WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Pierz's Monson standing out at CLC | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Pierz's Monson standing out at CLC

Posted: February 26, 2013 - 10:48pm

If there was one word to describe Lindsay Monson, consistent would do her the most justice.

As a freshman, the Central Lakes College center from Pierz has emerged this season as a leader and catalyst on the court.

“I get double-teamed a lot, and I have to expect that,” said Monson, who stands at 6-feet. “I have to work hard to get open. I don’t score unless I do that.”

Statistics say that she has no problem doing that. In the Raiders’ 26 regular-season games, Monson has posted 15.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks a game while netting 53 percent of her shots from the field.

“I try to get to double figures in points and rebounds each game,” Monson said.

Monson isn’t just a force underneath the basket. The Raiders’ freshman has netted 66 percent of her shots from the charity stripe and averages nearly two steals a game.

“Lindsay is a hard-working player and represents our philosophy of never giving up,” said CLC head coach Dennis Eastman.

Pregame rituals are important to Monson, who said that she prays before each game and pictures herself making free throws and layups during the national anthem.

Inspiration is also abundant for Monson.

“My parents (Nancy and Ronnie) are very supportive and make it to most of my games,” she said. “To know that there is somebody who wants me to do well pushes me to try harder.

“My brother Dusty, also was a Raider from 2007-09, and he set the bar pretty high.”

Though this is her first year at CLC, Monson is no stranger to lakes area sports fans.

A three-year varsity player for Pierz, Monson spent her sophomore year as the Pioneers’ “sixth man,” before becoming the starting center her final two years.

Taking home the Central Minnesota Conference crown her junior year and being Pierz’s all-time leader for blocks in a game, season, and career are two highlights that stick out to Monson from her high school career.

Most athletes transitioning from high school to the collegiate level have an off-season to train and get acclimated to the jump in skill level.

Not Monson.

Following her tenure as the middle hitter for the Pierz volleyball team, Monson contributed greatly to a CLC team that and came within one match from the national tournament.

“There was no gap between high school basketball and playing for CLC because of volleyball, I’ve had to learn as I go,” said Monson.

It appears that Monson has made a smooth transition, but there have been struggles for the Raiders.

The Raiders finished their regular season with a 9-16-1 mark, opening their season with a 1-11 record before a five-game win streak in the heart of their schedule propelled CLC to an 8-5-1 record in their final 14 games.

“At the start of the season we didn’t get along,” said Monson. “The losing caused us to play like a family and be better.”

The Raiders hope to carry the momentum into the Region 13 Tournament this weekend at Thief River Falls.

Outside of sports and school, Monson said the little down time she has is spent with friends.

Making time to watch basketball is even difficult.

“I don’t watch much basketball, I like Maya Moore though,” Monson said of the Minnesota Lynx forward who posted an illustrious career as a member of the UConn Huskies.

Monson is more than just an athlete and typical college student. She’s involved in the CLC program “Check and Connect,” which “helps kids who have disabilities with homework and social skills,” according to Monson.

There are also future ambitions for Monson. Though she doesn’t have any concrete plans following her time at CLC, she aspires to teach Spanish abroad and travel.

For right now, Monson is focusing on her short-term goals.

“I want to make it to nationals in both sports because I never experienced anything like that in high school,” Monson said. “I also want to be an All-American in basketball.”