WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Delavan-Darien is the smallest school in the Southern Lakes Conference, which makes it tough for the Comets’ athletic teams to compete in general.
In addition, Bob Beighton’s 2014-’15 boys basketball team is lacking numbers when it comes to height.
The DDHS roster features only two players listed taller than 6-foot-1, so the Comets must rely on their outside game to be competitive.
And Delavan-Darien has some of the best three-point shooters in the Stateline area, a group that includes senior twin brothers Isiah and Isaac Ramos and juniors Lucas DeLara and William Brown.
The Comets finished 7-16 overall last year but won five of their last seven contests. This year they were off to a 2-4 start heading into Friday’s game at Waterford.
Offensively through six games, DeLara was leading the way at 18.2 ppg, followed by Isiah Ramos (13.7), Brown (10.7) and Isaac Ramos (6.2).
Isiah Ramos had made 21 three-pointers, DeLara 13 and Brown and Isaac Ramos nine apiece.
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- His opponents and teammates know it, and so does Tyler Westrick. The senior guard is the focal point of the Milton boys basketball team’s offense.
However, the important thing that all parties understand is that the Red Hawks’ standout, despite life in spotlight’s pressure-packed glow, never flinches.
The 6-foot-1, three-sport star was the second-leading scorer in the Badger South Conference despite Milton’s 0-7 start, and coach Zach Groelle couldn’t ask for a better player to help get his team through tough times.
STATELINE NEWS -- She received interest from or had interest in numerous colleges for her athletic and/or academic talents, including NCAA Division I schools UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, Marquette and DePaul.
She also considered D-III programs at Macalester (Minn.) and Knox College (Ill.), but 2011 Beloit Memorial High School graduate Haleigh Thomas decided she wanted to stay home.
So, Thomas has been excelling in both arenas at Beloit College since making that tough decision, and she’s happy with her choice.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- The biggest compliment anybody can give a football player is that they’re “a football player.” Combine that quality with athleticism and skills, and the proverbial sky’s the limit becomes only the beginning.
One could start making that argument about Marcus Hudson, a current backup wide receiver at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and former two-year, two-way starter at Delavan-Darien High School.
The 6-foot-1, 207-pound freshman was an All-Southern Lakes Conference selection at defensive back and second-team pick at wide receiver as a senior for the Comets.
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Confidence is a fragile commodity in high school athletics. When it comes to wrestling, the slightest mistake or being a split second too fast or too slow can mean the difference between recording a pin or getting pinned.
Add the expectations that often accompany younger siblings throughout their prep sports careers, and the obstacles can become overwhelming.
So, one wouldn’t blame Janesville Craig senior Airk Furseth for succumbing to such pressure, considering his older brother, Siven, compiled a 172-5 record as a four-time WIAA state qualifier, including a championship in 2010.
STATELINE NEWS -- Emily Gorsch and Haley Kershner have played basketball together since starting Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) competition as sixth-graders. That camaraderie and cohesiveness are evident on the court.
And Hononegah High School girls coach Randy Weibel, in his 17th year, knows he always can count on key contributions from the two seniors and second-year starters.
The explosive Indians were 9-0 overall and 4-0 in conference competition heading into Friday night’s contest at Freeport, scoring 64 or more points eight times.
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Mike Howard can walk into the wrestling room after school and know that he has three legitimate reasons why East Troy could return to the WIAA Division 2 state team tournament.
Juniors Cody Vogel and Jeremy Dedick and senior Andy Strey brought home hardware from the individual tourney in Madison and provide the bulk of the Trojans’ leadership. And they hope to improve those showings after Strey finished in fourth place at 138 pounds, while Vogel and Dedick earned sixths at 113 and 160, respectively.
Howard knows that his team, which hosted the Howard/Manley Duals this Saturday to open its season, will go only as far as this standout threesome will carry it.
STATELINE NEWS -- Clinton coach Denny Morris is hoping his team’s athleticism and scoring punch are enough to offset a lack of size as it attempts to regain the Rock Valley South title it last won in 2011-’12.
Two reasons for Morris’ optimism are seniors Zach Kaminski and Luke Risse, returning second-team selections from a squad that tied Beloit Turner for second place in the league standings, two games behind Parkview.
“Turner has (Alec) Fruin, Brodhead returns two players back who earned all-conference honors, Big Foot has good athletes and (Nolan) Masterson is back for Parkview,” Morris said of what he anticipates will be another tough conference slate. “But our seniors, these guys have won at every level.”
JANESVILLE MESSENGER -- Style points are nice, but they don’t count for anything in the box score. That goes for girls basketball, especially in the always tough Big Eight Conference.
However, longtime Janesville Parker coach Tom Klawitter knows he has one of the league’s best players in senior Paige Smith; regardless of how it looks, she gets the job done.
“It’s funny, because you take kids in a competitive situation and they all have their unique style, but Paige is a lot different than most others,” Klawitter said. “It doesn’t always look pretty, but she puts the ball in the basket.”
WALWORTH COUNTY SUNDAY -- Whitewater girls basketball coach Judy Harms couldn’t have worn a more appropriate T-shirt to a recent practice. The slogan on the back read, “Champions Are Not Born, They Are Made.”
Senior standout Sarah Schumacher fits into that mold, and she is a major reason why the Whippets should contend for another Rock Valley North Conference title this year despite the graduation of two-time Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association All-State pick Brooke Trewyn.
Schumacher made the league’s first team after being a second-team choice as a sophomore, registering 36 blocks, 52 steals, 295 points, 164 rebounds and 49 assists last year.
Harms said Schumacher, averaging 16.5 ppg through two games, was the only non-senior named to last year’s All-Walworth County squad and has committed herself to becoming a better player.