A 6-foot senior forward, Diekemper poured in 45 points, just two shy of tying the school record for points in a single game, in a 58-49 road victory against Sandoval. She hit 17 of 21 (81 percent) shots from the field and was 11 of 13 (85 percent) from the free-throw line. She also contributed seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks in that game. In the Indians’ next game, Diekemper had 19 points and five rebounds in a 50-49 loss to Wood River. Diekemper, who was an all-tournament selection at Litchfield and Lebanon, is averaging 17.7 points and 7.5 rebounds and has signed to play volleyball at Kaskaskia College.
Molly Diekemper • Carlyle basketball
Bella LaPorta • Highland basketball
A 6-foot junior forward, LaPorta was named MVP of the Highland Tournament after leading the Bulldogs to the championship, their third in the 34-year history of the event. In a 53-38 win over Civic Memorial in the championship, she put up a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three assists and four steals. LaPorta, who is averaging team-highs in scoring (12.2) and rebounding (9.6), was MVP of the Bulldogs’ game in the Breese Central Shootout earlier this month and earned all-tournament honors at the Salem Thanksgiving Tournament and the Mascoutah Christmas Tournament. She also plays volleyball and soccer.
Safiyah Reed • Trinity basketball
A 5-foot-4 sophomore point guard, Reed had two 20-plus point games to lead the Titans to a pair of victories last week. She scored 29 points, her season high, handed out eight assists, made five steals and grabbed four rebounds as the Titans earned a 70-39 win over KIPP St. Louis. Reed then had 22 points, eight assists, five steals and seven rebounds in a 60-53 win over Rosati-Kain. She is second in the area in assists (6.8) and among the leaders in scoring (18.3) and steals (4.7). An all-tournament selection at Liberty in December and an all-conference honoree last season, Reed also competes in track and field.
Cole Rickermann • Festus basketball
A 6-foot-1 sophomore guard, Rickermann came up big in a pair of wins over Jefferson County opponents last week. He had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in a 61-48 win over Crystal City, and against De Soto, he erupted for 37 points as he connected on 14 of 20 shots from the floor, including 6 of 9 from beyond the 3-point arc, to lead the Tigers to an 87-63 conference win. In that game, he also six rebounds and four assists. Overall, Rickermann, an honorable mention all-conference honoree as a freshman, is averaging a team-high 14.4 points to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists. He was the starting quarterback for the Festus football team.
Sam Schultz • Chaminade wrestling
A senior, Schultz won the championship of the 138-pound weight class in the Eric Lewis MICDS Invitational. He pinned is first two opponents in the first period before shutting out St. Charles’ Xavien Jackson 6-0 in the championship. His record this season is 27-0, which puts him at 133 wins in his high school career. He has also won titles at the Westminster, Chaminade, De Smet, Mount Olive and St. Charles tournaments this season. A state qualifier last season, Schultz also wrestles nationally and was an All-American at the ESPN Disney Duals last summer. He is committed to wrestle at Drury University next fall.
Ray’Sean Taylor • Collinsville basketball
A 6-foot-1 guard who has signed with SIU Edwardsville, Taylor broke the school record for points in a single game with a 53-point night in a 77-57 win over Trinity in the Belleville East Classic championship. The previous school record of 50 points was set by Tom Parker on December 30, 1967, at SIU Carbondale in the Carbondale Holiday Tournament. Parker went on to play for legendary coach Adolph Rupp at Kentucky and scored more than 1,000 points. This season, Taylor is fifth in the area in scoring (25.8) and is among the leaders in assists (5.2), steals (2.9) and free-throw percentage (71.5). He has 1,931 career points, 110 short of Parker’s school record.
Malik Stewart • Maplewood-Richmond Heights basketball
A 6-foot senior guard, Stewart averaged 28.3 points in three games, two of which were Blue Devils’ conference wins, last week to vault himself into the third spot among area scoring leaders (27.2). Against Crossroads, Stewart filled the scoresheets with 38 points, 20 rebounds, four assists and nine steals in a 66-30 win. The following night he had 25 points, nine rebounds, four assists and six steals as the Blue Devils won again, 60-44 over Bayless. He closed out the week with 22 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in a loss to Hancock. The MVP of the Grandview Christmas Tournament, Stewart has several offers from Division I schools for cross country.