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) will combine to nominate our "Prep Performers of the Week" in volleyball, cross country, boys soccer, girls swimming and girls golf. If don't agree with our rankings or you feel we missed a standout performance, feel free to post a comment and plead your case.
PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK (Nov. 23-30)
BOYS BASKETBALL - PLAYER OF THE WEEK
David Neis, 5-10, G (Benton, sr.) – Benton’s senior standout scored 69 points, had six rebounds and six assits, made 23-of-35 shots from the field, including 3-of-7 from behind the arc, and 20-of-22 free throws in back-to-back victories over Boscobel and River Ridge. Neis scored a single-game school-record 42 points in last Saturday’s 69-59 season-opening victory over the Bulldogs. Neis' 42 points eclipsed the previous record of 41 set by his coach Jim Blaine in 1981. A year ago, the two-time, all-Six Rivers selection helped the Zephyrs post a 24-2 record and win last year’s conference title. Benton is the favorite to repeat this year.
Justin Hore, 6-5, F (Lancaster, sr.) – the lanky senior forward scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the first half and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds in Lancaster’s 53-48 season-opening victory over River Ridge last Friday night. The win helped the Arrows (1-0) match their win total from all of last year and gave first-year head coach Justin Burress his first varsity coaching victory.
Brandon Hardyman, 6-2, G (Darlington, sr.) – scored a game-high 20 points and had seven rebounds in Darlington’s 43-32 win over Black Hawk last week and 13 points in a 49-46 win over Shullsburg on Tuesday as the Redbirds started the season off 2-0.
Alec Adsit, 6-1, G (Richland Center, sr.) – scored 17.8 points per game and grabbed 14 rebounds in consecutive victories over Riverdale, North Crawford and Hillsboro as the Hornets opened the season 3-0. Adsit poured in a game-high 21 points and grabbed six rebounds as Richland Center defeated North Crawford 58-51 in the championship game of the Riverdale Thanksgiving Tournament last Saturday.
GIRLS BASKETBALL - PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chloe Pustina, 5-5, PG (Cuba City, fr.) – the latest in a family of talented guards burst onto the high school basketball scene Tuesday night by scoring a game-high 20 points, including a buzzer-beating eight-foot runner, in her varsity debut to lift the Cubans to a 46-44 season-opening victory over visiting Lancaster. With the game tied at 44-44 Pustina took the inbound pass under her own hoop, drove the length of the court and put up a one-handed runner after getting into the lane that fell through the net as time ran out on the Arrows. Pustina is the youngest daughter of Cuba City head coach Jeff Pustina, as well as the younger sister of Kaitlyn and Kelsey Pustina, who helped the Cubans win back-to-back-to-back state titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Breland Prochaska, 5-7, G (Fennimore, sr.) – The all-around talent opened her senior season in style by averaging 24.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game in back-to-back victories over Belmont and River Ridge. Prochaska shot 14-of-30 from the field and made 7-of-13 shots from behind the 3-point line. She also made 13-of-18 free throw attempts as the defending SWAL champion Golden Eagles opened the season 2-0.
Kaitlyn Hoppman, 6-0, C (Southwester, sr.) – scored a game-high 31 points and had 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in the Wildcats’ 75-11 season-opening victory over Cassville on Tuesday. Hoppman made 13-of-21 shots and all five of her free throw attempts.
Jen Wellnitz, 5-8, G/F (Black Hawk, so.) – tallied five rebounds, five steals and three assists to go along with her 21 points in a 53-30 win over New Glarus Monday night.
Kelsey Collins, 5-5, G (Richland Center, sr.) – scored a game-high 27 points and made four 3-pointers in the Hornets’ 71-55 season-opening victory over La Crosse Central on Tuesday night.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Benton/Shullsburg girls’ basketball – opened their co-op with a 59-48 victory over Galena on Monday, Nov. 28. Blaire Lutes (20 pts), Sarah Redfearn (12 pts) and Molly Blackbourn (10 pts) all reached double figures for the Zephyr