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Vote for the Kalamazoo-area prep sports Athlete of the Week for Feb. 28 – March 5

MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo logo MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo 3/8/2022 Patrick Nothaft, mlive.com
Mattawan’s Adelaide Douglass (54) looks for a shot at the basketball game between Lakeshore and Mattawan at Mattawan High School on Friday, January 14, 2021. © Carlin Stiehl/mlive.com/TNS Mattawan’s Adelaide Douglass (54) looks for a shot at the basketball game between Lakeshore and Mattawan at Mattawan High School on Friday, January 14, 2021.

KALAMAZOO, MI – The playoffs have arrived for each of Michigan’s winter high school sports, and at this point in the season, every moment carries added pressure.

Many Kalamazoo-area athletes rose to the occasion last week, including a trio of state champs in wrestling and girls bowling.

There were also impressive performances on the basketball court and in the pool, so with that in mind, we’re giving readers a chance to weigh in on whose performance from Feb. 28 – March 5 is deserving of MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette Athlete of the Week recognition.

Readers have unlimited voting until 9 a.m. Friday, March 11, and we’ll publish the winner later that day. Voting has no bearing on postseason honors, such as the all-conference or all-state teams.

Lowell senior Carter Blough vs. Mattawan senior James Campbell wrestle in the Division 2 215-pound state championship match on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jenifer Veloso/mlive.com/TNS Lowell senior Carter Blough vs. Mattawan senior James Campbell wrestle in the Division 2 215-pound state championship match on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

Gabriella Allen, Marcellus wrestling

The Marcellus sophomore was a girls wrestling state runner-up for the second consecutive season, only this time she reached the finals at Ford Field, where she won her first match 5-0, then pinned her second opponent, before falling the 190-pound finals, 19-9, to South Lyon senior Kailyn Garrett.

Ashton Atwater, Otsego boys basketball

Three Rivers Wildcat Andrew Brown (24) smiles to his teammates before the game at Portage Central High School on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Three Rivers Wildcat Andrew Brown (24) smiles to his teammates before the game at Portage Central High School on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.

Atwater moved from point guard to the wing midway through his senior season, and his ability to operate off the ball has been a boon for the Bulldogs, and that continued last week, when Atwater scored 18 points in a 54-46 loss to 17-3 Coldwater, before adding 19 points in a 52-37 win over Edwardsburg for Otsego’s fifth consecutive Wolverine Conference title.

Thomas Bannon, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix boys swimming

The sophomore diver just made the cut for this weekend’s Division 1 state meet by posting a score of 279.35 in the final round of regionals on Thursday.

Amanda Barber, Gobles girls basketball

The senior guard led Gobles to its third consecutive district title by opening the playoffs with five points, eight assists, three rebounds and three steals in a semifinal win over Lawrence, before taking on more a scoring role with 17 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals in a championship-round victory over Marcellus.

Lola Barkby, Sturgis wrestling

The freshman grappler showed few signs of nerves, despite being part of an historic girls wrestling state finals debut at Ford Field, where she won her first two matches via pinfall, before pulling off an 8-6 decision in the semifinals. Barkby’s day came to an end at the 120-pound state finals, where she lost to Milan sophomore Angelina Pena by pinfall at the end of the third period.

Holly senior Jacob Gonzales vs. Paw Paw senior William Bradley in the Division 2 160-pound state championship match on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jenifer Veloso/mlive.com/TNS Holly senior Jacob Gonzales vs. Paw Paw senior William Bradley in the Division 2 160-pound state championship match on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

William Bradley, Paw Paw wrestling

The senior wrestler opened his individual state finals run with a pin, then avenged his only regular season loss with a 10-0 win over Gaylord’s Ty Bensinger, before defeating Goodrich’s Easton Phipps, 6-1, in the semifinals. Bradley entered the finals as a big underdog to two-time defending state champ Jacob Gonzales, but he gave the Holly wrestler all he could handle, before bowing out with a 7-3 loss.

Andrew Brown, Three Rivers boys basketball

Three Rivers played just once last week, and though the Wildcats fell to Vicksburg, 66-57, it wasn’t for lack of effort from their junior wing, who scored a game-high 27 points.

