Area Female Athlete: Weisz rewriting Little Falls record books
Whitney Weisz’s senior year will be remembered for a long time.
If not, one only has to look in the Little Falls record books.
The record holder of numerous school and pool swimming records, Weisz broke into the basketball record books during the Little Falls tournament.
The most significant accomplishment came during a 68-60 victory over St. Cloud Apollo in the third-place game Dec. 29.
Weisz scored 29 points to become the Flyer girls basketball program’s all-time leading scorer. She surpassed Ann Just’s record of 1,416 set in 1992.
“I actually didn’t know I was even close,” said Weisz. “It wasn’t until Leanne Grosso wrote me this note that she couldn’t wait for me to break the record. I had no idea I was going to break it. It was a surprise.
“They stopped the game and announced it. It was pretty special because it happened on my birthday and my grandparents, who don’t usually get to games, were there.”
Weisz added 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, helping Little Falls snap a four-game losing streak.
“I knew she was going to be a 1,000-point scorer when she scored 450 points her sophomore year,” said Flyers head coach Deb Yliniemi-Ahlin. “I didn’t think she was going to break the school record. But if you score that many points your sophomore year you’re the real deal.
Yliniemi-Ahlin said Weisz has increased her shooting range this year but has maintained her accuracy.
The four-year varsity player is hitting 46 percent of her field goals, 36-percent of her 3-pointers and 58 percent of her foul shots.
Through 10 games, she’s scored 226 points, grabbed 98 rebounds and added 43 blocked shots, 22 assists and 26 steals.
“To be honest, I never really thought about breaking the school record,” said Weisz. “Not even this year. I always wanted to have 1,000 points and I got that, but the school’s leading scorer — no.”
During the tournament’s opening-round game against Thief River Falls Dec. 28, Weisz secured the single-game scoring record by finishing with 47 points in the Flyers’ 78-74 loss.
Weisz scored just eight points in the first half, but went off for 39 in the second. She added six blocks and three steals.
“In the second half I came back and got down on the blocks and just kept taking it at them,” said Weisz. “I just kept shooting my left-handed hook shot until they took it away. They never did, though.”
Yliniemi-Ahlin believes Weisz also holds the school’s career rebounding record with more than 820 career boards.
“When you take a look at someone who is so goal-oriented, even though she’s going to be swimming in college, she still loves basketball.” Yliniemi-Ahlin said. “She always has. She reads defenses very well. She’s very smart. She watches a lot of basketball and she knows where the defense is going to be. She can play off of the defense and get some high-percentage shots.
Weisz, who signed an NCAA National Letter of Intent to swim next season at the University of Wisconsin, won the Class 1A state 100-yard freestyle and was second in the 50 freestyle.
Yet, basketball has always been a love for her.
“I’ve had a passion for it ever since I was a little girl playing on my brother’s team,” she said. “I’ve always loved it and my dad was a coach growing up. I played AAU basketball and I thought I was going to play it in college. I still have a lot of love for the game.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Carene Bayerle, Aitkin, was named Aitkin Quarterbacks Club tournament MVP after scoring 28 points in two wins.
Mattie Lueck, Pequot Lakes, finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists against Sebeka and scored 18 points against Parkers Prairie.
Mikayla Wing, Staples-Motley, scored 21 points against Upsala.
Kayla Miller, Pequot Lakes, finished with 34 points against Parkers Prairie.
Emily Miron, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 23 points against Grand Rapids.
Hockey: Kat Jensen, Northern Lakes, finished with 27 saves in a 2-1 win over Appleton
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.