NOTE: Each week, the sports editors of swews4u.com; A.J. Gates (Grant County Herald Independent), Jason Nihles (Platteville Journal), Tom "Gunner" Gunnell (Republican Journal) and Erik Olson (The Richland Observer) combine to nominate our "Prep Performers of the Week".
PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK (Feb. 15-21)
BOYS BASKETBALL – PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Pierce Russell, jr., G (Shullsburg) – did everything he could to lead the Miners to a thrilling 71-64 double-overtime victory over Potosi, scoring a career-high 34 points (with nine points in the fourth quarter and another nine combined in the two OT periods) while pulling down a team-high eight rebounds and dishing out five assists on the night. Every time Potosi looked to get on a roll, Russell would do something to counter their efforts. His 3-pointer with 1:01 to play in the second OT gave Shullsburg the lead for good at 65-64 and kicked off a 9-0 run by the Miners to end the game.
GIRLS BASKETBALL - PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kalli Boland, sr., F (Seneca) – helped keep the #3-ranked Indians unbeaten on the season at 20-0 and atop the Ridge and Valley Conference at 12-0 with three consecutive 20-point performances. Boland scored 26 points in a 52-48 non-conference win over River Ridge, then poured in 25 points in a 62-18 rout over La Farge and 22 points in a 45-36 win over second-place Ithaca. Boland recently went over the 1,000-point mark for her career.
CO-WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
Adam Niehaus, sr., (Belmont/Platteville) – Two weeks after securing his 100th career win, the 120-pound senior locked up his first-ever state berth with a second-place finish at the WIAA Division 2 Individual Sectional held at Richland Center.
Shania Sarbacker, fr., (Iowa-Grant) - Her key 5-3 come-from-behind victory over Cashton's Cody Hedrick at 106-pounds helped propel the Panthers over the Eagles, 48-24, for a berth in the WIAA Division 3 state team wrestling tournament.
SWIMMERS OF THE WEEK
Ryan Heberlein, Brenden Polkinghorn, Nicholas Volkman and Jake Adams, (Platteville/Lancaster) – combined to finish 12th in the 400-yard freestyle relay at the WIAA Division 2 State Swimming Championships last Friday in Madison. The quartet finished the race in a season-best time of 3:27.73.
GYMNAST OF THE WEEK
Haley Hentrich, jr., (Belmont/Platteville/Lancaster) – the Lancaster junior won all four events (the beam, vault, balance beam and the floor exercise) and captured the all-around title at last Friday’s Southwest Wisconsin Conference Championships. Hentrich’s outstanding all-around performance led the Hillmen to a third consecutive conference championship.
TEAMS OF THE WEEK
Cuba City Boys Basketball – The Cubans (ranked #2 in D4) throttled Benton (ranked #10 in D5) by a score of 83-40 on Tuesday, Feb. 14 to kick off a busy week on the hardwood, then followed with a thrilling 61-58 double-overtime victory over SWAL runner-up Southwestern on Friday, Feb. 17. The Cubans returned to the court less than 18 hours later and rolled over third-place Darlington, 76-30, to lock up outright possession of their sixth straight conference championship title.
Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster Gymnastics Teams – The Hillmen scored 136.275 points to win the Southwest Wisconsin Conference Championships in their own gym last Friday night to wrap up a third consecutive overall conference title. Thursday night Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster finished second at the WIAA Division 2 Platteville Sectional to qualify as a team for next week’s WIAA State Championships.