Area Male Athlete: C-I's Silgen sizzling down the stretch

Jack Silgen Year: Senior School: Crosby-Ironton Sport: Basketball Position: Guard Highlights: Reached 1,000 career points in win over Pequot Lakes With a sheepish laugh, Jack Silgen described the shot that landed him on a memorable list. It occur...

Jack Silgen
Jack Silgen

Jack Silgen

Year: Senior

School: Crosby-Ironton

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard


Highlights: Reached 1,000 career points in win over Pequot Lakes

With a sheepish laugh, Jack Silgen described the shot that landed him on a memorable list.

It occurred Feb. 14 in a 79-53 victory at Pequot Lakes. The win landed the Crosby-Ironton Rangers' the Mid-State Conference crown. Silgen finished with 23 points, but it was point No. 17 that pushed Silgen past 1,000 career points.

The moment was memorable, but the basket was maybe more so.

"Yeah, I banked in a 3-pointer," said Silgen. "I didn't call it."

Silgen tried to keep the number out of his mind, but he knew he needed 17 to become the program's 12th player to reach the milestone and the second one on the Rangers' current roster.

"I definitely wanted to get it, but the main goal is just for the team to succeed," said Silgen. "I would rather have team success like going to state than having an individual accomplishment."

Silgen followed his 1,000-point night with 24 points in a 90-44 victory over Aitkin Feb. 16.


The senior point guard leads the Rangers in scoring at 388 total points for an 18.5 points-per-game average. He also leads the team in steals with 58 (2.8 per game). He's second in rebounds behind Noah Gindorff with 126 total (6.0 per game) and second in assists with 79 (3.8).

Silgen's biggest improvement has been his efficiency. The senior is hitting 44 percent from 3-point compared to 30 percent last year. He's connecting on 56 percent of his field goals compared to 41 percent last year. He's hitting 71 percent of his free throws compared to 61 percent last year.

"It's been fun to see him mature into a young man over the years, both physically and mentally," Crosby-Ironton head coach Dave Galovich said. "His role for us is enormous. He's played positions one through five. Lately, we've been putting him more in the post and he's been very effective in there. He's able to score. Put it on the floor to get to the rim and kick it out to open perimeter players if he's being double teamed. He has really evolved as a player."

One reason is Silgen's work ethic. From summer camps to open gyms to lifting weights in the early morning hours, Siglen has paid his dues. He said it's a competition with himself.

It's one reason he hopes to play basketball in college. While he hasn't narrowed his choices, the varsity veteran has choices and more continue to call.

"I would really like to play in college," Silgen said. "For me it's almost more of a competition with myself to see how far this game can take me and just reaching my full potential. That's the most important thing for me, to see what I can accomplish. That's why I work so hard. That's part of my motivation. I want to see how good I can really become."

Galovich believes Silgen's best years of basketball are still to come. With the prototypical body, the desire to get better and quality work ethic, the coach believes he'll succeed at the next level.

"He's got a true love for the sport," said Galovich. "His best years of basketball are ahead of him. He puts the time in. He's only going to be better. He's only going to get stronger and develop more physically. He's going to have a good, bright future in college. Athletically he'll fit well and academically he's a great student as well. His future is very bright.


"I don't know if we've had anybody who has put in more time than Jack. He has done everything we've asked and then more. He's attended all of our open gyms, participated in all of our summer tournaments. Any summer basketball camp that he could attend he participated in that.

"He improved his strength by getting in the weight room. All of this added to his entire game. His statistics have improved tremendously."

And the team has seen successful as well. C-I is ranked No. 4 in Class 2A and owns a 20-2 record heading into back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.

"It's been really amazing," Silgen said of the season. "Overall, I really couldn't ask for it to be better. With the relationship built up among teammates, the fun that we've had, and the success on the court, it's just a bonus, too. I couldn't have asked for the season to be better."

Other notable performances:

Basketball: Tyler Ogren, Lake Region, scored 22 points against Cambridge Christian to reach 1,000 for his career.

Ryan Foehrenbacher, Pillager, finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds against Menahga.

Dacotah Mittag, Wadena-Deer Creek, finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds against Pine River-Backus.


Gavin Smith, Staples-Motley, scored 28 points against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle.

Matt Tautges, Pierz, finished with 34 points and seven rebounds against Milaca.

Hockey: Shane Donovan, Northern Lakes, scored two goals against Bagley.

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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