In this season of giving, Megan Felthous is right at home.
The junior guard for the Pine River-Backus Tigers feels better about setting up a teammate for an easy bucket than scoring one herself. The results are the same and in the end the team usually wins.
Case in point, Felthous recorded 30 points and nine assists in the Tigers’ 72-57 non-conference win over Sebeka Dec. 12. She added 22 points, nine rebounds and nine more assists in PR-B’s 64-43 Northwoods Conference win over Kelliher/Northome Dec. 13.
“After the game I told my mom I would rather get a perfect assist than hit a three-pointer,” Felthous said. “It feels a hundred times better to set up your teammate for an easy layup than to make a basket yourself. It’s the same amount of points.”
Felthous tallied a game-high 23 points in the Tigers’ 52-49 loss to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Dec. 10.
When the returning starter needs to score she’s efficient. She finished 10-for-10 from the free throw line to finish with 34 points in a 63-37 conference win over Cass Lake-Bena Dec. 17.
“She had a lot of assists last week and she does take pride in that,” said PR-B head coach Randy Schwegel. “We do look to her to score points, but she had nine assists up there in Kelliher and she really kind of took pride in that.
“She’s making things happen with a lot of steals defensively. Her game isn’t just scoring. She makes a lot of different things happen. She makes the teammates around her look pretty good.”
It’s a role that has been passed down for almost a decade now: Taylor Sheley, Katie Wangberg, Tatum Sheley and now Felthous. It’s a role that took Felthous some getting used to.
“She was the kid last year,” Schwegel said. “But she’s become more of a leader and the go-to person. If we need something to happen she’s the one we look to make it happen, defensively and offensively. She’s getting better at the role. She had a hard start to the season and wasn’t sure how to proceed with it. She is getting better and better with it.”
Last season, Felthous finished with 426 points or 14.7 per game. She added 162 rebounds (5.6 per game), 55 assists (1.9), 89 steals (3.1) and four blocks. She led the Brainerd lakes area with a shooting percentage of 61 percent to go with 73 percent shooting from the line.
“Last year, she had the highest shooting percentage in the area and I asked her why she thought that was,” said Schwegel. “She said because she shot a lot of lay-ups and made some steals and Tatum gave her some nice passes for easy shots.
“Last week, she came down on the fast break wide open and just pulled up and drained some legitimate jump shots. She can shoot on the run. That’s her biggest improvement. She can pull up in the 12- to 15-foot area and knock those shots down. That’s going to really help her game a lot.”
That and handling the ball are what Felthous worked on this offseason. She also had many long talks, and still does, with Sheley.
“Tatum and I still talk all the time after every game,” said Felthous. “She’s been the biggest role model for me. She’s told me I have to shoot the ball, even when I miss a couple and get frustrated. She knows how I feel. She’s been there before. She knows its a different role for me. She’s left me with a lot of good advice.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Jordyn Glenz, Verndale, finished with 20 points against Pillager and 16 points and nine rebounds against Menahga.
Lacy Hiltner, Pillager, scored 18 points against Verndale and 21 against New York Mills.
Vanessa Lane, Pequot Lakes, finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds against Pierz and 21 points and 16 rebounds against Park Rapids.
Tiara Hopkins, Pierz, scored 24 points against Pequot Lakes.
MacKenzie Holst, Staples-Motley, scored 26 points against Crosby-Ironton.
Gymnastics: Rachelle LeBlanc, Little Falls, won the all-around title with a 35.175 against Rush City and scored a first-place 37.575 against Bemidji.
Hockey: Angela Hanson, Blue Devils, made 24 saves in a 5-0 shutout of Morris-Benson.
Nordic skiing: Maria Hauer, Little Falls, won the St. Cloud Invite in 14:05.