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Female Athlete of the Week
Sport: Girls Basketball
Athlete: LaJarvia Brown of Alton
The peppy 5-foot-3 sophomore guard, averaging 15 points per game, is a big reason the Redbirds have enjoyed their first winning season in nearly 30 years. Alton carried a 14-12 record into the Granite City Class 4A Regional that began Wednesday night. It was scheduled to conclude Friday night, with the winner advancing to the Edwardsville Sectional.
Brown, a 5-foot-1 junior and key starter for the Redbirds, was at her best in several recent games. She scored 25 points in an impressive win against Belleville West in Alton and also had a productive 18-point outing in a victory over O’Fallon.
Then she enabled the Redbirds to prevail at Collinsville, 45-44, when Brown scored on a decisive layup with 30 seconds remaining. Alton finished 7-7 in the Southwestern Conference, its best league record in years.
She has teamed together with junior Jordann Wilson and freshman Jasmine Bishop to give AHS solid backcourt work and a bright future. Wilson, who played her first season at Marquette Catholic, recently passed the 1,000-point career mark in her career.
Male Athlete of Week
Athlete: Jeremy O’Gara of Roxana
The senior has sparked the Shells all season and he was at his best the past two weekends.
O’Gara claimed a title at 113 pounds in the Mount Olive Class 1A Regional and then registered a championship in the same weight class at the Robinson 1A Sectional.
His regional win helped ignite the Shells on their way to the team title at Mount Olive. Roxana, which qualified 14 wrestlers for the sectional and three for the state finals, will participate in the upcoming Litchfield Team Dual Sectional.
Sporting a 36-5 record, O’Gara is competing in the IHSA small-school finals this weekend at the University of Illinois in Champaign. He pinned Chaston Womack of Vandalia in 2:31 for his sectional title and dropped Ty Durbin of Litchfield in 31 seconds for his regional championship.
Teammates Dalton Brito (126) and Luke Curtis (170) also qualified for state, which began Thursday and will conclude Saturday at the State Farm Center.