BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Strong effort nets Brownwood senior the top spot

In a week that saw several top-flight performances, Brownwood senior Zach Strong handed in a genuine rarity — topping the 1000-point mark for his career while helping the Lions to a perfect record and tournament championship. 

Helping Brownwood to a 5-0 record on the week, including a tournament title in Hamilton, Strong averaged 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game to earn all-tournament honors and our final Big Country Preps Player of the Week award of 2019.

The senior crossed the 1000-point plateau in a 58-50 win over Crawford on Friday.

“Zach is a great young man that is a leader on and off the floor. He led us last week in scoring and rebounding, which helped us to go 5-0,” coach Nadir Dalleh said. “On Friday he needed 14 points going into the Crawford game to reach 1,000 points for his career. That is a huge deal and a great honor to reach that.”

BCP TOP 10

1. Austin Brown, LB, Sr., Hamlin Picked off four passes in Hamlin’s 56-23 win over Stratford to help the Pied Pipers (12-2) reach their first ever state championship game this Thursday in Arlington. 

The Pipers will face two-time defending state champion Mart (12-3) at 11 a.m. at AT&T Stadium. 

2. Jevon Williams and Braydin Warner, RB/QB, seniors., Hamlin Williams rushed for 232 yards and two scores and Warner threw for 179, rushed for 71 and accounted for four scores in last week’s state semifinal win over Stratford. 

Hamlin enters this week’s state championship game against Mark as the lone remaining Big Country football team of 2019. 

3. Kobe Roemisch, guard, Sr., Hermleigh Helped Hermleigh to a 2-1 finish in the Blackwell Oak Creek tournament with 72 points and 48 rebounds through three games.

Roemish charted 24 points, nine boards and two steals against Cornerstone Christian, 20 points, 15 boards and a steal against Sterling City and 28 points, 24 rebounds and five assists against Blackwell.

“Kobe is a phenomenal all-around player,” coach Kia McCarty said. “He does it all. And everything that he accomplishes in every aspect of the game he absolutely earns through relentless work.”

4. Josh Henry, guard, Sr., Cooper — Had a big week for the Cougars, averaging 15.6 points over five games, including a 14.3 point-per-game average and all-tournament selection at Wylie’s Catclaw Classic.

Henry helped the Coogs (5-8) to a 4-1 week and a second-place tournament finish that included a 45-39 come-from-behind win over district and crosstown rival Cooper.

5. Macee Steigleder, point guard, Sr., Cross Plains Began last week with 22 points, five rebounds and three assists in a 59-27 win over Knox City on Tuesday.

She followed that with averages of 17 points, three assists and two boards to help the Lady Buffaloes finish third in Aspermont, where she was named to the all-tournament team.

Cross Plains enters this week at 10-5.

6. Aaryn Medina, guard, Sr., Breckenridge Helped BHS go 4-1 on the week with averages of 22 points, four rebounds, 3.5 steals and two assists.

BHS enters this week at 9-2.

7. Skylar Stilwell, guard, Sr., Stephenville Averaged 22.3 point per game in the Glen Rose tournament, including a career-high performance of 39 points against San Antonio Lutheran that included 9 3-pointers.

Stephenville, which took fourth in the tournament, is off to an 11-6 start.

8. Jennika Willis and Dazz Larkins, forward/guard, juniors, Cooper — This duo fueled the Lady Cougars to a perfect 6-0 week, including a dominant 5-0 run through the Sonora tournament.

Willis averaged 11.2 points for the week, including 12.2 in tournament wins over Iraan (67-15), Harper (53-19), Irion County (54-26), Christoval (45-32) and Anson (50-45). Larkins, meanwhile, averaged 8.7 points over the six games, hitting double digits against Midland High and Anson.

With the victories, Cooper improved to 12-5 on the season, eclipsing its 2018-19 win total before the Christmas break.

9. Mahynlee Overton, post, Jr., Coahoma Had two huge games at the Crane tournament, charting a combined 54 points and 16 boards in wins over Rankin and Crane.

“The effort we got from her in the lane led the way for us,” Coahoma coach Jim Kinnear said. “Makynlee was a big part of both victories.”

10. Payton Brooks, guard, Sr., Wylie — Continued his outstanding start to the season, averaging 15.6 points as the Bulldogs went 3-2 over five games to improve 6-7 on the year.

Brooks averaged 14.5 points per game over four Catclaw Classic contests to earn all-tournament honors at the event.

10+. Hannah Jordan, center, Sr., Eastland EHS had a big week, winning the Breckenridge Lions Club Tournament and going 5-0, including a Tuesday win over Glen Rose.

Jordan averaged 12.2 points and nine rebounds along the way, and was named all-tourney in the process.

10+. Caden Burleson, forward, Sr., Cisco Averaged 14 points and eight rebounds at the Breckenridge Lions Club Tournament, including a double-double of 14 points and 10 boards in the tourney final against the host team.

Cisco won the event, going 4-0, with wins over the Abilene High JV (65-39) Abilene Christian (77-25), Hawley (65-44) and Breck (53-46).

Cisco enters this week at 6-3.

10+. Cedar Cauble, Wing/Post, So., Baird — Scored a combined 46 points last week in wins over Paint Creek (71-12) and Trent (81-28).

This included a career-high 29 points in the Trent game.

HONORABLE MENTION

D.J. Modest, guard, So., Abilene High (Averaged 10.6 points over five games and earned all-tournament honors at the Catclaw Classic); Jalen McGee, guard, Jr., Abilene High (Averaged 10.2 points over five games as the Eagles improved to 10-4 on the season); Noah Garcia, guard, Jr., Cooper (Averaged 12.2 points over five games, including 10.8 points per game at the Catclaw Classic); Aaron Halliburton, post, Sr., Baird (Averaged 14 points vs. Trent and Paint Creek); Rylan Rogers, wing/post, Baird (Averaged 12 points vs. Trent and Paint Creek); Devin Hildebrand, guard, Jr., Hermleigh (Was all-tournament at Blackwell, combining for 43 points against Cornerstone Christian, Sterling City and Blackwell); John Wilhelm, guard, Sr., Brownwood (Averaged 13.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game while being named to the all-tournament team at Hamilton); Isyah Campos, guard, Sr., Brownwood (Averaged 13.8 points, 6.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game last week. Was named the Most Valuable Player at the Hamilton tournament); Dawson Hearne, forward, So., Cisco (Averaged 12 points, six assists, six boards and 2.4 steals at Breckenridge tournament); Steven Bird, guard, Jr., Cisco (Averaged 12 points, seven boards, three assists and two steals at Breckenridge tourney)

For a player to be considered for Big Country Preps Player of the Week, he or she must be nominated by their coaching staff. Deadline for nominations is noon each Monday. Please include the player’s name, class, position, stats and opposition with your submission.

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