Junior forward Brittney Thibeaux of Grayslake North and senior guard Lance Whitaker of Bartlett have earned MVP honors from the Daily Herald for their recent basketball performances.
Thibeaux has Grayslake North off to its best start in program history and keyed a victory over Jacobs with 24 points, 11 boards, 5 steals and 4 blocks; she also had 12 blocks, 9 rebounds, 7 blocks and 3 steals in a win over Woodstock North.
Whitaker, a senior bound for Illinois-Chicago, had big games in a pair of wins against Upstate Eight Conference foes, getting 17 points and 10 rebounds at Elgin and a game-high 22 points against Lake Park.
Lance Whitaker, Bartlett: The 6-foot-4 senior guard had an impact in a pair of victories against Upstate Eight Conference foes. The Illinois-Chicago recruit scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a 67-53 crossover victory at Elgin. He led the Hawks to a 53-47 win in the UEC Valley opener against Lake Park with his game-high 22 points.
Anthony Andujar, Aurora Central Catholic: "He was terrific," Chargers coach Nathan Drye said of this 5-foot-10 senior. From a 29-9 first-quarter deficit against Walther Lutheran, Andujar sparked a comeback that earned ACC a 76-68 SCC Blue win. The point guard scored 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting, 5-of-8 from the foul line, 7 assists, 3 steals and only 2 turnovers.
Justin Bergeron, Lakes: The 6-foot-4 senior was double trouble as a wide receiver/defensive back in football. He's still doubling his fun. He recorded back-to-back double-doubles in a pair of wins, putting up 17 points and 10 rebounds against Wauconda and following up with a season-high 18 points and 11 boards against Round Lake.
Sean O'Mara, Benet: Continuing a lightning quick transition from football to basketball, the 6-foot-9 junior center sustained his strong start in three wins last week. The Redwings beat York, Ridgewood and previously state-ranked Curie as O'Mara averaged 19 points and 6 rebounds.
Brad Zaumseil, Barrington: The Broncos are making a habit of playing close games, and much of the credit for that goes to their standout senior guard. He finished with 16 points as the Broncos edged Conant 52-50 Friday and was indirectly responsible for the winning bucket as the Cougars defense collapsed on him on the final possession. The following night at Prospect, Zaumseil had 13 points as the Knights prevailed 57-54.
Brittney Thibeaux, Grayslake North: The 6-foot junior has been one of the best players for the Knights, who are off to their best start in team history. She produced a season-high 24 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 blocked shots in a win over Jacobs. She then had 12 points, 9 rebounds, 7 blocks and 3 steals against Woodstock North, as the Knights improved to 8-0.
Molly Krawczykowski, Willowbrook: Warriors got an early jump in the West Suburban Gold race, and this junior guard is a big reason why. Krawczykowski averaged 16 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals in wins over Addison Trail and Proviso East. Krawczykowski, who earlier this season scored 16 points against St. Joseph and Plainfield East, tallied a team-high 17 in Willowbrook's 79-51 rout of Proviso East.
Deja Moore, Streamwood: The Sabres' 5-foot-7 senior guard scored 15 points and had 8 rebounds and 4 assists in a 53-38 Upstate Eight River win over St. Charles North and then came back with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 steals in a 64-24 River win over Larkin as Streamwood improved to 6-1 overall on the season.
Nia Pappas, Palatine: In a big Mid-Suburban West opener against crosstown rival Fremd, Pappas helped lead the Pirates to a 37-27 victory. She scored 9 points and helped direct the offense with 5 assists. But the senior guard hardly slowed down. One day later, the 5-foot-6 IUPUI-bound Pappas came back to score a career-high 30 points as Palatine won for the eighth time in nine games, 62-50 in a nonconference game at Highland Park.
Sami Pawlak, Geneva: This University of Nebraska at Omaha recruit saw her senior season get off to a rough start with a broken middle finger in the first quarter of her first game. Pawlak missed the next 5 games, then returned with a bang last weekend with a pair of double-doubles -- 13 points, 11 rebounds and then 14 points, 13 rebounds -- in wins over Batavia and South Elgin.