Area Male Athlete: Auger's 3-pointer lands him milestone
Seth Auger drained a 3-pointer.
The senior for the Staples-Motley Cardinals boys basketball team has drained many 3-pointers in his four-year varsity career. This 3-pointer, however, was special.
The 6-foot-2 guard collected a kick-out pass from a driving Jalen Busker, fired up the shot and sank it to become the 15th member of the Cardinals’ 1,000-point club. Auger is the first to do it since the phenomenal pair of Jordan Riewer and Derek Wolhowe accomplished the feat before graduating in 2010.
“It’s awesome because that’s just what I like to hit,” said Auger. “It was nice to get it on a 3-pointer.”
Auger said he knew he was 13 points shy of reaching the scoring milestone heading into the Mid-State Conference contest against the Pequot Lakes Patriots Feb. 20. He told himself not to think about. He tried not to think about it.
He thought about it.
“That was one of my goals this season,” said Auger. “It was my main individual goal after all the team goals. Obviously helping my team get to state is my main goal.”
Auger finished with 20 points to help S-M beat Pequot 57-49. He added 16 points in a 73-61 win over Holdingford Feb. 13 and managed 16 points in a loss to Crosby-Ironton Feb. 18. That set up his big night on the Cardinals’ home floor.
“He’s been a great leader and a positive influence, especially in the classroom,” said Cardinals head coach Micheal Poncelet. “He’s the kid who is always going to be working hard in practice. He’s not the most vocal leader, but the other guys see our leading scorer and rebounder busting his butt in practice and they follow.
“He’s a real even-keel kid as well. When we lose a game, he’s not in the locker room melting down. When we win a game he’s not jumping around like a clown. He takes everything in stride.”
Auger worked hard to become more than a long-range threat. He improved his ball-handling skills and worked to develop a mid-range shot. He’s averaging 13 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals a game. He’s also leading the team in blocked shots.
Last year, he averaged 10.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 0.8 steals.
“I think my size is a great advantage,” said Auger, who also plays baseball. “It’s hard to block my shot when I’m out on the perimeter. That just brings the defense out to try and guard me and that opens up the lane for my teammates who want to drive to the basket.
“We work very well as a team, more so than in other years. During fall league I noticed that a lot. I think it’s awesome to have five guys in double figures scoring every night.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Ryder Hunstad, Pillager, scored 25 points against Sebeka.
Tristan Litke, Pillager, finished with 21 points and 10 assists against Sebeka.
Nathan Ehnstrom, Aitkin, finished with 43 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and five assists against Ogilvie and added 18 points against Crosby-Ironton to become Aitkin’s all-time leading scorer.
Daniel Hudrlik, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 22 points, six steals and five blocks against Staples-Motley and 19 points against Aitkin.
Blake Connell, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 25 points against Frazee.
Wrestling: Dillon Card and Anthony Kern, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale, won Section 6-1A individual championships.
Alex Erpelding and Drew Peterson, Staples-Motley, won Section 6-1A individual championships.
Anthony Phillipson and Justin Mackenthun, Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus, won Section 8-2A individual championships.
Jerod Novak and Alan Bast, Aitkin, won Section 7-1A individual championships.
Brandon Sullivan, Chris Ortman and Kolten Eischens, Pierz, won Section 7-1A individual championships.
Caleb Kreitter, Brett Nelson and Cole Grinsteinner, Crosby-Ironton, won Section 7-1A individual championships.
Josh Beack, Justin Jenks and Tyler Gastecki, Little Falls, won Section 8-3A individual championships.