Not even a sore ankle can stop Shiela Stegora from scoring.
The senior guard for the Pierz Pioneers girls' basketball team reached 1,000 career points to become only the seventh player in Pierz history to do so.
Stegora managed the feat in a 98-55 victory over the Big Lake Hornets Dec. 11.
She scored 22 of her game-high 30 in the first half. She finally attained the milestone midway through the third quarter when she nailed a three-pointer.
"I didn't really know how close I was," said the senior. "At halftime, I knew exactly how many I had left.
"It was overwhelming. That was one of my goals in basketball, to reach the mark."
Stegora had 20 points and four steals in a 72-14 victory over Royalton Dec. 13, lifting the Class 2A fourth-ranked Pioneers to a 4-0 start.
On Dec. 15, Stegora added 12 points but Pierz dropped its first game, 77-62, to Rockford.
"We have a lot of potential," said Stegora. "Against Big Lake we played the best we could play. If we can play like that every game, I think we have a good chance of making it to state."
Stegora has played on the varsity since her freshman year and has led the team in scoring the past two seasons. She has averaged 15 points the last two seasons and is averaging 18.5 points this winter.
One thing that separates Stegora from most is her ability to do more than just score.
"A lot of times she has to play every position on the floor for us," said Pierz head coach Rick Sczublewski. "She's our backup point guard and she's had to play the post sometimes as well.
"She leads our team in blocked shots and steals. She pretty much does everything for us. You can't take her off the floor.
"This year she's averaging seven rebounds a game where last year she averaged eight. We have more taller players this year so she's playing more guard than forward."
Through six games, Stegora had collected 40 rebounds, 20 assists, 23 steals and five blocks. She has scored 111 points with accurate shooting.
She's connected on 65 percent (30-of-46) of her two-point shots and 38 percent (10-of-26) of her three-point attempts.
"She's mentally tough," said Sczublewski. "She's extremely smart. The ball seems to find her because she's a smart player and she anticipates where it's going to go. She has a knack for the big plays and she's done that for us the past four years."
Unlike the three previous years, Stegora is taking more of a leadership role.
"I've been playing against these teams that we play for so many years I know their style," said Stegora. "It's different this year because I am a senior.
"I've been around so long, I get along really well with the girls. Before, I didn't consider myself a leader. Now I feel I have more responsibility and I have to set a good example for the younger kids."
Stegora went to the Class 1A state doubles tennis tournament with Sheena Loidolt and hopes to make it to state in two sports. The one thing that might slow her down is a sore ankle, on which she underwent surgery during the early part of the school year.
"It's still sore and may never get better," she said. "I might have surgery on it again, but I might go out for track too."
Other notable performances:
Basketball -- Staples-Motley's Michelle Honek scored 21 points in a 68-35 victory over the New York Mills Eagles Dec. 11.
Pequot Lakes' Julie Redebaugh scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a 46-34 victory over Deer River Dec. 11.
Verndale's Raya Kern scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Dec. 11 in a 68-61 loss to Laporte.
Rachel Davich of Little Falls had 22 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks Dec. 13 in a 57-54 loss to St. Cloud Tech.
Pierz's Shelly Boser scored 20 points in a 77-62 loss to Rockford Dec. 15.
Wadena-Deer Creek's Kerby Johnson scored 28 points in a 72-37 victory over Henning Dec. 15.
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