Athletes of the week: Scoring knack emerges for Panthers guard

  • Updated: December 17, 2012 - 11:28 PM

J.P. Macura, Lakeville North basketball

J.P. MACURA

Lakeville North • basketball

Friends have been asking Macura to divulge his secret. After playing sparingly for the Panthers' Class 4A runners-up team last year, the junior guard has come out blazing this season, averaging nearly 30 points per game (29.2, to be precise) as Lakeville North jumped out to a 5-0 start. How, they ask, is he doing it?

Macura's answer is remarkable for its simplicity.

"I honestly don't know," he admitted. "It's probably because I take most of the shots."

Clearly, the sharp-shooting Marcura is not only scoring, he's also humble.

In three games last week, he topped 30 points twice, highlighted by a career-high 36 in an 84-63 rout of Farmington.

"My teammates have been giving me a ton of open shots, so I expected to score the most on the team, but I wasn't expecting to score anywhere near 30," he said, "They want me to take most of the shots. I'm just glad to be making them and that we're winning."

A naturally gifted shooter, Macura said that it wasn't until he was in 10th grade that he took his talent seriously.

"I used to just rely on being a good shooter, but I never practiced it," he said. "Then in eighth and ninth grade, I started getting worse. I needed to hit the practice gym. I started going all the time and became a much better shot."

JAKE SHORT

Simley • Wrestling

The three-time state champion proved deserving of his No. 1 national ranking at 145 pounds by being named co-outstanding wrestler of the meet (with Brady Berge of Kasson-Mantorville) at the Minnesota Christmas tournament in Rochester. He won the 145 title by pinning four of his five opponents.

CHASE COLEY

Minneapolis Washburn • basketball

The Millers might have struggled from a wins-and-losses perspective -- they lost twice -- but the 6-3 junior forward was nearly unstoppable. She scored 63 points, grabbed 35 rebounds and blocked 16 shots. So far this season, Coley is averaging 11.8 blocked shots per game.

DION BRADLEY

St. Paul Highland Park • basketball

The senior point guard scored 52 points -- one shy of the St. Paul City conference record - in the Scots' 84-82 overtime victory over Fridley. He followed with 27 points in a loss to Milwaukee Bradley Tech and 37 in a victory over Milwaukee Morse/Marshall.

DANI CAMERANESI

Blake • Hockey

The senior center always has had a knack for scoring, which is evident through the first month of the season. Last week she scored seven goals and added an assist in three games, giving her 23 goals and 38 total points in 11 games.

BEN ALBERT

Burnsville • Swimming

In Friday's dual-meet victory over Rosemount, the senior broke former state champion Tom Elling's pool record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a winning time of 59.26 seconds. He also won the 200 individual medley and was on the winning 200 medley relay team.

KATIE MCDANIELS

Mounds View • Basketball

In Tuesday's 58-56 victory over Forest Lake, the senior guard made the game-winning layup in the final minutes, capping an 18-point, 10-assist, six-rebound performance. Friday, she had 26 points and 13 rebounds in a 60-54 victory over Woodbury

JIM PAULSEN

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