GAME OF THE WEEK (Jan. 12–18)
BOYS BASKETBALL: Shullsburg (9–0, 4–0 SRW ranked #2 in D5) at Highland (8–3, 4–0), Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.
The Highland Cardinals will host the second-ranked Shullsburg Miners tonight at 7:30 p.m. in this week’s McDonald’s SWnews4U.com Game of the Week in a battle for first place in the Six Rivers West.
The Cardinals improved to 4–0 in the the conference with a gritty 54–58 road win at Potosi (7–3, 3–2) last Friday night. Highland look to be in trouble down three late in the second half when senior standout JR Linscheid went to the bench with his forth foul. But the Cardinals responded with a 12–0 with the conference’s leading scorer on the bench to take a 44–35 lead with 5:03 remaining. Linscheid, senior Alex Michek and sophomore Spencer Lincsheid each scored 12 points to lead a balance attack. Highland’s seven-game winning streak came to an end Monday night with a 50–37 loss at Wisconsin Heights.
The Cardinals will certainly have their hands full tonight against the lanky, talented defending Six Rivers West champion Miners. Shullsburg is averaging 68 points per game an has outscored its nine opponents by an average of 34.2 points per game. The Miners are anchored by 6-foot-9 center Joey Meyer, a University of Minnesota–Crookston recruit, who is averaging a team-high 16.0 points per game and better than 10 rebounds per contest. Senior point guard Hunter Matye (6’5”), the reigning SRW Player of the Year, is a terror on defense and averaged 10.5 points per contest and senior Noah Wand, who recently committed to play next season at Edgewood College, is the team’s sharp shooter averaging 11 points per game. Shullsburg hammered Benton last Friday 80–25, then blasted visiting Galena on Saturday 79–43.
“After Southwestern (Dec. 29), we sat down and had a heart to heart about doing the little things and playing with a little bit more tenacity but with good technique,” said Shullsburg head coach Mark Lierman. “I thought we really showed that against Benton. We did some really good things defensively and took them out of their game right away. They have a young group and they played hard, but we did what we’re supposed to do. Even when we subbed, there was no drops off.”
BOYS BASKETBALL: Other area games of note this week
Mineral Point (6–4, 3–1 SWAL) at Fennimore (6–4, 3–1 SWAL), Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.
Fennimore improved to 3–1 in the SWAL with a 52–45 victory over Iowa–Grant last Friday night when sophomore Reid Larson scored a game-high 19 points, but tonight the Golden Eagles will face a tougher task in a battle for second place in the SWAL when Mineral Point comes calling. The young Pointers are led by freshman sensation Isaac Lindsey, who lead the conference in scoring at 21.2 points per game and junior Chance Wendhausen (18.7 ppg). Point has struggled recently losing two of its last three games, at New Glares (83–61) on Monday and to Black Hawk (65–61) in the championship game of its own holiday tournament on Dec. 28.
Darlington (10–0, ranked #2 in D4) at Black Hawk (8–1 SRW), Saturday, Jan. 14, 2:30 p.m.
The SWAL-leading Redbirds have cruised along so far this year, winning all 10 games, none by less than 16 points. High-powered Darlington is averaging 74.5 points per game, led by Edgewood college commit, senior guard Will Schwartz (16.9 ppg). Schwartz scored a game-high 22 points in a 62–21 win over Belleville Monday night. The Warriors are off to an 8–1 start behind 6’4” sophomore Conner Myer (21.2 ppg), senior Josh Meier (14.7 ppg) and 6’5” junior CJ Leuzinger (13.9). Black Hawk’s only blemish is a 66–51 season-opening loss at Pecatonica on Dec. 6.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Top area games of note
Dodgeville (3–6, 2–1 SWC) at Platteville (8–3, 3–0 SWC), Friday, Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m.
This Hillmen scored a huge 87–81 victory at Richland Center last Friday and will look to keep the momentum going this Friday at home against the Dodgers. Five-foot-10 junior Skye Digman (16.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and 6’1” freshman Sami Martin (15.5 ppg, 9 rpg) present matchup problems for every team they face. Dodgeville junior Hannah Jones leads the SWC in scoring at 25.1 points per game.
Richland Center (9–1, 3–1 SWC, #9 in D3) at Lancaster (5–4, 1–2 SWC), Friday, Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m.
The ninth-ranked Hornets bounced back from last Friday’s narrow loss to Platteville with a two-point win over Galena on Saturday.
Mineral Point (7–3, 4–0 SWAL, #9 in D4) at Cuba City (8–1, 5–0 SWAL), Friday, Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m.
The Pointers handed the Cubans all three of their losses a year ago en route to winning the WIAA Division 4 state title. Both teams suffered major graduation losses from last year’s stacked teams, but both are once again atop the SWAL. Friday’s winner will get a leg up on the loser in the race for this year’s conference crown. Mineral Point senior Sydney Staver leads the SWAL in scoring at 19.6 points per game.
River Ridge (8–1, 2–1 SRW) at Shullsburg (7–2, 3–0 SRW, #4 in D5), Friday, Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m.
The Timberwolves will get their first crack at defending Six Rivers West champion Shullsburg. With a win, River Ridge can pull into a first-place tie with the Miners and Benton.
PREP WRESTLING: This week’s events
Platteville/Belmont at Dodgeville, Thursday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m.
River Valley at Prairie du Chien, Thursday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m.
Lancaster at Richland Center, Friday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m.
Fennimore at Boscobel, Thursday, Jan. 12 , 7 p.m.
Riverdale at Darlington/Black Hawk, Friday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m.
Belmont/Platteville Invitational, Saturday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m.
Belmont High School will host an 15-team tournament Saturday. Participating teams include: Dubuque Senior, Dubuque Wahlert, Sparta, Cashton, Madison West, Boscobel, Brodhead, Cuba City, Darlington, Fennimore, Iowa-Grant/Highland, Parkview, River Ridge/Cassville, Belmont/Platteville and the host Flying Arrows.