Neosho basketball player Olivia Hixson and Cassville football player Zach Coenen hae been named the Globe's high school athletes of the week for the week ending Nov. 21.


Hixson, 5-foot-8 senior guard, scored 21 points in Neosho's 52-46 season-opening victory over Lamar on Nov. 20.

Hixson sank 10 of 16 free throws, and she scored 14 points in the second half as Neosho overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter.

"Her basketball IQ, I don't know if I ever have had a kid with a higher IQ basketball-wise," Wildcats coach Ryan Madison said. "You can tell she's a coach's kid. She's spent her whole life in the gym. She understands the game at a level very few high school kids do.

"We moved her to point guard, and she's done a great job. She's also our best on-the-ball defender. She does a lot of things for us."


Coenen, 6-1, 210-pound senior, had 17 carries for 184 yards and two touchdowns in Cassville's 41-16 victory over Buffalo on Nov. 21 in the Class 3 quarterfinal round.

One of Coenen's touchdowns covered 74 yards. He had 834 yards and 11 touchdowns entering the semifinal game at Maryville and averaged a team-best 9.5 yards per carry.

"Zach went to a different level against Buffalo," Wildcats coach Lance Parnell said. "He is an outstanding athlete, outstanding competitor. I felt like he stepped his game up a little bit in the quarterfinals. He had a great performance on both sides of the ball."

COACHES CAN NOMINATE athletes of the week by emailing before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Please attach a close-up head-and-shoulders photo of the athlete to the email. Awards on Dec. 6 will be based on performances from Nov. 23-28.

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