Of 575 votes cast, Serena girls basketball standout Paisley Twait garnered 331 to earn the honor of being The Times Athlete of the Week, sponsored by Northern Insurance Group, LTD; Jim Boes Services; and Christian Reynolds American Family Insurance.
The Huskers repeated as champions of the Little Ten Conference Tournament, led by a 20-point effort from a returning-from-injury Twait in the championship game, a 38-30 win over Newark.
The ballot also included runner-up Landon Modro (Fieldcrest boys basketball), Miles Corder (Sandwich wrestling) and Ivan Munoz (Ottawa boys wrestling).
Next week’s ballot will be online Monday morning, accesible via Facebook (The Times Sports) and Twitter (@jtpedelty), with voting going through midday Wednesday.
Here is a Q&A with this week’s winner:
Do you have any nicknames?
Jo, Pais, Paiser
I know it was a goal of this year’s team to continue to play at a high level after the graduation of last year’s lone senior, all-stater Katie Baker. Why was that so important to this year’s team to continue that success, and how do you feel you’re doing?
It is important, because I want the Lady Huskers to be a winning program. This program means a lot to me, and I love to see it succeed. Katie led the way doing that throughout her four years, and I have two years left without her, so I want to continue making this program something to look up to.
How did it feel to repeat as Little Ten Conference Tournament champions?
It felt really good. I was confident in this team’s abilities coming into this year, but we have struggled through many different kinds of adversity. We have really turned a corner, and this proves that we are a team that is “Here to Stay.” Winning this was one step for our goals this year, and winning it proves that we can achieve the goals we set.
How old were you when you started playing basketball, and who first taught you the game?
I started playing at 5 years old at the YMCA, and my dad was the coach.
What is your pregame routine?
I usually take a nap before the game, eat blueberry mini-muffins and wait for my grandpa to pick me up to go to the game.
Is there a fact about you that might surprise people who only know you through sports?
I love to play card games. I carry cards, like UNO, around at school so I can play with anyone who will play with me.
What are your three all-time favorite movies?
“Pitch Perfect,” “Thor: Ragnarock” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”
Only one can stay: pizza, tacos or donuts?
What do you enjoy most about being a multi-sport athlete?
I enjoy being active and participating in many different things. I enjoy the different challenges each sport brings.
Do you have any college plans yet? If so, do they involve sports?
I am undecided on where I will attend college, but I plan on playing softball.