When the Summerville High School girls' basketball team entered the season as one of the fashionable picks to win the Mother Lode League title, there was no bigger reason than returning center-forward Megan Wingo.

As the league's lone returnee from the 2001-02 all-MLL first team, Wingo has not only picked up where she left off last year, when she averaged 11.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, she's gotten better.

After her 24-point, nine-rebound performance in the Bears 70-59 win over Argonaut on Friday night, Wingo, The Union Democrat's Athlete of the Week, has upped her averages to 14.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.

Even more significantly, Wingo has Summerville (10-4, 1-1 MLL) playing well enough to justify the high expectations surrounding a team that is shooting for its first league title since 1991.

Case in point: After opening the MLL season with a less-than-stellar 57-36 home loss to defending league champion Calaveras on Jan. 17, the Bears managed to put the defeat behind them and win at Argonaut instead of going into a tailspin that could have knocked them out of the league race before it really even started.

And although Wingo's performance deserves the attention it's gotten, she's the first to point out that the team, which already has a seven-game winning streak and the Mariposa Tournament championship under its belt, wouldn't be where it is without the improved play of her teammates, most notably Kellie Pierce, who very nearly recorded a quadruple-double against Argonaut and was the MVP of the Mariposa Tournament.

Not to be forgotten is the fact that Wingo, along with younger sister and teammate, Kelsey, are the fourth and fifth daughters to play under head coach and father, Darcy Wingo a task that could be as tricky as getting good rebounding position for some, but is fluently handled by all involved.

"Sometimes it's awkward because he expects more out of me," Megan said.

"But, he's real honest with me, and says I'm the only one he can really yell at, so he treats me like any other player."

Which, fortunately for Summerville, she isn't.