Alan Anderson has done his part to ensure history doesn't repeat itself for the Pine River-Backus Tigers.
The junior scored 21 points to lead PR-B to its second victory of the season, a 63-60 non-conference defeat of Laporte Jan. 7.
"I got a lot of layups and a lot of passes to me," said Anderson. "I hit a few 3-pointers.
"Last year I never really shot. I've been shooting much more. My shots seem be going in, too."
Anderson scored 18 points in the Tigers' 68-35 Mid-State Conference loss to Detroit Lakes Jan. 4.
"He gets his points from numerous ways," said Tigers first-year coach Matt Moen. "He can penetrate, shoot the mid-range jumper and he can crash the boards. He gets a lot of putbacks. Plus, he's shooting the ball behind the arc and from the free throw line very well.
Alan Anderson is a defensive leader.
"He's scoring from all over the court. He doesn't have one strong area, but he's good at all of them."
In the two games, Anderson was 15 of 30 from the field, including 3 of 5 behind the 3-point line. Along with his 39 total points he added 11 rebounds, four steals and two assists.
The forward is averaging 13 points and four rebounds per game, while shooting 45 percent from the field and 60 percent from beyond the arc.
But numbers don't tell the entire story for Anderson. This season has been about perseverance. After finishing last year 0-24, Anderson and the Tigers wanted something to show for their hard work.
"My goal this season was just to at least get that one win," said Anderson. "We just wanted to play a little better and harder. We don't care too much about winning or losing. We play hard and have a fun time and everything."
"He's very deceptive. He doesn't look like the most athletic or quickest player, but he is. He's very fast. He's crafty and he hasn't taken a poor shot all year.
Pine River-Backus boys' basketball coach
But PR-B did get that first win Dec. 18. Anderson scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in the Tigers 59-57 victory over Aitkin.
"I looked at their goal sheets and everyone had 'to win a game,'" said Moen. "I've been trying to instill a mentality of, 'Yes, you won a couple, but don't be satisfied.' They haven't given up. It's a credit to them. Times have been very tough the last couple of years and they just don't give up. They're guaranteed to play hard every single game and Alan has a lot to do with that."
Moen said Anderson is a quiet leader who shows up to every practice and game ready to work.
"He's one of our hardest workers," said Moen. "The area where he goes unnoticed is probably his defense. He's our best defensive player. He brings it on the defensive end.
"He's very deceptive. He doesn't look like the most athletic or quickest player, but he is. He's very fast. He's crafty and he hasn't taken a poor shot all year. His judgment is really good. He's really good at so many different areas."
Other notable performances:
Basketball -- Bryce Tesdahl, Crosby-Ironton, scored 21 points against Pequot Lakes.
Joe Kavanaugh, Pillager, scored 28 points against Lake Region and added 23 against New York Mills.
John Holder, Aitkin, scored 27 points against Isle.
Brett Dickie, C-I, scored 24 points against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Hockey -- Steven Cooney, Wadena-Deer Creek, tallied one goal and three assists against Crosby-Ironton/Aitkin.
Wrestling -- Trevor Sterling, B.J. Wasserzieher, Johnathon Arness, Phillip Just and Andrew Shavinsky, Aitkin, finished last week with 5-0 records.
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5856.
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