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Patriots' Lane all-area player of year

Much has been said about Vanessa Lane during her Pequot Lakes High School athletic career.

State track and field champion. Powerful sprinter. Career 1,000-point scorer in basketball. Cross country runner. Volleyball player.

What hasn’t been said until now is 2014 Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

Lane is the fifth Patriot to win the award and probably the most unlikely.

She follows Flecia Foster and Teresa Parker, who were co-winners during the 2004-05 season; Emily Lueck, who won back-to-back seasons 2009-10 and 2010-11; and Mattie Lueck, who was named player of the year in 2011-12.

Unlike Lane, those four girls were stars early in their careers. Lane blossomed in a role that helped the Patriots back to the Class AA state tournament for the third time in her four-year career.

“She kind of just knew what she needed to do for us,” said Patriots head coach Jon Dale. “She has come such a long way from ninth grade as far as basketball. She’s come a long way with her basketball IQ. She really understood what her role was and is with this team.

“I asked her to do so many things. I asked her to stop Carlie Wagner during the state tournament and it’s probably the only thing she wasn’t able to do.”

Lane, a 5-foot-9 senior forward, was second in the area with 291 rebounds. Of those 164 were on the offensive end, which helped her to second in the area in points scored with 563. Her 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game both finished second in the area.

The four-year varsity player was also sixth in steals with 80, first in blocked shots with 57 and first in field goal percentage (59 percent).

She reached 1,000 career points in a win against Wadena-Deer Creek during the regular season.

“Every game rebounding is a huge thing for me,” said Lane. “It obviously helps getting second shots and being able to rebound on the offensive boards I was able to get a lot of putbacks and that’s how I scored a lot of my points.

“I worked really hard in the offseason because I love basketball. Basketball and track are huge to me. I’m going to miss it. I know this is my last season playing on a (basketball) team.”

Lane is taking her athletic ability to South Dakota State University to compete in track and field.

“She’s a great kid,” said Dale. “She’s an unbelievable athlete. She’s so strong and she’s worked so hard at her athletics. Good things happen to people who put in that much time and effort into something.”

Lane was blessed with good teammates as well. Seniors Katie White and Kayla Miller also enjoyed four-year careers that saw them advance to the state tournament three times. All three are three-sport athletes, who have enjoyed state success in other sports. But on the basketball court they worked well together.

“We had a really good connection,” said Lane. “We read each other well. If someone was having an off-night, the other two were there to pick them up. If I wasn’t doing very well with scoring, Katie and Kayla were there to pick me up. It went back and forth.

“We have been playing with each other for so long. We have a great connection and it was only furthered by our trip to state.”

The Patriots finished 23-7 and won the Section 8AA title handily over Hawley. They were tri-Mid-State Conference champions with Detroit Lakes and Staples-Motley. Those two, along with a trip to state, were Lane’s goals for the season.

Lane, Miller, White make all-area

Pequot Lakes’ run to the Class AA state tournament helped the Patriots land three players on this year’s Brainerd Dispatch All-Area Team.

Players for the all-area team are nominated by their coaches and selected by the Dispatch sports department.

Lane was an All-Mid-State Conference player who finished with 563 points (18.8 per game), 291 rebounds (9.7), 20 assists, 78 steals and 56 blocks. She shot 59 percent from the field and 52 percent from the line.

Miller, a senior guard, was an All-Mid-State player who had with 442 points (14.7 per game), 75 rebounds (2.5), 50 assists, 56 steals and 10 blocked shots. She shot 47 percent from the field, 50 percent from the line and 33 percent from 3-point.

White, a senior forward, was also an All-Mid-State pick who finished with 364 points (12.1 per game), 189 rebounds (6.3), 47 assists, 46 steals and 34 blocked shots. She shot 43 percent from the field, 74 percent from the line and 35 percent from 3-point.

PR-Backus players honored

Pine River-Backus junior guard Megan Felthous made the all-area team while the Tigers’ junior forward Megan Porta received honorable mention.

Felthous was an All-Northwoods Conference player who finished with 640 points (23.7 per game), 189 rebounds (7.0), 70 assists (2.6) and 101 steals (3.7). She shot 53 percent from the field, 76 percent from the line and 30 percent from 3-point.

Porta, also an All-Northwoods pick, finished with 308 points (11.4 per game), 225 rebounds (8.3), 14 assists, 34 steals and 21 blocks. She shot 45 percent from the field and 48 percent from the line.

Jeremy Millsop
My career at the Brainerd Dispatch began May 11, 1999 after graduating from North Dakota State University. My areas of emphasis includes local high school sports, Central Lakes College, the lakes area golf mecca and once a year I dabble in the NHRA when the Lucas Oil Nationals come to Brainerd International Raceway.
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