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Area Male Athlete: Pierz's Janson posting big numbers

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Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Caleb Janson’s stat sheet looks like it came from a video game.

The Pierz Pioneers’ senior is averaging 17.9 points and 15.6 rebounds a game. He’s recorded 12 double-doubles, with two being of the 20-20 variety.

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The 6-foot-4 forward has 250 points, 219 rebounds, 24 assists, 20 steals and four blocked shots. He’s shooting 48 percent from the field and is closing in on 1,000 career points, but already holds the school’s all-time rebounding record with 945 through 14 games this season.

He broke Shane Poepping’s school record of 743 during the holiday tournament at St. Cloud State University. Janson already owned the single-season record of 412 rebounds in one season.

“He’s just relentless,” said Pierz head coach Dan Saehr. “The crazy part is so many of those rebounds are offensive rebounds. Every time a shot goes up he’s just flying to the glass. We’ve had a lot of college coaches come watch him and they all say the same thing and that is he has an amazing work ethic. He’s just a workaholic. He’s always playing hard.

“Even if Caleb isn’t scoring much you know every game you’re going to get two things and that’s great defense and a great rebounding effort. His low rebounding game so far this season is 11.”

Statistically speaking, Janson’s best game came during Pierz’s 98-80 Central Minnesota Conference victory over Rockford Jan. 17 at SCSU. Janson finished with 36 points and 22 rebounds to go with two assists and a steal. He was 14-of-20 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point.

“That game was a blast,” said Janson. “Obviously, playing at Halenbeck Hall was great and it’s our goal to get back there for the section championship game. I was just feeling it that game. It was good to get the win and I was just in a zone.”

Janson followed his big night with a modest 21-point, 14-rebound game in Pierz’s 62-38 win over Kimball Jan. 20.

“I thought he played a good game, but not outstanding,” said Saehr. “But then you look and he’s got 21 points and 14 rebounds. You come to expect him to get those kind of numbers every night.

“The biggest thing as of late has been he’s shooting the 3 really well. His last five games he’s shooting 14-27 from 3-point. That’s better than 50 percent. We’re playing him more as a 3-guard lately. He’s just so versatile that we can play him anywhere.”

The four-year varsity player and three-year starter finished last season with 412 rebounds and 354 points. He added 65 assists, 38 steals and 11 blocked shots for then 14-14 Pioneers.

“Honestly, I feel like I outwork people on the glass,” said Janson. “My coach has always told me rebounding is about effort. Every time a shot goes up I’m working at getting position and to not let anybody outwork me tot he glass.

“I put in a lot of hours in weight room to get stronger and quicker and more athletic. For me the biggest thing is effort.”

Other notable performances:

Basketball: Ben Birch, Wadena-Deer Creek scored 22 points against Pelican Rapids.

Logan Lange, Pequot Lakes, scored 22 points against Pillager and 20 against Wadena-Deer Creek.

Nathan Holm, Pine River-Backus, finished with 38 points and 12 rebounds against Verndale and 38 points and 10 rebounds against Red Lake.

Dallas Ehrmantraut, Verndale, scored 24 points against Pine River-Backus.

Caleb Baker, Crosby-Ironton, scored 18 points against Detroit Lakes and 21 against Duluth Marshall.

Patrick Trout, Lake Region, finished with 21 rebounds and six points against Woodcrest.

Hockey: Mike Stumpf, Little Falls, made 22 saves in a 4-0 shutout of Sartell.

Wrestling: Frank Wilczek, Little Falls, reached 100 career pins with a 46-second fall over St. Cloud Tech’s Nate Lortz.

Brad Meyer, Pierz, finished the week 5-0 and in the process picked up his 100th career victory.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at jeremy.millsop@brainerddispatch.com or at 855-5856.

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