Female Area Athlete of the Week: Travis nets career high in playoffs
Pine River-Backus senior earns area athlete of the week
Cate Travis picked a good time to have her career high.
The Pine River-Backus senior recorded a career-high 33 points in the Tigers’ Section 5-1A opening round 74-45 victory over the Sebeka Trojans last week.
“I just felt really on and I knew it was my last home game, so I just felt the need to do whatever it took to get the win and feed off my teammates' energy,” Travis said.
Travis added it felt good to get her career high in the last home game of her career.
“I was surprised because I hadn’t felt too good before the game and I had a terrible warmup,” Travis said. “Ramsey Tulenchik, one of the other seniors on the team, turned to me and said ‘what if you have your career high’ and then it happened. It was an ironic thing.”
Travis became a big part of the Tigers' lineup when Tulenchik, their leading scorer the past few seasons, went down with a season-ending injury 10 games into the season.
“At first it was rough not playing with Ramsey because we had always fed off each other’s energy,” Travis said. “I just knew after a couple of games that I had to step up and I had a conversation with coach Tucker (Sheley) about that as well. It all slowly changed and I picked up on it.”
Travis led the Tigers in scoring at 14.3 points a game to go along with 3.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.2 steals. PRB's season ended last week when it fell to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the Section 5-1A Quarterfinals.
“Cate definitely stepped up in a big way for us this season,” PRB head coach Tucker Sheley said. “Both offensively and just as a floor leader for us especially after Ramsey went down with her knee injury midway through the season. It was cool to see her confidence progress as the season went on and really step into a bigger role.”
Sheley said the career high in points spoke to how well Travis improved over the course of the season.
“She really stepped up offensively for us,” Sheley said. “She developed quite the inside-out game. Coming into the season, she was more of an undersized post. And she ended up hitting a lot more 3-pointers this year and she got to the free throw line a lot and hit some free throws. She also put a lot of pressure on the defense in her transition game, so it was fun to see her do it on all three levels.”
As a junior last year, Travis averaged 6.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals.
“My confidence was something I improved on the most,” Travis said. “That just comes from working on my game during the summer and in practice. Just confidence in knowing that I have the ability to score the ball.”
Travis added the scoring increase helped her be a better leader.
“I kind of had to step up with Ramsey being hurt,” she said. “I also tried to encourage my teammates.”
Sheley added: “Coming into the locker room for halftime or before games, she was a lot more vocal in the locker room and getting everyone on board with the game plan. Her teammates rallied around her and played harder for her.”
Sheley and Travis don’t just have a coach-player relationship as they are also cousins.
“It means a lot to me to be coached by him,” Travis said. “Not just because we are cousins, but he is a great coach and loves us all and puts his all into basketball and coaching.”
Sheley added: “Her being my cousin, we probably had a different dynamic than the other girls on the team. It was really fun to watch her grow and develop as a basketball player and as a leader on and off the court. She always had a drive to get better every day in practice and in the summer months. It was fun to see all the hard work pay off.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Tori Oehrlein, Crosby-Ironton, recorded 27 points and 19 rebounds against Rock Ridge. She scored 26 points against Staples-Motley.
Hannah Compton, Crosby-Ironton, scored 27 points against Staples-Motley.
Livi Lorber, Staples-Motley, scored 26 points against Crosby-Ironton.
School: Pine River-Backus
Highlights: Scored 33 points against Sebeka.