This weekâ€™s â€śAthlete of the Weekâ€ť picks, Tyler Arbuckle of St. Paul and Miranda Janick of Bristol Eastern, are not only returning selections for the recognition, but they shared it on the same day last season as juniors.
Janick, the daughter of Paul and Vanessa Janick, joins senior captain Hannah Maghini in leading the Lancers once again this year.
She and Maghini shared game high-scoring honors with 16 points each in Easternâ€™s 49-31 win over city rival Bristol Central at home on Thursday, while delivering in the clutch when needed.
â€śMiranda really hit some key shots,â€ť coach Tony Floyd said. â€śShe hit a couple of threes and a couple of other shots, then everything started flowing. The lane started opening up and we started hitting our shots.â€ť
Janick and her teammates had recorded a 6-7 record coming into this week.
â€śI think everyone on the team works hard, and when people come off the bench they work just as hard,â€ť Janick said. â€śThe biggest thing for us is teamwork. You can tell when we use teamwork, it shows on the court. And when we lack communication, we donâ€™t work well as a team.â€ť
And like most teams, the main goal is make it to the state tournament.
â€śItâ€™s to work hard every game, to come out strong every single game,â€ť Janick said. â€śWe have to win two more games to qualify for the tournament and we can do that.â€ť
Her personal goal is to contribute as much as she can to the teamâ€™s success.
â€śTo get the younger kids ready,â€ť Janick said. â€śAt the beginning of the season we started slow, so we try to get them to work harder and focus.â€ť
As far as benefiting from playing basketball, Janick said it was all good.
â€śIâ€™ve developed a lot more friendships that I otherwise would not have,â€ť Janick said. â€śIâ€™ve learned how to be a leader and take control of certain situations. Iâ€™ve learned to motivate the team members and aspire to make them better.â€ť
Advice she offers is to practice teamwork while also having fun.
â€śAs long as you are trying your hardest and having fun, thatâ€™s the most important,â€ť Janick said.
Her plans for college in the fall do not include basketball, but to concentrate on becoming a physical education teacher.
Arbuckle, the son of Kristal and Allen Arbuckle of Bristol, is a quad-captain on coach Steve Phelpsâ€™ boys basketball team, 5-5 coming into this week.
Heâ€™s leading the team in points and rebounds for a second straight year. His coach had some kind works for Arbuckle when he was chosen to the All-Press team last March.
â€śTylerâ€™s impact on St. Paul Catholic basketball has been significant,â€ť Phelps said. â€śHis passion for the game is second to none. He is a relentless competitor, constantly dedicated to perfecting his game. His commitment is impressive.â€ť
Arbuckle is pleased with how this season in trending.
â€śWe got off to a slow start (1-5), but have started to play more together,â€ť Arbuckle said. â€śWe enjoy playing with each other more and now weâ€™re on track to be a pretty good team come postseason.â€ť
He added that the team goal is to win the state title - something the players decided after reaching the quarterfinals of Class S play last season. Personally, itâ€™s to earn All-NVL and All-State honors.
Like Janick, he plays basketball year-round as his one and only sport, and that has been a benefit to him.
â€śItâ€™s changed my life,â€ť Arbuckle said. â€śItâ€™s all I do, I play basketball all day. It keeps me out of trouble and gives me something to work for. Any goal is possible if you put in the work.â€ť
His plans for next year are to play basketball at the collegiate level, while studying sports medicine.
Contact Bob Montgomery at or by calling 860-973-1808.