. “He’s a two-time state medalist at this point, and hopefully a third this year, and is a member of the 100-win club. Ryan is one that from the beginning of practice to the end of practice, he’s going to be going hard 100 percent of the time. He’s also going to be doing things outside of practice like lifting weights and going for runs."

“And, it doesn’t necessarily contribute to his performance as a wrestler, but in a way he’s always making the right choices as far as being kind to others and staying away from drugs and alcohol. He just seems to be able to make the right choice in pretty much every moment that I’ve ever witnessed,” added Sturmer. “That’s why it’s just so gratifying, and I’m happy for him. He is the full package. He’s a very hard working and humble individual.”

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Rex Blaine, Sr., F, Benton boys basketball
Blaine score a game-high 21 points in a 63–61 loss to Highland last Thursday night to join the 1,000 point club. The 6-foot-6 senior now has 1,003 career points in 62 career games and is averaging a conference-best 23.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game this year. Blaine has committed to play at NAIA Clarke College next year.

Kylie Butler, Fr., G, Darlington girls basketball
Butler made 7 of 10 3-point attempts and scored a game-high 27 points to lead Darlington to a 58–46 non-conference win over Lancaster Monday night. Butler also scored a team-high 12 points in a 54–36 win over Highland to led the Redbirds (7–6) at the Aaron Lancaster Memorial Games doubleheader Saturday at DHS.

Carver Fitzsimons, Sr., F, and Brady Long, Jr., G, Darlington boys basketball
Fitzsimons had a career-high 26 points and 14 rebounds in a 77–46 win over Highland at the Aaron Lancaster Memorial Games girls–boys doubleheader Saturday at DHS. Long made six 3-pointers and scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Redbirds (12–1) to a 72–35 non-conference win over River Valley Monday night. He also had five rebounds and four assists in the game. Long had 21 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals, and Fitzsimons posted a double–double of 11 point and 13 rebounds to go with four steals in Friday's 60–37 SWAL win over Iowa–Grant.

Eli Lindsey, So., G, and Luke Kisgen, Sr., F, Mineral Point boys basketball
Lindsey had a double–double of 18 points and 10 rebounds and made all four of his free throw attempts to lead the #4-ranked Pointers (10–0, 4–0 SWAL) to a 67–58 SWAL victory over #8-ranked Cuba City (8–4, 3–1) last Friday night. Kisgen added 16 points and 11 rebounds for his own double–double to aid the Pointers' victory.