Morgan Brunner, Gobles girls bowling

The junior bowler defended her Division 4 singles state title by averaging 180.7 during the qualifying rounds, and she only got better in match play, when she averaged 195.6 across eight games, including a high of 224 in the semifinals. Of her four match-play opponents, only finalist Idalia Hernandez, of Bronson, finished within 30 points of Brunner, who rolled rounds of 198 and 210 in the championship round.

Milan sophomore Angelina Pena pinned Sturgis freshman Lola Barkby in 5 minutes, 56 seconds to clinch the 120-pound state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jake May/mlive.com/TNS Milan sophomore Angelina Pena pinned Sturgis freshman Lola Barkby in 5 minutes, 56 seconds to clinch the 120-pound state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

James Campbell, Mattawan wrestling

The senior 215-pounder pinned his first three opponents at the Division 2 state finals and extended his season record to 36-0, before running into top-ranked Carter Blough, of Lowell, in the championship match. Campbell gave the Red Arrow grappler all he could handle, but fell short by a score of 4-0.

Adelaide Douglass, Mattawan girls basketball

Gobles High School Tigers' Amanda Barber (20) dribbles the ball downcourt during the game against the Marcellus High School Wildcats at Gobles High School in Gobles, MI on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Gobles High School Tigers' Amanda Barber (20) dribbles the ball downcourt during the game against the Marcellus High School Wildcats at Gobles High School in Gobles, MI on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

The senior forward led Mattawan to its first district title since 2013 by opening the playoffs with 16 points, four rebounds and three assists in a win over Portage Northern, then adding 15 points and 14 boards in a semifinal upset victory over St. Joseph, before closing out the week with 24 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the Wildcats’ 49-35 district finals triumph over Stevensville Lakeshore.

Kennedy Edson, Lawrence wrestling

Edson made history by becoming Lawrence’s first state finalist, as the junior grappler cruised through the Girls division 135-pound bracket with three consecutive pins, before falling to Hanover-Horton junior Danni Swihart via third-period injury default.

Otsego Bulldogs’ Ashton Atwater (3) shoots a shot during the game against the Plainwell Trojans at Plainwell High School on Friday, February 11, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Otsego Bulldogs’ Ashton Atwater (3) shoots a shot during the game against the Plainwell Trojans at Plainwell High School on Friday, February 11, 2022.

Elijah Fenstermaker, Kalamazoo Heritage Christian boys basketball

The senior shooting guard poured in 27 points, including five 3-pointers, during last week’s win over Battle Creek Academy, then added another 19 points, including four 3s, to give Heritage Christian a win over Marshall Academy in the Battle Creek Academy tournament.

Centreville's Tyler Swanwick (23) drives in the ball at the basketball game between Kalamazoo Christian and Centreville at Kalamazoo Christian on Tuesday, January 4, 2021. © Carlin Stiehl/mlive.com/TNS Centreville's Tyler Swanwick (23) drives in the ball at the basketball game between Kalamazoo Christian and Centreville at Kalamazoo Christian on Tuesday, January 4, 2021.

Caden Ferris, Delton Kellogg wrestling

Ferris completed his undefeated season and defended his Division 4 215-pound title by pinning his first three opponents, then pulling off a 10-2 state finals win over New Lothrop’s Grayson Orr, who is the younger brother of Ferris’ 2021 finals opponent Camden Orr.

Hannah Fitzpatrick, Otsego girls basketball

While the sophomore guard wasn’t the highest scorer for Otsego last week, her savvy play directly led to the Bulldogs’ first district title since 2017, when she collected an offensive rebound and flipped up a shot to beat the overtime buzzer in a 60-58 win over Paw Paw, which gave her 16 points and 10 rebounds on the night. Fitzpatrick also tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists in Otsego’s 50-28 district semifinal win over Plainwell.

Hartford Indian Alexis Snodgrass (44) plans her move during the game against the Bloomingdale Cardinals at Hartford High School on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Hartford Indian Alexis Snodgrass (44) plans her move during the game against the Bloomingdale Cardinals at Hartford High School on Tuesday, February 22, 2022.

Logan Gilbert, Martin/Climax-Scotts wrestling

Schoolcraft's Ty Rykse (33) communicates to his teammates during the game against the Parchment Panthers at Schoolcraft High School on Friday, February 18, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Schoolcraft's Ty Rykse (33) communicates to his teammates during the game against the Parchment Panthers at Schoolcraft High School on Friday, February 18, 2022.

