Emily Thesing will have to shoulder much of the load initially for the Brainerd Warriors girls' basketball team.
Last season she was the only first-year starter in a lineup that included four seniors and led the team in scoring.
This season she is the only returning starter and senior from a team that lost in the Section 8-4A championship game.
Thesing has responded favorably to being the team's point guard and captain. After three games she leads the team in scoring, averaging 19.0 points, free throw shooting, assists and steals.
"As a little kid you always dream of taking charge," Thesing said. "It's my last year playing for Brainerd. I'm going to make it memorable."
Thesing made the Warriors' opener memorable, scoring a career-high 32 in a 79-73 loss to Alexandria. She buried seven threes & of 14), was 5 of 7 from 2-point, grabbed seven rebounds and added two steals and four assists.
"They played man," she said of Alexandria's defense. "The offense we ran I was getting a lot of good looks off that. When I was open my teammates got me the ball and I was able to knock down some shots."
Position: Point guard
Other sports: Volleyball
Career highlight: Playing in Section 8-4A final in 2008
Grade-point average: 3.0
Favorite subject: Human biology
Favorite food: Seafood
Favorite movie: Coach Carter
Favorite Web site: Facebook
Hobbies: Sports, socializing
Future plans: Attend college, play basketball, possibly major in medical field
Favorite basketball player: Michael Jordan
Parents: Dan and Janelle Thesing
Coach Carl Hendrickson said the Warriors played very well in the offensive end.
"She brought us back from a 20-point deficit to six with her shooting," he said. "She was getting the ball passed around, and the other kids were looking for her too.
"It was reminiscent of last year. When we needed it we got some baskets from Emily."
Thesing is bound to attract considerable attention from opposing defenses, including double teams, until other Warriors prove themselves.
"We just can't rely on her to do all the scoring every game," Hendrickson said. "We found that out in our second game. We spread the ball around more and took the pressure off her. I think that will relax her more as we go through the season, where she's not the only one doing the scoring. We have some other kids who can do that.
"We just take her for granted right now because Emily played so many games last year. She has the experience and knowledge it takes to help bring this team together. So far she's done a nice job carrying that over, not only from the practice floor, but to games. We need to have her continue to do that if we're going to be successful."
Thesing conceded there is pressure to produce and to lead but she's willing to take on the responsibilities.
"There is a little bit, but coach told me I don't have to do it all," she said. "As the season goes on, more girls will step up. The posts we have did that against Sauk Rapids. They scored in double digits. We should have a balanced attack by the end of the season."
Other notable efforts:
• Sam Smith, gymnastics, won two events and the all-around against Willmar and Sartell.
• Nicole Godbout, hockey, had a hat trick against Morris-Benson.
• Rian Hutchison and Gina Engel, Alpine skiing, won titles at Alexandria.
• Reid Mimmack, hockey, made 37 saves against Crookston and 38 against Alexandria.
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