Area Male Athlete: Winning is everything for Pierz's Weber

Aaron Weber Year: Junior School: Pierz Sport: Basketball Position: Guard Highlights: Finished with 78 points, six rebounds and five assists in three games last week Aaron Weber just wants to win. The Pierz Pioneers' junior has won consistently on...

Aaron Weber
Aaron Weber

Aaron Weber

Year: Junior

School: Pierz

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard


Highlights: Finished with 78 points, six rebounds and five assists in three games last week

Aaron Weber just wants to win.

The Pierz Pioneers' junior has won consistently on the football field. He's won consistently on the baseball diamond. Where he and his teammates haven't quite found consistent success on the basketball court.

Last week they did.

The junior tallied 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting against Holdingford Feb. 10. He added four rebounds, an assist and one steal in the 66-60 victory.

He followed that with 30 points, on 10-of-14 shooting, four assists and two rebounds during a 77-55 Feb. 13 victory over Howard Lake-Waverly.

"My goal was to obviously do better than last year," said Weber. "For many of us, our team goal was to win 10 to 15 games in the regular season and have a shot at the conference title. That's been pretty hard to do because our conference is pretty good.

"Also we wanted to pick up some upsets and we did that during the Christmas tournament by beating Braham and (St. Cloud) Cathedral. We've had a content, average year, but not an extraordinary year."


The three-year starter scored a game-high 27 points in a 70-49 win over Pillager Feb. 14.

"We run a lot of screens and ball screens for him," said Pierz head coach Matt Poepping. "When he has the ball in his hands he's trouble because he is good off the dribble and can knock down the outside shot. That makes him so tough to defend.

"The last three games, each team has started in a zone and he's hit some early 3s to get them out of a zone. He's the guy we look for to shoot teams out of a zone."

Through the team's first 23 games, Weber was averaging 17.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He was shooting 45 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point and 78 percent from the line.

"We've been moving the ball well, finding the open player and I was just feeling it last week," said Weber. "Most of all we're passing the ball and getting everyone involved. When we play like that, we all play better."

Last season Weber, averaged 14.1 points and 5.0 rebounds in 26 games. He added 18 assists, 21 steals and a blocked shot, while shooting 43 percent from the field, 38 percent from 3-point and 68 percent from the line.

"He's not the quickest player, but he uses his body well and creates contact when he shoots and this year he's shooting well from the line," Poepping said. "He's smart. He's one of the smartest kids on our team when it comes to basketball. He's able to get the advantage on other teams."

Weber opened the season with a season-high 31 points and has missed double figures just five times. Four of those five games have resulted in Pierz losses.


Weber said he worked on his entire game during the offseason, even his defensive quickness, but he concentrated on dribbling and passing and ball security.

Only a junior, Weber is already close to reaching 1,000 career points, but the three-year varsity player is more than just a scorer. As the backup quarterback on last season's Class 3A state tournament football team, Weber is no stranger to finding open teammates and making plays.

"He makes everyone else better, especially our bigs," said Poepping. "If he's coming off a screen with the ball and two guys collapse on him he's looking for the open guy. Usually that's Robbie Skiba, who had a couple of big games last week, too, because Aaron would come off a pick and roll and create things."

Pierz hasn't had to deal with any exotic defenses trying to stop their top scorer because of the talent around Weber. It's that talent Weber hopes will get the basketball team, like the football team, to state.

"It's very frustrating because we've been very successful in football and pretty successful in baseball," said Weber. "We just need to work more and try and get better. We had a slump before last week and then we had one game that ignited us. It's a good time of year to get on a roll and hopefully that translates into the playoffs."
Other notable performances:

Basketball: Nathan Davis, Aitkin, finished with 28 points, 16 rebounds and six assists against Ogilvie.

Henry Krecklau, Pine River-Backus, scored 20 points against Red Lake.

Hank Raph, Pine River-Backus, scored 20 points against Red Lake.


Noah Gindorff, Crosby-Ironton, finished with 25 points against Pequot Lakes and 19 points against Staples-Motley.

Robbie Skiba, Pierz, finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds against Pillager.

Abe Imdieke, Lake Region, scored 28 points against Waupaca.

Hockey: Landon Bjorge, Little Falls, finished with three goals against Prairie Centre.

Mitch Stangle, finished with 24 saves in a shutout victory over Wadena-Deer Creek.

JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 855-5856 or . Follow on Twitter at .

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