Call Kari Block "Miss February."
That's because the Pierz Pioneers 5-foot-11 senior forward carried her team into the Section 6, Class 2A girls' basketball final.
Block scored 32 points in the semifinals of the Subsection 18 tournament. Her career-high performance pushed Pierz to a 61-52 victory over Pine City.
She continued her hot hand with 24 points against Foley in the subsection championship game, which Pierz won 52-44.
"I don't know what the deal was with her," said Pierz coach Rick Sczublewski. "She just got hot. She couldn't miss and everything was all net.
"She's always had the ability to score and she was getting good looks at the basket. She's always been a good offensive player."
The senior finished her career with a team-high 10 points in a loss to second-ranked Albany in the section final.
For the season, she shot 43.5 percent from the field and 71.3 percent from the foul line. Block led the team in both categories, which is why Sczublewski liked that she excelled in the second half when accurate free throw shooting is key.
The two-year letterwinner averaged 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds. She added 13 blocked shots, 22 steals and 27 assists from her forward position.
The senior distinguished herself in the playoffs.
"I was really impressed with her leadership the last six games," the Pierz coach said. "As a senior she had to step up this year. She's been there all the time when we've needed her. She's been a great second-half player. A couple of games she maybe had two points at halftime but ended up with 14.
"Her thing has always been confidence. She's always been a good player."
Block, who was named to The Dispatch All-Area volleyball team last fall, picked a good time to find her confidence. Against Foley, with team leader Allyson Kloss on the sideline with an injury, Block stepped up and helped Pierz win the subsection title.
Not a physical player, Block utilized a quality jump shot and the ability to catch and shoot quickly. Sczublewski thought she had the best jump shot on the team.
"The game that she played in the (section) finals will probably be my most vivid memory of the season," said Sczublewski. "She just kept going after it even though we were losing. As a senior you want to go out and play your best and I know she did that."
Other notable performances:
Basketball -- Teresa Parker, Pequot Lakes, scored 27 points vs. Hermantown.
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