Warriors Athlete of Week: Sauer's 'crazy' game ties long-standing Brainerd school record
Joey Sauer produced a game not generated by a Brainerd Warrior boys basketball player in 57 years. The senior forward tied one of Brainerd High School's longest-standing sports records by pumping in 41 points during a 96-91 overtime victory over ...
Joey Sauer produced a game not generated by a Brainerd Warrior boys basketball player in 57 years.
The senior forward tied one of Brainerd High School's longest-standing sports records by pumping in 41 points during a 96-91 overtime victory over the Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm Friday, Dec. 7. Sauer's offensive output tied Dale Brown, who scored 41 against Granite Falls back on Dec. 28, 1961. Sauer's performance also earned him the Central Lakes Conference Offensive Player of the Week award.
Sauer was in the zone, sinking 15 of 27 shots from the field, including 8 of 15 from 3-point land. And he wasn't only scorching the nets. The 6-foot-4 Sauer grabbed 18 rebounds and added three assists, seven steals and two blocks. Initially his rebound total was reported as seven. However, Warriors coach Charlie Schoeck said Hudl, a program allowing teams to review game footage, revealed Sauer had 18 boards.
All in all, it was a game for the ages.
Sauer and Schoeck didn't know the significance of Sauer's night until after the game.
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- Sport: Basketball
- Position: Forward
- Year: Senior
- Age: 18
- Height: 6-4
- Career highlight: Scoring school-record-tying 41 points vs. Sauk Rapids-Rice Friday, Dec. 7.
- Grade-point average: 4.2
- Favorite class: Creative Foods
- Favorite food: Shrimp alfredo pasta
- Favorite TV show: "The Office"
- Favorite website: espn.com
- Favorite restaurant: Buffalo Wild Wings
- Future plans: Pursue career in a medical field
- Favorite athlete: Kevin Durant
- Parents: Todd and Marti Sauer
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"It didn't really hit me right away until I had a couple friends call me and say, 'Why didn't you score one more?' And I was super confused. I said, 'What are you talking about?' Then they said I had (tied the) record. It was just crazy."
"We had no idea what the record was or anything like that," Schoeck said. "Joey was hot. We just kept getting him the ball until the game was over."
Schoeck said Sauer's teammates were also enjoying the moment.
"I watched the tape and our bench was going crazy," Schoeck said. "It's good to see a team where everyone's pulling for each other and excited when they see something like that happen."
Sauer torched the Storm to open the game, burying five consecutive 3-pointers in about the first four minutes. His first miss was his sixth 3-point attempt.
"At the start, I noticed there probably was going to be a mismatch because they were putting their big center on me," Sauer said. "I figured there probably would be a mismatch out on the perimeter. We just ran some plays and it ended up working out well.
"I got to hit some 3s early. The rest of the game my teammates got me the ball. They found me, which helped."
Schoeck said the game plan was to make a concerted effort to get Sauer immediately involved.
"The first couple possessions he had one of their big guys on him that was a little bit slower of a guy," Schoeck said. "We ran a couple of plays designed to get him open on the perimeter. He got open and those looks turned into a couple makes right away. So we kept rolling with that until they were going to show they were going to stop it."
When he wasn't scoring, Sauer was crashing the boards and playing stingy defense, two aspects of basketball he continually tries to incorporate into his game.
"It's just boxing out your guy," Sauer said of rebounding. "I usually guard the bigger post. If you don't (box out), they get the boards and it's easy points for them, so I try to stop that as much as I can.
"(Defense is) always something you can control. Sometimes your shot might not be falling. Defense you can always control how hard you work, just try to make it as hard for them as possible."
Schoeck said defense is an aspect of Sauer's game often overlooked.
"He's a complete player," Schoeck said. "I know in the past a lot of people always see the offensive numbers with Joey and how valuable that can be because he can really stuff the stat sheet. But those six steals-they come at times maybe when we got a bucket or we get a stop and go down for another one and all of a sudden it's a 4- to 5-point swing. That's a huge deal. Those steals can be pretty impactful as well."
Schoeck noted Sauer is a solid defender because he's a "cerebral player."
"He's not going to get fooled by a lot of head fakes from other post players," Schoeck added. "He's just got a knack for timing that offensive player's jump and getting to the apex at the right time to get a block. He's pretty athletic. The guy can two-hand dunk standing underneath the hoop. Getting up in the air is pretty easy for him."
Sauer believes his offseason work has helped him get off to a productive start this season.
"We did our stuff over the summer with coach Schoeck," he said. "And he was going to different tournaments with our team over the summer. In the spring, we had our Brainerd team go and play in tournaments.
"Also over the summer, we lifted three days a week and we shot three days a week, too. That shooting really helped, doing that repetitively, all summer."
Other notable efforts:
• Atlie Danielson (120), Denny Busbey (132) and Kyle Patnode (138), wrestling, won championships at the Paul Bunyan Invitational.
• Kyle Eschenbacher (126) and Cade Barrett (220) were runners-up at the Paul Bunyan Invitational.
• Gavin Andres, boys hockey, made the North-South Classic all-tournament team.
• Griffin Blegen, boys swimming, won two individual events and was on two winning relays vs. Bemidji.
• Lindsey Booth, Abby Pohlkamp, Sophie Robinson, Cheyenne Abear and Ella Kalusche, girls hockey, combined for 23 points vs. Moorhead.