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Area Female Athlete: Verndale's Moenkedick fills in for sister

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sports Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Sarah is the last of the Moenkedicks.

And every Verndale Pirates opponent is happy to hear it.

The problem is Sarah Moenkedick is only a sophomore.

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The last Moenkedick is one of six siblings who have dominated on the field, court and mat for more than a decade at Verndale.

Sarah Moenkedick is no different. The sophomore dropped 32 points on Browerville during the Pirates’ 78-70 victory Feb. 18. She followed it with 21 points against Sebeka to lead the Pirates to a 65-58 Park Region Conference win.

“Her game is a lot about penetrating to the rim and this year she’s doing a better job of finishing,” said Verndale head coach Art Schluttner. “She’s been getting to the rim more. She is a slasher and she can finish with either the right or left hand. She can hit a perimeter shot. She’s worked on those, but penetrating and getting to the rim is her game.”

Last season, Moenkedick averaged 4.6 points and 2.4 rebounds a game to go with 61 assists and 42 steals. Like the rest of her Pirates teammates, Moenkedick relied heavily on her older sister Teresa, who finished as the program’s all-time leading scorer.

With Teresa graduated Sarah Moenkedick is filling in for her sister.

“When Teresa graduated I felt like I should be the one to step up and become a leader on this team,” said Moenkedick. “It just sort of happened. Last year, we relied on Teresa for everything. This year, everyone has stepped up and doing what we have to do to win.”

Moenkedick inherited the point guard spot from her sister. She learned the position on the job and the results have been solid.

She’s averaging 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals a game. She’s shooting 48 percent from the field, 33 percent from 3-point and 70 percent from the line.

“She was one of those kids that we were looking at to step up,” said Schluttner. “Everyone looked at Teresa whenever we needed something to happen. So we didn’t know who was going to be our point guard this year. Teresa was our point for four years.

“My assistants and I threw a few ideas around, but then this fall she just kind of stood up and took the job and it’s been hers ever since. She’s done a nice job of taking that point guard position and making it her own.”

Moenkedick’s play has helped Verndale to a 22-3 record. The Pirates finished 12-0 in the Park Region Conference, which was a team goal. Verndale earned the No. 2 seed in the North Subsection 5-1A behind Browerville.

Verndale had won six straight before Friday’s regular-season finale with Nevis.

“Our first goal was to win the conference and we also wanted to go undefeated in the conference,” said Moenkedick. “We accomplished that. I guess for me, I would like us to get to the state tournament.”

Other notable performances:

Basketball: Katie White, Pequot Lakes, finished with 20 points and eight rebounds against Detroit Lakes.

MacKenzie Holst, Staples-Motley, scored 20 points against Sauk Centre and 18 against Detroit Lakes.

Kayla Carter, Pierz, scored 23 points against Maple Lake.

Jordyn Glenz, Verndale, finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds against Browerville.

Hope Theisen, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds against Park Rapids.

Kayla Miller, Pequot Lakes, scored 23 points against Bagley.

Megan Felthous, Pine River-Backus, scored 33 points against Laporte.

Shannon Lundgren, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds against Crookston.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.

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