What little motivation Lindsay Monson needs she gets from her brothers.
It’s not the brotherly love one would expect.
Monson says her family is very sarcastic and so it goes with three older brothers, who enjoyed success in three sports. If Monson has an off-night for the Pierz Pioneers, her brothers are there to “congratulate” her.
She tries not to have too many off nights. So far the three-year varsity center for the girls basketball team hasn’t.
Monson tallied 23 points, six rebounds, five steals, two assists and a blocked shot in the Pioneers’ 79-63 victory over the Foley Falcons Jan 31. She shot 63 percent from the field, including 1-of-3 from 3-point. It was her first attempt and make from long range this season.
“It’s a different team when Lindsay is on the floor,” said first-year head coach Rich Teske. “She plays great defense and gets steals and loose rebounds. She’s always guarding the other team’s best post because she does so well defensively.
“I had her shoot a 3-pointer the other night in hopes to draw out Foley’s 6-foot-4 post. She shot the ball and made it. She’s done everything I’ve asked of her.”
Monson scored 14 points in the Pioneers’ 52-41 Central Minnesota Conference loss to Howard Lake-Waverly Feb. 2.
Through the team’s first 18 games, Monson is averaging 12.8 points and 9.3 rebounds a game. She’s added 63 blocks, 36 steals and 36 assists. She’s shooting 53 percent from the field and 71 percent from the foul line.
“I expected her to average 12 to 15 points a game and hopefully get in that double digits for rebounds and that’s where she’s been at,” Teske said. “She’s also been a leader on and off the court.”
Last season, Monson was named to the All-Central Minnesota Conference and Brainerd Dispatch All-Area teams. She averaged 11.9 points and 7.8 rebounds a game and added 38 assists, 46 steals and 68 blocked shots. She shot 46 percent from the field and 55 percent from the line.
In order to improve those numbers, Monson said she hit the weight room in the offseason and went to two basketball camps.
“My biggest improvement this season, I think, is being a role model for the younger basketball players coming up,” she said. “I’m trying to be positive to whatever happens and helping the team learn from our losses.”
Monson said she has a personal drive when playing defense. She concentrates on being in good position. Her goal is to break the school’s single-season blocked shot record, which is 89.
Should she falter in her quest, Jeremy, Dustin and Tyler Monson will be there waiting to “encourage” their younger sister.
“I really looked up to them,” said Monson of her brothers. “With what they’ve done and what they succeeded at, I’ve pushed myself to be the first girl in the family to step up and live up to their expectations.
“It’s helped having three older brothers. They’ve definitely pushed me to work hard.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Tatum Sheley, Pine River-Backus, scored 36 points against Nevis and 28 against Clearbrook-Gonvick.
Chelsey Bonsante, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 23 points, five steals and four assists against Grand Rapids.
Bethany Cressman, Lake Region, scored 21 points against St. Francis.
Teresa Moenkedick, Verndale, scored 26 points against Henning and 32 against New York Mills.
Careen Bayerle, Aitkin, scored 20 points against Onamia.
Emily Miron, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 30 points against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle.
Gymnastics: Rachelle LeBlanc, Little Falls, won the all-around with a 36.925 against Brainerd.
Hockey: Mandy Carlson, Northern Lakes, finished with two goals and an assist against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek.
Nordic skiing: Maria Hauer, Little Falls, won the sprints portion of the Granite Ridge Conference championship.
Mattia Hendrickson, Little Falls, won the 6-kilometer event at the Granite Ridge Conference championship.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at email@example.com or at 855-5856.