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Vote: CSM Winter Athletes of the Week, Dec. 25-Dec. 31, 2023

Updated: Jan 10

Holiday basketball tournaments took a stronghold over the area as 2023 came to a close with numerous local teams in action at various locations. The large slates of games naturally brought along many huge performances and worthy nominations for Clutch Sports Media Winter Athletes of the Week.


The following athletes are our nominees for CSM Winter Athletes of the Week with information on their standout performances. There are polls for Boys Athlete of the Week and Girls Athlete of the Week below.


New AP polls release in boys, girls basketball: Peoria, Manual, Dee-Mack stand out in first AP statewide poll of 2024


Update: Dietrich Richardson of Manual won CSM Boys Athlete of the Week with 48 percent of the vote total and Hannah West of Limestone won CSM Girls Athlete of the Week with 46 percent of the vote total.


Boys Athlete of the Week nominees 


Tyler Mason, Metamora boys basketball 


Mason and the Redbirds strolled into suburban Chicago and gritted their way to a tournament title at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic as the only downstate team in the 32-team field. Mason earned tournament MVP honors after averaging 19 points and 6.2 rebounds per game at the five-game event. The senior and Winona State commit landed 29 points and eight rebounds in Metamora’s 53-48 quarterfinal win over Glenbrook South and racked up a team-high 23 points in the Redbirds’ 72-71 championship win over reigning Class 4A state finalist Bolingbrook in overtime. 


Chancesaye Maxon, El Paso-Gridley boys basketball


Maxon’s name will forever live on at the State Farm Holiday Classic after his heroic 3-pointer at the buzzer in the small school boys bracket championship game gave El Paso-Gridley a 49-48 victory. The shot ended the Titans’ championship drought at the tournament, which they had attended every year since 2004, but had never won. Maxon finished the 49-48 win over St. Joseph-Ogden with a tournament-high 14 points and added 12 in the Titans’ win over Kankakee Bishop McNamara. 


Eoin Dillon, Peoria Notre Dame boys basketball


A career-high 38 points from Dillon helped him land a spot on the prestigious all-tournament team at the Pekin Insurance Holiday Tournament. The senior forward averaged over 16 points per game and shot remarkably well from behind the 3-point arc (16-of-33) at the tournament. Dillon dropped his career high in a 67-42 win over Chicago Perspectives and added 22 points and six rebounds in a 48-39 win over tournament host Pekin. 


Dietrich Richardson, Manual boys basketball


Dillon wasn’t the only player from a Big 12 school in Peoria to light it up last week, as Richardson did damage for the Rams at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament. Richardson averaged 19.5 points per game at the event, where Manual won the consolation bracket championship. The Rams forward got better throughout the week, capping it off with 32 points in a 65-54 win over Pontiac, followed by 25 points in the consolation title game against Plainfield North.


Noah Cleveland, Normal Community boys basketball


Cleveland was amongst a number of Ironmen standouts from the State Farm Holiday Classic, as his team won the large school boys championship for the second time in three years. The senior forward earned a spot on the all-tournament team and averaged just over 15 points per game in Normal Community’s four wins, highlighted by a 22-point showing in a thrilling 66-65 semifinal victory over Romeoville. 



Girls Athlete of the Week nominees


Hannah West, Limestone girls basketball


West continued to be a shining light on Limestone and earned a spot on the Manual Holiday Tournament all-tournament team. The junior guard broke out with 26 points in a first-round win over Springfield Southeast and helped her team to another win over East Peoria with 17 points. She also tallied 20 in a loss to Chatham Glenwood. 


Avery Tibbs, Washington girls basketball


Tibbs shot the lights out of multiple gyms across Bloomington-Normal at the State Farm Holiday Classic, boosting the Panthers to a fourth-place finish in the large school girls bracket. In a 53-46 win over Rock Island in the first round, Tibbs dropped 25 points and seven 3-pointers. She also added 15 points apiece in Washington’s semifinal and final games against Class 4A powers Normal Community and Quincy.


Lexi Baer, Peoria Notre Dame girls basketball


Baer was one of multiple Irish that impressed at the Morton College Christmas Tournament and earned second-team all tournament honors. In Peoria Notre Dame’s quarterfinal win over Evanston, Baer scored 15, then put up 13 in the Irish’s semifinal loss to Alton. The Irish took home third place at the tournament after a 70-63 win over Palatine Fremd. 


Kylie Moeller, East Peoria girls basketball


Moeller and the Raiders spent their week between Christmas and New Year’s at the Manual Holiday Tournament, where the junior standout placed on the all-tournament team. Moeller was responsible for a significant portion of East Peoria’s offense, notching 16 points in a 40-30 loss to Centralia and 18 points in a loss to Limestone. 


Addy Engel, Morton girls basketball


Engel had one of the best weeks of any girl on the hardwood at the State Farm Holiday Classic, where Morton finished second in the large school girls bracket. She scored 70 points over the course of four games, including 21 in the Potters’ 42-40 semifinal win over Quincy in overtime. Engel additionally racked up 16 in Morton’s narrow loss to Normal Community in the championship game.

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