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. 4-11)
BOYS BASKETBALL - PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Josh Smith, jr., F/C (Southwestern) –a 6'4" junior forward/center, scored 12 of his game-high 16 points in the second half and he pulled down nine of his 16 rebounds, including five key offensive boards, in the fourth quarter to rally the Wildcats from a 10-point deficit to defeat Darlington, 52-49, in Hazel Green last Friday night. The talented junior followed up Friday’s showing with a 22-point, 8-rebound, 3-assist performance in Southwestern’s 65-36 win over Riverdale on Monday.
Cole Adams, so., G, (Cassville) – scored 17 points and had six rebounds in a 64-48 win over River Ridge to accompany Ty Kartman's 18 points. Kartman is going to get his points, but Adams stepped up as another scoring threat for Cassville. The sophomore guard then scored eight key points in the Comets’ 43-41 upset of the previously once-beaten Benton (8-2) this Tuesday night.
Jake Bechen, sr., F (Dodgeville) – scored a game-high 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help Dodgeville (9-1, 2-1 SWC) rally past Platteville, 43-40 last Thursday night. This past Tuesday Bechen scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Dodgers to a 49-43 win over Mt. Horeb. In 10 games this year Bechen is averaging a conference-best 20.3 points per game.
Colin Conner, so., F (Iowa-Grant) – grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the putback with 3.6 seconds left to lift visiting Iowa-Grant to a 51-50 victory at Lancaster this past Monday night. The 6-4 sophomore finished the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Alex Mortimer, so., G/F (Richland Center) – scored 15 points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds in the Hornets’ 58-40 win over Lancaster. This past Tuesday night Mortimer scored a career-high 24 points in a 55-47 loss to Sparta.
GIRLS BASKETBALL - PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Breland Prochaska, sr., G (Fennimore) – continued her standout senior season with a 25-point, nine-rebound, two-assist, two-steal effort in a 56-45 win over Highland on Monday night. Last Thursday Prochaska had 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 65-41 win over Southwestern. In 11 games this year for the 10-1 Eagles, Prochaska is averaging 25.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.0 steals and 4.0 assists per game.
Katrina Polkinghorn, jr., F (Lancaster) – With Tricia Petrowitz absent from last Friday night's game at Dodgeville due to illness, Polkinghorn stepped into a starting roll and contributed 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, all team highs, Leading the Arrows to their first SWC win of the season, 54-45.
Cassidy Chambers, jr., G (Darlington) – had back-to-back standout performances in a pair of Darlington wins during the past week. Last Thursday Chambers scored a team-high 19 points in a 51-40 victory at Mineral Point. This past Tuesday night the 5-foot-6 gaurd poured in 22 points and had five assists in a 68-47 non-conference win over Dodgeville. The Chambers has led the Redbirds to a 6-5 overall record so far this season.
Traci Kirschbaum, sr., F (River Ridge) – scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Timberwolves to a 51-29 blowout of Highland last Friday night. With the win River Ridge improved to 5-6 overall and 3-1 in the Six Rivers West.
WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Kyle Mezera, so., 120 (Lancaster) –has quietly accumulated a season record of 23-1. Just last week he won the 120-pound championship at the Lancaster Invite, pinning all three of his opponents in the first round in times of 1:04, 36 seconds, and 1:14.
Lucas Stoney, so., 285 (Belmont) – The sophomore’s second-period pin of River Valley’s Zach Koch was one of just two Belmont/Platteville wins on the mat, but the Braves took advantage of five forfeits to score a 42-36 dual meet victory over the visiting Black Hawks. The win was not only the first for Belmont/Platteville second-year coach Dane Droessler in his brief coaching career, it was also the first victory for the Braves in any dual in nearly three years and their first in the SWC in nearly six years. The win ended a 19-match overall losing streak and a 28-match conference skid. Stoney improved to 11-7 on the season.
GYMNAST OF THE WEEK
Haley Hentrich, jr., (Lancaster) – won vault, (8.55) balance beam (9.3) and floor exercise (9.0) and the all-around with an aggregate score of 35.2 to lead the Platteville/Belmont/Lancaster co-op to a 134.775-128.25 SWC victory at Southwestern this past Monday night. Last Satruday Hentrich won the floor exercise (9.20), finished in the top four in the other three rotations and finished third in the all-around at the six-team Mt. Horeb Invitational. Hentrich’s performance helped the Hillmen finish second behind host Mt. Horeb.
SWIMMER OF THE WEEK
Jake Adams, sr., (Platteville) – was a part of all three Platteville/Lanacster medal-winning relays at Saturday’s Rockford Auburn Relays in Rockford, Ill. First, he teamed with Wade Roberts and Brenden Polkinghorn to place third in the unusual 100+50 freestyle relay, where each swimmer swam a 100 freestyle and followed up, without a break, swimming again for a 50 freestyle. The trio had a time of 4:13.48. Adams then swam the 200-yard class freestyle relay with Ryan Murray, Tyler Fritz and Polkinghorn winning a silver medal with a time of 1:45.65. The Platteville senior finished his day with another third-place finish in the 500 crescendo free relay (one swimmer swim 50 yards, the next 100 yards, the next 150 yards, and the last was 200 yards), with Ryan Heberlein, Murray and Polkinhorn to finish third in 4:56.08.
TEAMS OF THE WEEK
River Ridge Girls’ Basketball – destroyed previously unbeaten Highland, 51-29. The Cardinals entered last Friday night's game averaging 49 points per game, but were held to 29 by the Timberwolves. Coach Caron Townsend's squad made 20-of-46 (43%) field goal attempts, including 2-of-3 (67%) from downtown. They were also 9-of-12 (75%) from the free throw line. With the win, River Ridge shook up the Six Rivers West a little bit.
Shullsburg Boys’ Basketball – Junior guard Pierce Russell scored a team-high 16 points, grabbed five rebounds and hit three 3-pointers, while fellow junior Kyle Hoppman added nine points and nine rebounds to lead the Miners to a stunning 52-49 victory over Six Rivers West-leading Potosi this past Tuesday night. The win snapped a four-game losing streak for Shullsburg, which improved its overall record to 3-7.