UPDATE: Deer Creek-Mackinaw's Lexi Cottingham and Jerry Hahn are this week's winners with 38 percent and 40 percent of the respective votes. Thanks for participating and stay tuned for more on this week's winners!
Career milestones, regional championships and more noteworthy performances were had across the Central Illinois area last week, resulting in a top-notch batch of nominees for CSM Winter Athletes of the Week.
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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.
Vote now and spread the word, voting closes at 7 PM on Thursday!
Girls Athlete of the Week nominees
Lily Luczkowiak, Illini Bluffs girls basketball
The Illini Bluffs star helped the Tigers wrap up an Inter-County Conference championship with a pair of huge wins over contenders Peoria Heights and Brimfield. The senior and ICC commit scored all of Illini Bluffs’ 17 first-half points against Peoria Heights, finishing with 25 in a 43-39 victory. In the Tigers’ 45-33 win over Brimfield to clinch the conference crown, Luczkowiak once again paced her team with 16 points.
Allannah Jackson, Peoria High girls basketball
Known as “Action Jackson” by her team, the senior guard came alive for the Lions in a pair of games that kicked off a three-game win streak for Peoria High. Jackson put up 18 in a 61-31 beating of Rock Island on Tuesday and followed it up with 10 in a defensive battle against city rival Manual, which the Lions won 38-34.
Lexi Cottingham, Dee-Mack girls basketball
Cottingham continued to be a central aspect of the 28-2 Chiefs and has formed a 1-2 punch with sophomore star Dalia DeJesus. Cottingham began her strong week with 16 points in a 58-35 win over Lexington and added nine in a big win over Peoria Christian. She stepped up with 17 in a key non-conference battle against Abingdon-Avon, which Dee-Mack won 60-31. Cottingham and the Chiefs secured the Heart of Illinois Conference title with a win over Ridgeview on Monday.
Kylie Moeller, East Peoria girls basketball
Moeller scored quite a few points in East Peoria’s trio of games last week but none may have been more noteworthy than her 1,000th career point in the Raiders’ Tuesday game against Morton, doing so in her junior year. Moeller scored half of the Raiders’ points in a 54-42 loss to Metamora on Friday and came back the next day with 17 as East Peoria bounced Rantoul 57-34.
Ivy Edwards, Eureka girls basketball
Edwards was the epitome of consistency for Eureka girls basketball as the Hornets reached another 20-win season. The freshman put up 11 for the Hornets in a 55-33 win over Fisher, 13 in another conference win over El Paso-Gridley that took overtime and resulted in a 45-36 Eureka win and 11 in a key victory against a formidable Brimfield squad on Saturday.
Boys Athlete of the Week nominees
Braylon Roman, Normal Community boys basketball
Roman is coming off a big weekend where he helped Normal Community to a 73-50 win over Danville that clinched at least a share of the Big 12 Conference title, leading the Ironmen with 17 points. He was Normal Community’s scoring leader again on Saturday against No. 3-ranked Metamora and poured in 19 of his team's points in a 47-38 defeat.
Jerry Hahn, Dee-Mack boys basketball
A young Dee-Mack team has shown promising signs as of late and Hahn has been a key reason why. The sophomore forward led the Chiefs with 19 as they stunned Lexington 57-54. Hahn had another nice night for Dee-Mack with 13 on Friday as his team nearly pulled off another upset, falling 57-56 to Peoria Christian in overtime.
Ian Akers, Peoria Notre Dame boys wrestling
Akers wrestled his way to the 113-pound title at the Class 1A Knoxville Regional and defeated previously unbeaten Hunter Robbins from Illini Bluffs for the title. Both wrestlers will be advancing to sectionals as Akers bumped his record up to 35-5, joining other Irish regional winners Michael McLaughlin and Chase Daugherty.
Nick Mueller, Dunlap boys wrestling
The reigning state runner-up at 160 pounds, Mueller took the first step of the journey toward getting back to state with the title at 165 pounds at the Class 2A Metamora Regional. The Dunlap senior defeated opponents from Metamora, East Peoria and Washington on his way to first place and is now 37-2 on the season.
Stephen Braun, IVC boys basketball
Braun has led a resurgent IVC group further into Illini Prairie Conference contention and went wild for 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists in a 67-54 win over Prairie Central on Tuesday. He added 12 tallies at an opportune time as the Grey Ghosts toppled St. Thomas More 46-43 the next day and finished his week with nine points in a loss to state-ranked Tolono Unity on Saturday.