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 (Jan. 18-24)
BOYS BASKETBALL – PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Ty Kartman, so., G (Cassville) – dropped in five 3-pointers and a career-high 33 points in the Comets' 57-53 win over Black Hawk last Saturday. Three nights later Kartman scored 24 points, but couldn’t help Cassville knock off league-leading Potosi in a 60-44 loss to the Chieftains (11-2, 6-1 Six Rivers West). Kartman and Cassville are currently 9-5 overall and 4-3 in league play.
Pierce Russell, jr., G (Shullsburg) – Russell has been the driving force behind the Miners current five-game winning streak. He scored 14 points with six rebounds, four assists and a steal in a 58-41 win over Ridge Ridge last Thursday. Then he tallied 18 points, five boards, three assists and a steal in their 52-39 win over Belmont on Tuesday. Shullsburg is currently 7-7 overall and 5-2 in league play heading into Friday’s Six Rivers Challenge crossover game against Black Hawk.
Alex Mortimer, so., F/G, (Richland Center) – scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, and had 10 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Hornets to a decisive 72-49 victory over Iowa-Grant on Tuesday. Last Thursday Mortimer scored a 19 points and grabbed a game-best 11 rebounds in the Hornets’ (11-4) 63-37 win over River Valley. Mortimer has averaged 17.0 points per game during his last five contests.
GIRLS BASKETBALL - PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Blaire Lutes, jr., G (Benton/Shullsburg) – Lutes connected on 11 of her 17 shot attempts, including a 3-for-4 effort from 3-point range, on her way to a career-high 27 points in a win for the Zephyr-Miners at the West Carroll Shootout on saturday. Lutes single-handedly outscored the host Thunder for the game, 27 to 26, while picking up six steals, three assists and four rebounds in their 55-26 win. She also had a team-high 13 points in a non-conference loss at Juda last Tuesday.
Rachel Pope, sr., G (Dodgeville) – matched her season-high with 25 points and nearly lead her team to an upset victory over Cuba City (12-2, ranked 10th in Division 4), though the Dodgers (6-6) eventually fell 47-44. Last week Pope poured in a game-high 22 points in a 52-47 victory over Mt. Horeb. In 12 games this year Pope is averaging 16.6 points per game.
CO-WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
Kyle Mezera, so., 120 (Lancaster) – won the 120-pound title at Saturday’s Monroe Invitational. The Lancaster sophomore pinned all four of his Saturday opponents to win the five-man round robin. Mezera has totaled a 33-1 record so far this season.
Ben Meyer, jr., (Pec/Argyle) – Meyer, who is diagnosed with high-functioning autism, won the final match of the night by technical fall to lead the Vikings over Black Hawk, 32-30, in a Six Rivers Conference dual match. The Vikings trailed 30-27 heading into Meyer's 195-pound match, but the junior used a tight half-nelson to lock up a 17-0 decision over his Black Hawk opponent to rally the team for the victory.
GYMNAST OF THE WEEK
Jackie Runde, jr., (Platteville) – won the all-around (35.625), vault (8.95), uneven bars (8.525) and balance beam (9.075) and finished second on the floor exercise (9.075) to lead the Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster gymnastics team to a Southwest Wisconsin Conference dual meet victory over host Dodgeville/Mineral Point on Monday night. The Hillmen improved to 4-1 overall and concluded the SWC dual meet season with a perfect 4-0 record. Last Saturday Runde won the beam (9.275) and finished second in the all-around (39.25) at the eight-team Southwestern/Cuba City Invite. The Hillmen finished third as a team.
SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
Jordan Kress, jr., (Platteville) – turned in Platteville/Lancaster’s top individual performance with a sixth-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle (25.01 seconds) at last Saturday’s Platteville Hillmen Invitational at UW-Platteville. Kress was also a part of Platteville/Lancaster’s fifth-place 400-yard freestyle and eighth-place 200-yard medley relay.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Fennimore Girls Basketball – The Golden Eagles used an 18-7 first-quarter run to grab control of last Thursday’s pivotal Southwestern Wisconsin Activities League games with Cuba City held on for a key 48-41 victory, giving Fennimore (13-1) sole possession for first place with a 7-0 league record. Seniors Breland Prochaska, who recently signed a national letter of intent to play college basketball at Clarke University next winter, and Allison Klug each scored 14 points in the win. Cuba City fell to 11-2, 6-1 in league play.