Area Female Athlete: Pequot's Lueck learning a new role this year
It’s been a strange new world for Mattie Lueck.
Last season, the Pequot Lakes senior averaged 15.2 points and 9.6 rebounds to help the Patriots to Mid-State Conference and Section 8-2A titles on the way to a Class 2A state tournament appearance.
But Lueck was in the shadow of her older sister Emily and senior point guard Kylie Beltz. It was a spot she didn’t mind.
This season, Lueck is the main offensive threat and the key to every opponent’s defensive game plan.
Still, she is averaging 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds a game. She’s added 94 assists, 44 steals and 54 blocked shots for the 10-8 Patriots.
“We started her out playing at the point and it worked out well until Vanessa (Lane) went down with an injury and we didn’t have enough of an inside presence so we had to move her back into the post,” Pequot head coach Jon Dale said. “I think she would much rather play an off-guard where she’ll likely be playing in college. She simply says ‘Whatever we have to do to try and turn it around.’ Now we’re playing her inside and out.
“She’s one of those kids who will do whatever you ask her to do. She didn’t have any problem going back into the post. She just wants to win. She’s not concerned about stats.”
Lueck has posted quality stats during the Patriots’ recent three-game win streak that has them above .500 (10-8) for the first time this season
Lueck ended last week with 22 points, five rebounds, three blocked shots and two assists in the Patriots’ 67-63 Mid-State Conference victory over the Detroit Lakes Lakers Jan. 27.
She began the week by scoring 16 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three blocks in the Patriots’ 60-51 non-conference win over the Pine River-Backus Tigers Jan. 23.
Lueck posted 20 points, eight steals, five assists, five blocks and two rebounds in an 85-32 conference win over Park Rapids Jan. 31.
“That Detroit Lakes win was really a big deal,” Lueck said. “It gave us some confidence after losing some tough games, most by just a couple of points. We finally played defense and we were hustling and doing everything. We finally put everything together.”
With so many players graduated off of last year’ state team, Lueck didn’t know what to expect this season. So she kept her goals this season more personal.
“I wanted to be a good leader and inspire the younger players,” said Lueck, who surpassed 1,000 career points last season. “I wanted to set a good example. I had no idea how this season was going to turn out. We’ve exceeded my expectations already and I hope we can keep that going.”
After the year, Lueck will once again be reunited with her sister as she has signed to play basketball next season at St. Benedict, where her sister is now a freshman.
“It’s been very difficult this year not playing with her and those other girls,” Lueck said. “I played with that group that graduated all the way since I started playing basketball.
“St. Ben’s was perfect. I’ve always wanted to go to a smaller private school. They had the majors I was interested in and the location was close enough to home, which was important to me. Plus, I really bonded with their coach.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Megan Hogan, Pequot Lakes, scored 24 points against Pine River-Backus.
Tatum Sheley, Pine River-Backus, scored 35 points against Pequot Lakes, 24 against Isle and 26 against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Lindsay Monson, Pierz, finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds against Kimball.
Emily Miron, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 25 points against Breckenridge and 20 against Staples-Motley.
Whitney Weisz, Little Falls, scored 21 points against St. Cloud Cathedral, 20 against Alexandria and 20 against Zimmerman.
Marlee Moore, Lake Region, finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds against Central Baptist and added 11 rebounds, five blocks and eight points against Plaza Heights.
Kelly Pearson, Staples-Motley, scored 26 points against Wadena-Deer Creek.
Gymnastics: Rachelle LeBlanc, Little Falls, won the all-around with a 36.1 score against Alexandria.
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5856.