Girls Prep of the Week: Katie Panushka, St. Joseph, basketball.
It's not so much what Katie Panushka does on the court as how she does it.
"It's not just what kind of player Katie is, what a wonderful person," said Jayhawks head coach Joe Cravens. "She's maybe the best leader I've had at any level, and doing it in a very subtle, charming way. She's not up in your face; she leads by example. She's an all-around athlete, student, just a kid that anyone would want to have as a daughter."
When you factor her basketball ability in with her leadership skills, it's easy to see how she led the Jayhawks to an undefeated season and 1A state title. Whenever the team needed a critical play, she provided it. She hit a three-point shot in the semifinals that sent the game into the first of two overtimes, and then she hit big shots against Piute in the championship game. She scored 18 points in the championship game, but scoring was only one of her contributions. In the team's first-round win over Wayne she scored seven points, earned five rebounds, had seven assists and finished with four steals.
Boys Prep of the Week: Zach Prince, St. Joseph, basketball.
In the week leading up to the 3A state wrestling tournament, this senior faced a bit of adversity after losing to Wasatch's Spencer Haywood in the regional meet.
In reality, all it did was serve as extra motivation.
At the state meet last Saturday, Prince avenged that loss with a 7-4 win over Haywood in the 152-pound final to claim his fourth straight individual wrestling title — joining 26 other wrestlers in state history to win four titles.
"Feels like a dream. It's unrealistic, it's crazy," said Prince.
Prince said he felt a ton of pressure heading into the meet, but he said last week's loss to Haywood helped him stay focused by entering the meet with a chip on his shoulder.
Prince worked on a tilt move all week in practice, and it earned him two valuable near-fall points early in the match. He enters this week's Super State meet with a 45-5 record.