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Area Female Athlete: Pillager's Martin causing trouble all over the court

Gabby Martin is getting it done on both ends of the floor this season. The Pillager junior guard has always been a force on the offensive end. This season, she's carrying her talents over to the defensive side where she's become a disruptive forc...

Gabby Martin
Gabby Martin

Gabby Martin is getting it done on both ends of the floor this season.

The Pillager junior guard has always been a force on the offensive end. This season, she's carrying her talents over to the defensive side where she's become a disruptive force for the Huskies.

During Pillager's 51-33 season-opening victory over Onamia Dec. 3, Martin tallied 16 points and five steals.

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Gabby Martin

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Year: Junior

School: Pillager

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard

Highlights: Finished with 28 points and six steals against Henning

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She added 28 points and six steals in the Huskies' 49-44 Park Region Conference victory over Henning Dec. 8.

"Offensively we know that she can be a force, but we really needed her to be a defensive threat," said Pillager head coach Wade Mortenson. "When she is pressuring the other team's ball handler, she can cause some real fits for them. The one thing I really wanted to stress with Gabby was on the defensive end to make sure she was harassing the other team's ball handler."

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In the Huskies' conference loss to Sebeka Dec. 11, Martin scored 13 points. She posted a game-high 29 points in Tuesday's 73-63 loss to Menahga.

"We're a really fast team this year and play at a fast pace," said Martin. "I think we have pretty high expectations this year as a team. My goal—I just wanted to be more of a leader this year so I stepped up into that role a lot more. I'm scoring a lot more this year and just trying to encourage people and talking a lot more."

Mortenson said Martin is fantastic at creating her own shot. With an improved outside shot he said she can score from anywhere on the floor.

"I just try to use my dribble to get people off balance and then go from there," Martin said.

The 5-foot-5 guard averaged 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 steals and 2.4 assists last year as a sophomore to earn All-Park Region Conference honors. Her 338 total points were seventh in the Brainerd lakes area and her 75 total steals landed her fifth in the area.

As a freshman, she averaged 9.4 points (235 total), 3.9 rebounds and 3.3 steals per game.

"So far this year you can see Gabby has matured a lot," said Mortenson. "Last year, there were some games that were up and down. This year she's playing both sides of the ball the whole entire game very strong both offensively and defensively. She's being a leader on the floor and she's a playmaker for us for sure.

"We had conversations last year. It was one of those things where she would have games that she played very, very well and everything was going great. Then there were games where she had some slumps and what not. This year, she's been much more consistent."

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Martin said she's continuing to improve her shot as well as blossom into a better leader and teammate. She wants to get all of her teammates incorporated into the offense because she knows that will make things easier for herself. She also understands a high-pressure defense will turn into easy offense, too.

"It's something that comes from within, I guess," said Martin. "Defense creates more offense. I'm in a lot better shape this year and playing AAU this last year we played a lot more up tempo so I learned to adjust to that a little bit more."

Mortenson said Martin's speed and footwork are what literally separates her from her opponents. That same quickness that gets her open shots also makes life difficult for the opposing offense.

"She is very good at disrupting the other ball handler," said Mortenson. "She's able to turn each girl and force them to their opposite hand and that's when she's able to get a few of her steals."

 

Other notable performances:

Basketball: Jami Nelson, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 20 points against Staples-Motley.

Grace Imdieke, Lake Region, scored 27 points against Chisago.

Olivia Lane, Pequot Lakes, finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds against St. Cloud Cathedral.

Jordyn Glenz, Verndale, finished with 22 points against Bertha-Hewitt and 14 points and 11 rebounds against New York Mills.

Corina Ruud, Pequot Lakes, finished with 20 points and nine rebounds against Park Rapids.

Hockey: Angela Hanson, Prairie Centre, made six saves for a shutout victory over Morris-Benson.

 

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

Related Topics: GIRLS BASKETBALL
Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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