The Climax-Scotts freshman made an impressive debut at the Division 4 individual state finals by pinning his first two opponents, then defeating Lakeview’s Cameron Perez, 6-2, in the finals to set up a fourth match of the season against Union City freshman Logan Mears. Gilbert made it a perfect 4-0 against Mears with a 10-5 win for the 103-pound state title.

Otsego Lady Bulldogs’ Kaitlyn Payseno (33) makes a shot during the game against the Paw Paw Red Wolves at Paw Paw High School on Friday, March 4, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Otsego Lady Bulldogs’ Kaitlyn Payseno (33) makes a shot during the game against the Paw Paw Red Wolves at Paw Paw High School on Friday, March 4, 2022.

Lukas Hagenbuch, Constantine boys basketball

Kalamazoo Christian Comets' Willem de Jong (13) battles Comstock Colts' Israel Patterson (4) for the ball during the game at Kalamazoo Christian High School on Thursday, March 3, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Kalamazoo Christian Comets' Willem de Jong (13) battles Comstock Colts' Israel Patterson (4) for the ball during the game at Kalamazoo Christian High School on Thursday, March 3, 2022.

The junior wing has come on strong late in the season for Constantine, and that continued last week, when he scored a game-high 30 points in a 54-51 loss to Galesburg-Augusta, the followed it up with 21 points in a 69-53 defeat to White Pigeon.

Otsego Lady Bulldogs’ Cali Miller (23) tries to keep hold of the ball during the game against the Paw Paw Red Wolves at Paw Paw High School on Friday, March 4, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Otsego Lady Bulldogs’ Cali Miller (23) tries to keep hold of the ball during the game against the Paw Paw Red Wolves at Paw Paw High School on Friday, March 4, 2022.

Trent Kimmel, Martin/Climax-Scotts wrestling

Logan Gilbert’s training partner also had a strong run at the state finals, a the senior grappler logged a technical fall, a 6-1 decision and an 8-0 major decision in his first three matches, before falling to Manchester’s Jacob Bunn, 5-2, in the 112-pound championship round.

Manchester senior Jacob Bunn defeated Martin/Climax-Scotts senior Trent Kimmel with a 5-2 decision to clinch the 112-pound Division 4 state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jake May/mlive.com/TNS Manchester senior Jacob Bunn defeated Martin/Climax-Scotts senior Trent Kimmel with a 5-2 decision to clinch the 112-pound Division 4 state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

Vincent Klein, Mattawan boys swimming

The senior diver secured his first trip to the Division 2 state meet by registering a score of 272.25, which ranked 13th in the final round at Thursday’s regional meet.

Jackson Lawrence, Climax-Scotts boys basketball

The senior point guard closed out the regular season on a high note by tallying 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists in last week’s 63-42 win over Pittsford.

Cali Miller, Otsego girls basketball

- Constantine's Lukas Hagenbuch puts up a shot over Parchment's Andre Whiteside during a district quarterfinal boys basketball game on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at Paw Paw High School. Patrick Nothaft | MLive.com © mlive.com/TNS - Constantine's Lukas Hagenbuch puts up a shot over Parchment's Andre Whiteside during a district quarterfinal boys basketball game on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at Paw Paw High School. Patrick Nothaft | MLive.com

The senior guard shot the ball well all of last week, beginning with a 17-point, five-rebound, four-assist effort in a district semifinal win over Plainwell, before adding 14 points and seven steals, including six straight points in the final minute of her team’s district championship game against Paw Paw that turned a four-point deficit into a 60-58 win.

Martin/Climax-Scotts freshman Logan Gilbert defeated Union City freshman Logan Mears on a 10-5 decision to clinch the Division 4 103-pound state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jake May/mlive.com/TNS Martin/Climax-Scotts freshman Logan Gilbert defeated Union City freshman Logan Mears on a 10-5 decision to clinch the Division 4 103-pound state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

Israel Patterson, Comstock boys basketball

The senior forward opened last week with 25 points in an 85-36 win over Marcellus, then poured in another 17 in a 49-38 loss to Kalamazoo Christian.

