Here are this week's high school boys’ basketball Players of the Week. One player is chosen from each region of the country. No player will be chosen more than once during a season.
(After games of Sunday, Feb. 12)
Nigel Johnson, Broad Run (Ashburn, Va.)
The 6-foot-1 junior point guard highlighted a 110-point, three-game week with a career-high 55 points in a 109-104 overtime loss to Osbourn (Manassas, Va.). Johnson converted 20 of 22 free throws and cashed in five shots from 3-point land in the outburst, which was witnessed by several college coaches. Johnson has nine 30-point games this season with a low of 19 points. He leads Virginia's Class AAA in scoring at 29.2 points per game and also sports averages of 8.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds. Johnson scored 34 and 21 points in his other two contests last week.
Alex Poythress, Northeast Clarksville (Clarksville, Tenn.)
After being selected to the 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game last week, Poythress celebrated by scoring a career-high 48 points to lead Northeast Clarksville past Dickson County (Dickson, Tenn.) 68-60. The 6-foot-9 Kentucky recruit also hauled in 22 rebounds. He surpassed his previous career bests of 46 and 47 established earlier this season. Poythress is averaging better than 31 points per game, well above the 22.3 mark he turned in last winter. In addition to scoring, rebounding and leading his team to a 25-2 record, Poythress also boasts a 3.9 GPA.
Connar Tava, Warren De La Salle (Warren, Mich.)
The 6-foot-6, 230-pound senior forward had a monster game in a 72-53 Detroit Catholic League Central Division win over U-D Jesuit. The Western Michigan recruit scored 43 points and collected 22 rebounds to lead the Pilots, who are favored to win the Catholic League playoffs for the fourth straight year, something that hasn't been done since 1952. In avenging the team’s only league loss, Tava scored 29 of his points in the second half while connecting on 14 of 17 shots from the floor as the Pilots claimed their fifth straight Central Division crown.
Justise Winslow, St. John’s (Houston)
Following a 31-point outing from the previous week, Winslow came through for two more all-around top-notch efforts that lifted his team to the Southwest Preparatory Conference Division I championship. Winslow, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward ranked No. 15 in the ESPNU 25, had 27 points, eight rebounds and three blocks in a 49-46 triumph against Episcopal (Dallas) and then put up 25 points with 10 rebounds and eight assists as St. John’s beat Kinkaid (Houston) 70-60 in the final. Winslow averages 22.5 points per game.
Nick Stover, Windward (Los Angeles)
A 6-foot-5 senior on his way to Loyola Marymount, Stover collected 65 points in two wins last week to help the Wildcats vault back into the top 20 of the Cal-Hi Sports state rankings. Stover, who is averaging 21.7 points per game this season, had 33 points in a 77-71 triumph over Campbell Hall (North Hollywood, Calif.). He then hit for 32, including the game-tying free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining in regulation, in a 75-71 overtime win over state-ranked Pacific Hills (Los Angeles). Earlier this season, Stover had 23 points as Windward beat defending CIF Division II state champion Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.). He was a major contributor last year, leading the Wildcats to the CIF Division IV state crown.