Southeast Missourian Player of the Week: Leopold's Kyle Stroder

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Leopold's Kyle Stroder takes a shot during the second quarter of the Woodland Invitational championship game against Perryville on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011, in Marble Hill. Perryville won 56-50. (Kristin Eberts)

Kyle Stroder's season is off to a fantastic start.

The Leopold junior has helped the Wildcats basketball team start 6-1 by pouring in the points.

Stroder scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds in Leopold's 80-37 win over Greenville last week. He followed that performance with 26 points in his team's 69-66 win over St. Vincent.

Stroder hit a 3-pointer against St. Vincent to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

"Every shot I took, I have to believe in myself that it's going to go in," Stroder said. "I just had the confidence, so I let it go."

Stroder's 26-point performance was even more impressive because his coach didn't expect Stroder to play in the game.

"He was sick all last night," Leopold coach Andy Beck said after Thursday's game vs. St. Vincent. "He didn't sleep a wink last night. Came in half a day today, and as of when school let out, he told me, 'Coach, I don't think I can play tonight.' I didn't expect to have him.

"He walked in the door tonight and I didn't even have to ask him. I could see on his face that he was ready to go. As soon as we got in the locker room, he said, 'Let's go,' and we didn't look back."

Stroder and the Wildcats traveled to Meadow Heights on Tuesday before taking part in the Southeast Missourian Christmas tournament, where they are the No. 6 seed. Leopold faces Oak Ridge in the opening round.

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