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Vote: CSM Winter Athletes of the Week, Feb. 12-18, 2024

Updated: Feb 21

This week’s crop of CSM Winter Athlete of the Week nominees features state champion wrestlers, regional stars in girls basketball, and stat sheet-stuffing performances. In fact, it led to having some of the most nominees in CSM Athlete of the Week history. 

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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.

UPDATE: Emily Dana of Peoria Heights girls basketball and Cooper Hansen of Delavan boys basketball won voting for CSM Athletes of the Week. Stay tuned for a story about our winners!

Girls Athlete of the Week nominees

Avery Tibbs, Washington girls basketball

Tibbs was a driving force behind Washington’s regional title, starting with a well-rounded game of nine points, seven steals and six assists in a 59-9 win over Streator in the regional semifinals. Her crowning effort came with a team-high 22 points in Washington’s 67-53 win over Metamora in the regional championship game.

Jena Goforth, Canton girls basketball

Goforth was the hero for the Little Giants in a heartracing 51-47 win over Macomb in the regional semifinals. Tied at 47, Goforth sank a 3-pointer through contact with 1.9 seconds to go and finished the 4-point play to deliver a Canton win. She finished with 14 in the game and scored 17 to help the Little Giants win a regional championship 67-35 over Monmouth-Roseville.

Emily Dana, Peoria Heights girls basketball

Dana put on a pair of huge scoring performances as Peoria Heights won its second regional title in program history. The senior dropped a line of 30 points, five assists and four steals in a 65-30 regional semifinal win over Roanoke-Benson. In the regional title against Midland, she sank six 3-pointers and finished with 20 points in a 52-29 win.

Izzy Vandeschraaf, Metamora girls basketball

Vandeschraaf’s relentless presence helped Metamora give Washington a run for its money in the regional title game, scoring a game-high 26 points in her final high school basketball game. She added a 13-point effort in the Redbirds’ 67-44 win against Pontiac in the regional semifinals.

Mya Wardle, Peoria Notre Dame girls basketball

Wardle had her handprints all over Peoria Notre Dame’s pair of playoff wins to take home a regional title, scoring 20 points and forcing multiple turnovers in a 66-33 beating of Sherrard in the regional title game. She added 10 points in limited action in an 89-26 regional semifinal win over Kewanee.

Boys Athlete of the Week nominees

Jackson Carroll, Illini Bluffs boys wrestling

Carroll won a Class 1A state championship at 144 pounds, beating Kaden Inman of Tolono Unity with a late surge in the final seconds to win 8-7. Carroll advanced to the title match after a first-round pin and 5-2 and 12-7 decisions in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. The junior finished his season with a 51-2 record and made it consecutive seasons with a state champion for Illini Bluffs wrestling.

DaQuan Little, Richwoods boys basketball

Little has majorly heated up behind the arc for Richwoods as of late and his strong shooting resulted in 22 points in a thrilling 66-55 victory over rival Peoria Notre Dame on Tuesday. The win polished off a 9-1 record in Big 12 Conference play and a 24-4 record overall for the Knights. 

Cooper Hansen, Delavan boys basketball

Hansen did it all in a pair of games last week, recording a triple-double of 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in a 69-55 win over North Fulton on Thursday. Earlier in the week, Hansen nearly willed his team to victory with a well-rounded game of seven points, six assists and five steals in a 56-53 loss to Peoria Quest. 

Nick Mueller, Dunlap boys wrestling

Mueller won the Class 2A state championship at 165 pounds, becoming Dunlap wrestling’s first-ever state champion and earning redemption after a runner-up finish last year. Mueller beat his opponent, Ilia Dvoriannnikov of Vernon Hills, 4-2 in the championship match and finished the season 43-3. Mueller advanced to the championship via 9-0, 6-4 and 9-4 decisions. 

Isaiah Porritt, Pekin/Tremont boys swimming

Porritt swam his way to the IHSA State finals for the Pekin/Tremont swim co-op in three events. At the Pekin sectional on Saturday, Porritt qualified for state in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 47.46 seconds, as well as the 100-yard breaststroke in 58.85 seconds. He was also part of Pekin/Tremont’s 200-yard freestyle relay team that qualified as well. 

Wyatt Medlin, Washington boys wrestling 

Medlin won the Class 2A state championship at 138 pounds, bringing home another title for Washington wrestling. The star sophomore didn’t leave anything to chance, beating runner-up Dillon White of Mt. Vernon 10-3 in the title bout. Medlin comfortably won his previous state matches 20-5, 18-7 and with a semifinal pin. Medlin finished his campaign with a 45-4 mark. 

Leshawn Stowers, Peoria High boys basketball

Stowers was the star for Peoria High, who kept its win streak alive and defeated Class 2A No. 3 Manual 66-61 on Tuesday. The junior scored all but one of the Lions’ baskets in the third quarter and finished with a team-high 22 points, earning himself college offers from Bradley and Illinois-Chicago after the game as well. The win solidified Peoria High’s sixth straight win heading into the postseason. 

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