Female Area Athlete of the Week: Ewald scores 33 points to notch 1,000-point milestone

Pillager senior earns area athlete of the week

Juliana Ewald
Juliana Ewald
Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Spor

Juliana Ewald said she didn’t know.

The Pillager senior came into the first game against the Aitkin Gobblers 28 points away from her 1,000th career point.

She finished with a game-high 33 points including a left-wing 3-pointer which put her over 1,000 points for her career.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to reach that point,” Ewald said. “If I didn’t have the people around me supporting me I don’t think I would’ve reached that point. My parents wouldn’t tell me how much I needed. We pushed the ball up the court and the ball got swung to me. I was open and I shot it and everyone started cheering.”

The Huskies won 58-45 against Aitkin. Ewald followed it with 17 points against Pequot Lakes, a game Pillager led at halftime, but lost 75-52.


“She has been very assertive at the start of the season and attacking,” Pillager first-year head coach Grant Stewart said. “She’s attacking both offensively and ratcheting up her defensive game which is also leading to points for her. It’s been great to see her ramp that up.”

Ewald has been a four-year starter for the Huskies. She recorded 14.1 points a game on 39% shooting last year as a junior.

As a sophomore, she scored 12.5 points a game on 41% shooting.

“With a new coach, new team, new plays it has felt good,” Ewald said about the start of the season. “I like the new offense and defense type thing. Being at the varsity for so long has helped me a lot because I’m not as nervous to be a starter anymore. I know what I’m getting into.”

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Stewart said for a first-time coach it helps to have a player like Ewald, who has a lot of varsity experience.

“As a coach, you don’t get players like that every day,” Stewart said. “It’s a joy to have her around and to have her talent on this team. She’s been a great captain and leader and supports all those around her.”

Stewart called Ewald’s playing style aggressive on both ends.

“She can have a quiet demeanor off the court, but when she gets on the court and you watch her play, she’s a much different player,” Stewart said. “She’s an excellent shooter and an excellent attacker. She’s become a complete player from that standpoint. She can get to the hoop really easily. She has a lightning-quick shot and is a really good shooter.”


Stewart said on the court Ewald is all business.

“She leads by example mostly on the court to try and get that spark going,” he said. “When she’s playing like that she gets her teammates involved especially in transition. She’s good in transition and finding the open players and every player benefits from that.”

Ewald added: “I’m not a big talker. I feel like the most you’ll hear my talk is if I really want to get my point across. I like to lead by showing how things are done and not explaining.”

Ewald’s improvement as a defender came after a conversation she had with her new coach.

“I always thought my weakness was defense,” she said. “He pulled me aside one day in practice and said that I needed to have a different mindset and go after it.”

Stewart added: “She’s going on to be playing at the next level and I had a conversation with her that she needs to look at ramping up her defensive side too because we’ve seen it. She can be a phenomenal defender.”

Ewald is committed to Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “I love how small it is. I didn’t know who they were until they reached out to me and my mom said ‘you should check them out.’ I really liked the campus and it just felt like home there.”


Other notable performances:

Basketball: Kelsi Martini, Pequot Lakes, scored 22 points against Pillager.

Montana Carsten, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 20 points against Staples-Motley.

Payton Gravelle, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 20 points against Staples-Motley.

Lily Riley, Pierz, scored 22 points against Swanville.’

Teagan Piecek, Aitkin, scored 27 points against Northland.

Livi Lorber, Staples-Motley, scored 20 points against Greenway.

Hockey: Rose Aldridge, Northern Lakes, scored two goals against Hibbing.


Juliana Ewald

Year: Senior

School: Pillager

Sport: Basketball

Position: Guard

Highlights: She scored 33 points including her 1,000th career point against Aitkin and scored 17 points against Pequot Lakes.

Started at the Dispatch in June of 2019.
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