Male Area Athlete of the Week: Schultz leading Cardinals offense
Staples-Motley junior gets area athlete of the week
Isaiah Schultz could not be stopped last week.
The Staples-Motley junior scored 28 points against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in the Cardinals win and 21 points against Osakis in a loss.
“Shots were just falling in those games,” Schultz said. “The guys are moving the ball around and we were getting good looks all-around.”
Schultz leads the team in scoring at 18.6 points a game. He’s averaging 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists a game.
“His role this year has changed a little bit to needing to be a scorer,” Staples-Motley head coach Cy Bestland said. “We kind of always felt like he was going to and last year he kind of did and this year he's kind of embraced that. He’s got a lot of natural athleticism and the way we run our offense is kind of different for him this year with more high post and short corner stuff this year. Which took him a few weeks to get comfortable with. Now that he’s comfortable, we can run him in multiple spots and a lot of stuff through him.”
Bestland likes to use Schultz as a forward.
“We don’t have any true bigs, so I use him in the high post a lot,” he said. “The versatility is huge and I think it creates a lot of matchup problems with other teams with how they are going to guard him.”
Schultz is shooting 43% from the field and 35% from the 3-point line.
“I haven’t usually played forward, I’m usually a guard, but it’s definitely developed my game a lot more,” Schultz said. “It is very helpful to be more developed on those inside moves.”
Last season, Schultz was second on the team in scoring with 12 points a game while shooting 38% from 3-point and 42% from the field. He snatched 3.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals last year.
“I’m able to create more this year,” Schultz said. “I’m able to dribble better. When I was younger, I was a lot more of a catch-and-shoot player. This year, being inside and getting the ball a lot more, I’ve been able to create a lot more opportunities.”
As a freshman, Schultz scored 7.0 points, grabbed 1.6 rebounds and averaged one steal and assist a game on 36% shooting.
“He played and started halfway through his freshman year,” Bestland said. “So he kind of has that role as a team leader. He was the quarterback of the football team, so it kind of comes to him.”
As quarterback, he threw for 950 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 206 yards and two touchdowns. He also compiled 71 tackles and two interceptions on the defensive side.
“Being a quarterback has helped me step in as a leader,” Schultz said. “It gives me that mindset.”
The biggest improvement Bestland has seen in Schultz is his composure.
“He cares a ton and shows some emotion,” Bestland said. “He’s matured and plays within himself a whole lot better. He’s been playing quite a bit on varsity. He’s quiet and that’s just the way he is. You can make eye contact with him and you know he’s listening and taking it in and he respects his coaches, but he’s not a loud, vocal leader.”
Other notable performances:
Basketball: Carsen Turk, Crosby-Ironton, scored 20 points including his 1,000th point against Pillager.
Jordan Oehrlein, Crosby-Ironton, scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against Hinckley-Finlayson.
Brady Bristow, Pine River-Backus, scored 30 points against Laporte
Hunter Miller, Staples-Motley, scored 22 points against Wadena-Deer Creek
Payton Rondestvedt, Wadena-Deer Creek, scored 20 points against Staples-Motley.
Hockey: Tyler Seeling, Northern Lakes, scored five goals against Pine City.
Wrestling: John Paul Fitzpatrick, Crosby-Ironton, earned first place at the BHVPP Invite.
Marshall Larson, Aitkin, earned first place at the Mora Invite.
Jack Grell, Aitkin, earned first place at the Mora Invite.
Chance Abraham, Road Crew, earned first place at the Minnewaska Tournament.
Connor Tulenchik, Road Crew, earned first place at the Minnewaska Tournament.
Corbin Knapp, Road Crew, earned first place at the Minnewaska Tournament.
Austin Staricha, Road Crew, earned first place at the Minnewaska Tournament.
Riley Peters, Road Crew, earned first place at the Minnewaska Tournament.
Colbe Tappe, Staples-Motley, earned first place at the Gerry Bakke Memorial Invite.
Highlights: He scored 28 points against Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and 21 points against Osakis