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Athlete of the week 12/17/13: First-year starter Nichols helps Hanson to 2-0 start

ALEXANDRIA — Hanson boys’ basketball coach Josh Oltmanns described Taylor Nichols as solid.

The 6-foot-4 junior center has been just that for the Beavers in their first two games of the season.

In Hanson’s season opener, Nichols scored 13 points in the 57-24 victory.

He recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds in Hanson’s second win of the year Saturday over Ethan. The Beavers won 58-43.

“If he can do that for us each night, it will help us a lot,” Oltmanns said. “A double-double is great for the whole team and Taylor is a team-first player. He wants to do what’s best for the team.”

For his efforts, Nichols has been named The Daily Republic’s athlete of the week, an award voted on by the newspaper’s sports staff.

Nichols is a first-year starter for the Beavers and Oltmanns said he’s a smart player who has earned his spot.

“He’s really fundamentally sound,” he said, adding Nichols’ excitement for the game is infectious. “He’s not flashy but does a good job inside the paint. He’s a smart player and understands the game.

“If he’s double-teamed, he knows he needs to kick it out or what move he needs to do to get to the free-throw line.”

The Beavers are ranked fourth in the Class B boys’ basketball poll this week. They will be tested in two games this week.

Hanson travels to play Menno Thursday and hosts Avon Saturday in Alexandria.

Brooke Cersosimo
Brooke Cersosimo is The Daily Republic's sports editor.