GAME OF THE WEEK (Jan. 14–Jan. 20)
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cuba City (12–0, 6–0 SWAL, ranked #2 in D4) at Mineral Point (9–2, 6–0 SWAL, ranked #6 in D4), Friday, Jan. 15, 7:15 p.m., Xtreme 107.1
Cuba City made sure there was no letdown heading into Friday's McDonald's Swnews4u.com Game of the Week at Mineral Point by hammering host Southwestern, 69–24, last Thursday and Boscobel, 69–32, on Tuesday night.
Coach Jeff Pustina, who recently won his 600th career game, will lead his second-ranked Cubans against the Pointers Friday night at 7:15 p.m. Cuba City will take a 61-game overall winning streak and a 54-game SWAL winning streak into Friday's showdown.
The Pointers, ranked sixth in Division 4, kept pace with the Cubans atop the SWAL standings with wins over Riverdale, 76-65, on Thursday and Fennimore, 53–30, on Tuesday night. Point is lead by 6-foot-3 senior center Jessica Shultz (15.7 ppg, 10 rpg), who committed to Division II Northern Michigan in the summer. Senior guard Clara Chambers lead the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game and assists, while senior Sydney Staver (13.6 ppg) gives Point a third reliable scoring threat. The Pointers have won eight straight games since a 60–41 loss at Barneveld on Dec. 1.
The two-time defending state champion Cubans are led by Division II Northern State recruit Jessica Marti, who leads the conference in scoring at 20 points per game. Marti scored a game-high 18 points in Thursday's win over Southwestern. Fellow senior Emily Wiederholt (14.5 ppg) added 12 points.
OTHER AREA GAMES OF NOTE THIS WEEK
BOYS BASKETBALL: Darlington (8–2, 4–1 SWAL) at Iowa–Grant (10–1, 5–0 SWAL, ranked 10th in D4), at Livingston, Thursday, Jan. 14, 7:15 p.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
The visiting Redbirds will attempt to end the league-leading Panthers' 10-game winning streak and pull into a first-place tie. Coach Michael Hopkins' Darlington club has won eight of its past nine games, including four straight. The 'Birds are coming off a 54–45 victory over visiting Platteville on Tuesday night.
Juniors Ryan Glendenning (14.7 ppg) and Will Schwartz (12.8 ppg) are Darlington's top two offensive threats, but the Darlington defense will have its hands full trying to contain I–G's talented scoring combo of seniors Isaac Anderson and Brayden Johnson.
Anderson, a 6-foot-4 forward that can score from anywhere on the court, is averaging a conference-best 22.7 points per game and leads the team in rebounding. He is fresh off a career-high 34-point performance in the Panthers' 66–45 non-conference win at Lancaster on Tuesday night, when he scored 23 second-half points to rally his team from a 28–25 halftime deficit. Johnson is just as deadly, be it pushing the ball in transition, knocking down open threes or slicing to the basket. The senior point guard is currently second in the conference in scoring at 19.9 points per game and averaged over five assists per contest as well.
With a win the Panthers would pull two games clear of Darlington, Mineral Point (5–6, 3–2) and Cuba City (7–4, 3–2).
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Richland Center (6–6, 2–1 SWC) at Platteville (10–2, 4–0 SWC), Thursday, Jan. 14, 7:15 p.m.
The SWC-leading Hillmen will look to remain unbeaten in conference play when they welcome second-place Richland Center to town Thursday night. Platteville senior forward Sierra Brecke leads the conference in scoring at 22.7 points per game. Sophomore forward Skye Digman (9.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg) leads Platteville in rebounding. Sophomore Madison Rizner (16.4 ppg) and junior Brooklyn Liegel (16.1 ppg) both average more than 16 points per game for the Hornets.
BOYS BASKETBALL: Dodgeville (8–3, 2–1 SWC) at Prairie du Chien (9–2, 3–0 SWC), Friday, Jan. 15, 7:15 p.m.
The SWC-leading Blackhawks will host Dodgeville in a key conference showdown Friday night. Coach Andy Banasik's boys have won three straight after back-to-back losses. Senior guard Conner George leads the Blackhawks in scoring at 13.4 points per game. Chas Sagendahl (11 ppg) and Nate Banasik (10.2 ppg) also average in double figures for PdC, which is 3–0 in SWC play after wins over Richland Center, River Valley and Lancaster.
Senior Trent Jones is the conference's leading scorer at 22.1 points per game. The Dodgers look to rebound after a 79–72 non-conference loss to Evansville on Monday.
GIRLS BASKETBALL: Shullsburg (11–1, 4–1 SRW, ranked 7th in D5) at Belmont (8–4, 3–2 SRW), Friday, Jan. 15, 7:15 p.m., WGLR (97.7 FM)
The Braves could force a log-jam atop the Six Rivers West standings with a win over Shullsburg on Friday night. First-year coach Alan Seabrooke's Belmont girls are tied for second-place in the conference with River Ridge (7–3, 3–2) and Potosi (8–4, 3–2), all just one game back of the league-leading Miners (11–1, 4–1). Shullsburg came back to the pack with a 46–36 loss at River Ridge on Jan. 7. The Miners have since rebounded with a 71–36 win over Cassville on Tuesday. The Braves held off Benton 52–48 on Tuesday.
WRESTLING: Weston/Ithaca Invitational, Saturday, Jan. 16, 9 a.m.
Participating area teams include Boscobel, Cuba City/Benton/Southwestern, Iowa–Grant/Highland, Richland Center, Pecatonica/Argyle, River Ridge/Cassville.