Kaitlyn Payseno, Otsego girls basketball

The senior wing helped Otsego capture its first district title since 2017 by opening the playoffs with 13 points, seven rebounds and two assists in a 50-28 win over Plainwell, then tallying 24 points, eight rebounds and four steals in a thrilling 60-58 overtime win over Paw Paw in the finals.

Ty Rykse, Schoolcraft boys basketball

The 6-foot-7 senior wing has carried Schoolcraft from a scoring standpoint over the past couple weeks, and that continued in the regular season finale against Portage Northern, when he led the Eagles to a 55-43 win by collecting 24 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two assists.

Otsego Lady Bulldogs’ Hannah Fitzpatrick (22) falls forward as Paw Paw Red Wolves' Taylor Rickli (24) stands up from underneath her during the game at Paw Paw High School on Friday, March 4, 2022. © Gabi Broekema/mlive.com/TNS Otsego Lady Bulldogs’ Hannah Fitzpatrick (22) falls forward as Paw Paw Red Wolves' Taylor Rickli (24) stands up from underneath her during the game at Paw Paw High School on Friday, March 4, 2022.

Donovan Sikes, Lawrence boys basketball

Delton Kellogg senior Caden Ferris defeats New Lothrop junior Grayson Orr with a 10-2 decision in the Division 4 215-pound state championship match on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jake May/mlive.com/TNS Delton Kellogg senior Caden Ferris defeats New Lothrop junior Grayson Orr with a 10-2 decision in the Division 4 215-pound state championship match on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

The senior led Lawrence to a pair of wins to close out the Tigers’ regular season, starting with his 17-point performance against St. Joseph Michigan Lutheran, and ending with an 18-point effort against Marcellus.

Alexis Snodgrass, Hartford girls basketball

The senior forward scored 19 points in a thrilling comeback win over Lawton in the district semifinals, then netted 17 in a 46-34 district championship victory over Bloomingdale, which avenged a Feb. 22 loss to the Cardinals and gave the Indians their second consecutive district title.

Leah Snyder, Allegan girls bowling

The sophomore enjoyed an impressive run at the singles state finals, where she rolled over 200 in her first four games and averaged a 197.8 in the six qualifying games, which earned her a trip to match play. Snyder rolled games of 176 and 209 to advance to Round 2 of the bracket, but her 157 and 163 games weren’t quite enough to advance her to the semifinals, as she fell to Tecumseh’s Abby Werden, who rolled games of 214 and 192.

Alivia Stuart, Mendon girls basketball

The senior guard had a strong district tournament, opening with 22 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 61-29 semifinal win over Burr Oak, before chipping in seven points and two steals in a semifinal upset win over Colon, and ending with a 17-point, 10-rebounds, five-steal effort in an overtime loss to Athens in the district finals, which brought an end to Mendon’s season at 19-4.

Hanover-Horton junior Danni Swihart defeats Lawrence junior Kennedy Edson in the 135-pound girls state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jake May/mlive.com/TNS Hanover-Horton junior Danni Swihart defeats Lawrence junior Kennedy Edson in the 135-pound girls state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

Tyler Swanwick, Centreville boys basketball

The senior wing led his team to an outright Southwest 10 title by tallying 20 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals in last week’s 80-31 win over Decatur.

Brooklyn Vantilburg, Marcellus girls basketball

The senior forward led Marcellus to a district quarterfinal win over Marcellus Howardsville Christian by collecting 25 points, six rebounds and five steals, before going for nine points, 12 rebounds, three steals and two blocks in a 53-38 loss to Gobles in the semifinals.

Martin/Climax-Scotts freshman Logan Gilbert defeated Union City freshman Logan Mears on a 10-5 decision to clinch the Division 4 103-pound state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit. © Jake May/mlive.com/TNS Martin/Climax-Scotts freshman Logan Gilbert defeated Union City freshman Logan Mears on a 10-5 decision to clinch the Division 4 103-pound state championship title on Saturday, March 5, 2022 during the MHSAA Individual Wrestling Finals at Ford Field in Detroit.

Jacob Westdorp, Plainwell boys swimming

The junior diver is moving on to his first Division 3 state meet, after placing 11th at last week’s diving regionals, where he logged a final-round score of 320.40.

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