Observer-Reporter Athlete of the Week: Mapletown’s Dereck Riggleman
Name: Dereck Riggleman
Riggleman’s week: Riggleman scored 72 points in three games: wins over Avella and West Greene, as well as a loss to Carmichaels.
Prior to the Carmichaels game, when the last edition of the Observer-Reporter’s scoring leaders was published, Riggleman ranked third in the area at 21.9 points per game, his overall total of 307 points placing him second behind Washington’s Josh Wise (331).
In last week’s games, Riggleman’s 72-point total accounted for 46 percent of Mapletown’s offense.
“You know, he has most of our points,” Mapletown coach Craig Hoone said. “You look at the scorebook, and you still can’t believe it sometimes. Sometimes it’s real quiet. He’s doing a real nice job this season.”
Get to the line: Riggleman’s point total may be surprising because he gets to the free-throw line so frequently.
Of those 72 points, 27 of them (38 percent) came from the charity stripe.
“Most games I get a lot of points from the free-throw line,” Riggleman said. “That’s a big part of my game.”
So, too, is driving to the basket. Consider that he made 22 field goals during that stretch, just one of them a three-pointer.
“He can definitely drive to the basket,” Hoone said. “That’s where he gets his points. If he doesn’t make it, he gets to the free-throw line.”
Fully recovered: Riggleman fractured his left wrist during a scrimmage against Western Beaver at the beginning of last season, taking an awkward tumble to the court.
The right-handed shooter missed the first 12 games of the season but did enough down the stretch to average double figures.
It was a strong finish that gave Riggleman plenty of confidence heading into this year – enough, apparently, to make up for the loss of three seniors, including leading scorer Marcus Cumpston.
“I knew we were losing our main scorer in Marcus,” Riggleman said. “I knew I had to boost my confidence, that’s what it really was. Now I feel like I can play with anyone. I can score basically whenever.”
All-around athlete: Riggleman played football this past fall after sitting out his sophomore year and caught 15 passes for 212 yards and five touchdowns as a wide receiver.
Next year, he thinks he might get moved to quarterback with the graduation of Kevin Ridgley.
“I’ll probably be more of a running guy,” Riggleman said. “I’m not the best thrower. But I plan on practicing a lot.”
Team turnaround: At 2-3, 4-11, Mapletown has already doubled its overall win total from a season ago and could do likewise with its section record. The Maples could even sneak into the playoffs as a No. 4 seed in Section 3-A.
“Of the 10 people on our team, only two of them are seniors,” Riggleman said. “So we’re just going to try and build off of that. We’re just going to try and get stronger for next year.”
– Compiled by Jason Mackey