PREP BOYS' BASKETBALL: SWC's Top shining in postseason spotlight
EDGERTON -- Andrew Top is about as humble as they come. He shies away from talking about himself and is quick to show off the attributes and successes of his fellow Southwest Christian boys' basketball teammates. But the thing is, Top has plenty ...
EDGERTON -- Andrew Top is about as humble as they come.
He shies away from talking about himself and is quick to show off the attributes and successes of his fellow Southwest Christian boys' basketball teammates.
But the thing is, Top has plenty to brag about this season.
Not only is his team heading to the state tournament, where the No. 2-seeded Eagles will take on Fosston at Williams Arena on Thursday, but Top has been a key factor in the teams' road to the tournament.
"There's no doubt that Andrew is one of our leading players," SWC senior Keeran Sampson said. "He's great."
Top, a 6-foot-4-inch senior forward, has been a driving force behind the Eagles -- especially as of late.
In the section tournament, Top had 71 points -- an average of 17.75 points per game -- through four playoff games, with his best performance coming in the sub-section championship against Ellsworth when he put up a game-leading 26 points.
"I think during the playoffs, especially, teams have just been trying to shut down Zach [Huisken]," Top said. "So I'm not really anything special. When they collapse on him it leaves me open for a lot of shots. Basically, Zach's the kind of guy who doesn't mind to pass the ball so each one of us has the opportunity to step up and do something big. You just have to key in on him and we're all more than capable of having those big games."
Having a player like Huisken -- a D-I prospect who will play at Augustana next year and who averages in double figures -- tends to take the attention away from some of the other players on the SWC squad.
But that hasn't seemed to slow down the likes of Top and the other Eagles.
"Andrew is a smart, relentless player who has been in Zach's shadow for most of his career," SWC head coach Jamie Pap said. "Andrew has certainly stepped up with some terrific games and has been a reliable all-around player for us all season."
However, if you ask Top, he doesn't feel overshadowed by his teammate, and friend, at all.
In fact, Top said the 6-foot-9-inch forward should be even more in the spotlight than he already is.
So the fact that teams focus their matchups around Huisken and that Huisken is the most-talked about Eagle in most circumstances doesn't bother Top in the slightest.
"He deserves a lot more than he gets," Top said of Huisken. "He's one of the most humble people I know. His success has never been the least bit of an issue."
And the Eagles don't think Top's success has been an issue at all either.
With how Top has been playing as of late, the Eagles are confident he will continue to be a factor in SWC's remaining games this season.
So while Top might quickly change the subject when asked about his personal successes, his teammates are quick to say how great he is.
"He's been so huge for us," Huisken said of Top. "When they double down on me or they're pressuring our guards, he always finds ways to score. Andrew does a great job of rebounding, passing, taking people to the baseline and just scoring off the dribble.
"He's been doing really good for us and we're proud of him."
Daily Globe Sports Reporter Jocelyn Syrstad can be reached at 376-7335