Kerby Johnson is as unique as her name, but she backs up her slightly eccentric behavior with athletic talent matched by few others.
One example of Johnson's spontaneity occurred Jan. 2. That was the day the movie, "The Fast and the Furious," was released on video.
"Me and our team manager love that movie, so we made a road trip to Wal-Mart in Detroit Lakes at midnight," said Johnson. "That's one of our themes for the season. We have 'Fast and Furious' written all over the locker room and the bathroom stalls. It also says 'Height is Overrated.'"
At 5-foot-10, Johnson is the tallest player on a height-challenged Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines girls' basketball team. But Johnson isn't stuck in the post. She can play any position.
"When we introduce her, we say she's our utility position," said W-DC coach Becky Woessner. "She brings the ball up and can break presses.
"Her best position is the wing, but if she's the tallest girl on the floor, then we put her on the post, and let her get the job done down there."
Johnson has started on the varsity for four years and attained 1,000 career points when she scored 17 in a loss to Pine River-Backus Jan. 15.
"She really didn't want to make a big deal of it," said Woessner, "but we had a plaque for her so we stopped the game. PR-B was fine with that and so were the officials. So we stopped the game and gave her the game ball and plaque.
"She wanted to get on with the game. As soon as the horn blew her comment was, 'This is great, but we're not winning so let's get back to it.'"
That was only the second loss for W-DC. Johnson said it put a damper on the achievement.
"We knew it was going to happen," Johnson said of the milestone. "It was a nice honor. It was a real big deal for me.
"But losing definitely stole my thunder."
Johnson and the Wolverines rebounded when they beat Mid-State Conference opponent Staples-Motley Jan. 17. Johnson scored 19 points in a gutsy victory.
With second-leading scorer Marissa Browne out for the game with an ankle injury, Johnson stepped up and took control.
"Without talking to her about it, she realized that with her position, and being one of the leading scorers in the conference, she had to step up," said Woessner. "She knew what she had to do to win at Staples. As a senior, she wanted to make sure that she did what she could do to get the job done."
This season, Johnson is averaging 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 11 games. She has nine blocked shots. She's shooting 85.9 percent from the foul line and 45 percent from the field.
Johnson's ability to do everything on the court has helped W-DC to an 8-3 record.
"Kerby is a very unselfish player, and at times, as a coaching staff, we don't want her to be," said Woessner. "We want the ball in her hands as much as we can.
"She doesn't always see that. She'll drive to the basket, and if she sees someone open, she'll make the dish instead of taking it herself.
"She knows she has to put up some points, but she feels that she doesn't have to win the game for us. She knows that without her teammates passing her the ball, she wouldn't have gotten 1,000 points.
"She's definitely not a 'me-player.' She wants to turn the spotlight off of her and let it show on the whole team."
Other notable performances:
Basketball -- Crosby-Ironton's Whitney Smetana scored 19 points in a victory against Aitkin and added 15 points and 16 rebounds in a loss to McGregor.
Staples-Motley's Laura Warn had 17 points and 10 assists in a victory over Bertha-Hewitt.
Raya Kern had 31 points and 23 rebounds in two games last week.
Pierz's Becky Korf had 24 points and 31 rebounds in two victories last week.
Pierz's Allyson Kloss had 36 points, 24 rebounds and four steals in two victories last week.
Pierz's Shiela Stegora had 35 points, nine assists, seven steals and six blocked shots in two victories last week.
Rachel Davich of Little Falls scored 28 points in a loss to Brooklyn Center Jan. 19.
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