PEQUOT LAKES — Emily Lueck was in fifth grade when she wrote Flecia Foster a good-luck letter.
Foster, a 2004 Pequot Lakes graduate, was headed to the Class 2A state girls basketball tournament when Lueck wrote her the letter. Pequot went on to finish second and Foster finished her career as the school’s all-time leading score with 1,940 points.
It’s Foster’s turn to congratulate Lueck, who shattered the old school record as she scored 36 points to lead Class 2A’s ninth-ranked Pequot to an 88-64 blowout of the fourth-ranked Esko Eskomos Monday.
Lueck has 1,972 career points with six regular season games remaining.
“There needs to be someone the young players can look up to and most of the kids probably don’t know my name any more so she’s the new inspiration in Pequot,” Foster said during a phone interview Monday. “She’s a great kid. When I was in high school, Emily and her sister wrote me good-luck letters when we went to state. It’s great that those two girls are pursing their passion and are excelling at them. Hopefully they can go on to college and keep fulfilling their dreams.”
It was a dream game for the Patriots as they shot 52 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 93 percent from the line. The Patriots forced Esko into 22 turnovers.
“We are playing really well as a team right now,” Pequot head coach Jon Dale said. “It’s not just the seniors, but everyone is kind of meshing pretty well together. Even our younger kids are doing a nice job. I just think we’re playing well toward the end here.”
Lueck scored 20 points in the first half to help Pequot to a 47-34 halftime lead. Lueck’s record-breaking basket was her second basket of the game. It came from behind the 3-point line at 11:32 and snapped a 12-3 Esko run.
“Flecia was my role model,” Lueck said. “She was my hero. I never thought I would be able to be up (on the 1,000-point scorers billboard in the Pequot gymnasium), especially in front of everyone, but it’s something I’ve been working toward.
“I would rather go to the state tournament, but it’s just something extra.”
Pequot scratched out a 25-21 edge before exploding for an 18-2 run leading to its 13-point halftime advantage. Kylie Beltz scored 11 of her 24 points in the first half and Mattie Lueck scored six in each half to finish with 12.
Esko was led by Keely Deadrick, who scored 22 of her 36 points in the first half. The Eskomos’ 6-foot-8 sophomore center, Savanna Trapp, finished with 12 points, but wasn’t much of a factor on either end of the floor.
“We planned for this all last week,” Lueck said. “We had (former Pequot boys basketball player) Cole Engen coming to practice and pretending to be the big girl. We didn’t care if Deadrick scored 30 points as long as we kept everyone else in check. Obviously, that worked because she finished with 36 points.”
Eight Patriots scored and Pequot’s defense held Esko to 28 percent shooting from the field.
This is the fifth-straight win for the Patriots and the first against a ranked opponent, but Dale said few teams have the type of schedule that his girls have played.
“The girls know that we really do play a tough schedule,” Dale said. “Other teams may not know it and I don’t even think the polls know it. We play a tough schedule and our Mid-State Conference is tough. We play a lot of well coached teams so when we see our conference teams two times they know us and that makes us stronger.”
Esko 34 31 — 65
Pequot Lakes 47 41 — 88
Marisa Shady 6, Lydia Pelletier 4, Keely Deadrick 36, Savanna Trapp 12, Bailey Mudek 2, Megan Reuer 2, Brooke Schramm 2. FG 15-54 (28 percent), FT 11-17 (64 percent), 3-pointer 3-8 (38 percent).
Kylie Beltz 24, Mattie Lueck 12, Rachel Mott 2, Kayla Miller 4, Emily Lueck 36, Kaycee Nelson 2, Vanessa Lane 2, Kayla Wangen 6. FG 34-66 (52 percent), FT 13-14 (93 percent), 3-pointer 7-14 (50 percent).
Pequot Lakes girls leading scorers
2011 Emily Lueck 1,972
2004 Flecia Foster 1,940
2004 Teresa Parker 1,902
2000 Brianna Biebighauser 1,807
1995 Mary Koch 1,760
2009 Mindy Howard 1,652
2000 Heather Neznik 1,619
1999 Cassie Evenson 1,378
1978 Julie Van Nest 1,316
2002 Julie Redebaugh 1,165
1994 Angie Evenson 1,148
2005 Chelsa Schwegel 1,059
2011 Kylie Beltz (still active)
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.